Disinfection of fishmeal with radiofrequency heating for improved quality and energy efficiency

Manuel C. Lagunas-Solar, Nolan X. Zeng, Timothy K. Essert, Tin D. Truong, Cecilia Piña, James S Cullor, Wayne L. Smith, Ricardo Larraín

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Radiofrequency (RF) heating was investigated as an alternative to cooking, drying or chemical disinfection for the preservation of fishmeal and shown to be a highly effective process without any detectable effects, particularly on proteins, lipids or in vivo digestibility. The uniform and deep penetration of RF waves resulted in rapid and homogeneous heating allowing ∼4 times lower thermal loads to be used for >5 log10 (>99.999%) reduction in infection levels for Salmonella spp and for Escherichia coli O157:H7. Simultaneously, the natural flora was reduced by >3 log10 (>99.9%). The RF process can be operated in the 70-90°C range and with high energy-use efficiency (∼50%), which compares well with the 10-15% efficiency for conventional surface heating methods. Industry and expert laboratories confirmed these results. RF heating is thus a new alternative thermal process that is particularly appropriate for disinfecting fishmeal or for reprocessing it rapidly and efficiently with full retention of its natural attributes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2273-2280
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Issue number13
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Disinfection
  • Fishmeal
  • Radiofrequency heating
  • Retention of quality attributes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)


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