15. Radio Frequency Electric Fields as a Nonthermal Process

  1. Howard Q. Zhang2,
  2. Gustavo V. Barbosa-Cánovas3,
  3. V.M. Balasubramaniam4,5,
  4. C. Patrick Dunne6,
  5. Daniel F. Farkas7 and
  6. James T.C. Yuan8
  1. David J. Geveke

Published Online: 20 APR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470958360.ch15

Nonthermal Processing Technologies for Food

Nonthermal Processing Technologies for Food

How to Cite

Geveke, D. J. (2010) Radio Frequency Electric Fields as a Nonthermal Process, in Nonthermal Processing Technologies for Food (eds H. Q. Zhang, G. V. Barbosa-Cánovas, V.M. Balasubramaniam, C. P. Dunne, D. F. Farkas and J. T.C. Yuan), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470958360.ch15

Editor Information

  1. 2

    USDA Western Regional Research Center, 800 Buchanan St., Albany, CA 94710, USA

  2. 3

    Center for Nonthermal Processing of Food, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6120, USA

  3. 4

    Department of Food Science and Technology, USA

  4. 5

    Department of Food Agricultural and Biological Engineering, The Ohio State University, 333 Parker Food Science and Technology Building, 2015 Fyffe Court, Columbus, OH 43210-1007, USA

  5. 6

    Science, Technology and Applied Research Directorate, U.S Army Natick Soldier R, D & E Center, 15 Kansas Street, Natick, MA 01760, USA

  6. 7

    Department of Food Science and Technology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331-6602, USA

  7. 8

    Pepsico Beverages & Foods, 100 Stevens Avenue, Valhalla, NY 10595, USA

Author Information

  1. USDA-ARS, Eastern Regional Research Center, Food Safety Intervention Technologies Research Unit, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, PA 19038, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 APR 2011
  2. Published Print: 31 DEC 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780813816685

Online ISBN: 9780470958360



  • radio frequency electric fields - as a nonthermal process;
  • radio frequency electric field (RFEF) processing of liquid foods - and high field strengths;
  • critical process parameters - determining inactivation;
  • effects of quick high electric field pulses - on microbes, studied in the 60s;
  • RFEF treatment systems - not commercially available;
  • RFEF pilot plant system, and fluid handling equipment - 80 kW power supply, and monitoring equipment;
  • treatment chamber design;
  • quickField™ (Tera Analysis Ltd, Svendborg, Denmark) finite element analysis software - modeling anisotropic electric field strength within converged co-field flow treatment chambers;
  • nonthermal processing of liquids - with high-intensity RFEF;
  • RFEF processing of liquid foods, using high field strengths - at relatively low temperatures, great strides


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Historical Background

  • Mechanisms of Action

  • RFEF Treatment Systems

  • Generation of RFEF Fields

  • Treatment Chamber Design

  • Main Processing Parameters

  • Applications

  • Challenges

  • Operating Costs

  • Regulations

  • Conclusions

  • Acknowledgment

  • References