• dense phase CO2;
  • non-thermal pasteurization;
  • microbial inactivation;
  • enzyme inactivation;
  • quality

ABSTRACT Dense phase CO2 (DPCD) is a non-thermal technology that can inactivate certain microorganisms and enzymes at temperatures low enough to avoid the thermal effects of traditional pasteurization. This technology has been investigated over the past 50 y, particularly in the past 2 decades, and its effects on vegetative cells and spores of various microorganisms including pathogens, spoilage bacteria, yeasts, and molds, and various enzymes of importance to foods have been demonstrated. Many liquid foods retained freshlike sensory, nutritional, and physical properties after DPCD treatment. This article is a review of mechanisms of microbial reduction, enzyme inactivation, DPCD treatment systems, both experimental and commercial, and examples of applications with effects on quality attributes.