The inactivation of Listeria monocytogenes by pulsed electric field (PEF) treatment in a static chamber

Gregory J. Fleischman, Sadhana Ravishankar, V. M. Balasubramaniam

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63 Scopus citations


An experimental analysis of the effect of pulsed electric field (PEF) energy on the inactivation of Listeria monocytogenes was conducted using a custom-designed static chamber and a gel suspension medium for treatment. This allowed PEF energy to be delivered to the suspension under near isothermal conditions. The effects of variations in the number of pulses (5-50 pulses), electric field strength (15-30 kV/cm), temperature (0-60°C) and media bases (water and skim milk) on the inactivation of L. monocytogenes were examined. At temperatures less than 50°C a maximum of 1 log reduction was obtained for L. monocytogenes regardless of pulse number or electric field strength within the ranges examined. In skim milk no reduction occurred. At 50°C and 55°C synergy between PEF and thermal energy was observed. The experimental approach separated the contribution of PEF and thermal energy to total kill and thus allowed this synergy to be quantified. At 55°C the kill due to PEF energy increased to 4.5 logs with another 4.5 logs reduction attributable to thermal energy. It appears that under the conditions of this study PEF alone has a very limited effect on the reduction of L. monocytogenes. However, the addition of thermal energy not only contributed to the kill, but also increased the susceptibility of L. monocytogenes to PEF energy. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-95
Number of pages5
JournalFood Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2004


  • Gel
  • Gellan gum
  • Listeria
  • Milk
  • Pulsed electric field
  • Static chamber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology


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