Sous vide processing: a viable approach for the assurance of microbial food safety

Helen Onyeaka, Ozioma Nwabor, Siwon Jang, KeChrist Obileke, Abarasi Hart, Christian Anumudu, Taghi Miri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

As consumer needs change, innovative food processing techniques are being developed that have minimal impact on food quality and ensure its microbiological safety. Sous vide (SV) is an emerging technology of cooking foods in vacuum pouches at specific temperatures, which results in even heat distribution. Presented here is an overview of the current state of the art in the application of SV techniques for processing and preserving foods. Unlike the conventional thermal food processing approach, the precise nature of the SV method improves food quality, nutrition and shelf-life while destroying microorganisms. Foods processed by SV are usually subjected to temperatures between 50 and 100 °C. Although sufficient for food preparation/processing, its effectiveness in eliminating microbial pathogens, including viruses, parasites, vegetative and spore forms of bacteria, is limited. However, the inactivation of spore-forming microbes can be enhanced by combining the technique with other non-thermal methods that exert negligible impact on the nutritional, flavour and sensory characteristics of foods. In addition to exploring the mechanism of action of SV technology, the challenges related to its implementation in the food industry are also discussed. SV method potential, applications, and impacts on spore-forming microbes and spore inactivation are explored in this review. Through the debate and discussion presented, further research and industrial applications of this food processing method could be guided. © 2022 The Authors. Journal of The Science of Food and Agriculture published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Early online date26 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Journal of The Science of Food and Agriculture published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.

Keywords

  • food safety
  • sous vide
  • shelf-life
  • spore-forming microbes
  • spores

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