Cost Analysis and Environmental Impact of Pulsed Electric Fields and High Pressure Processing in Comparison with Thermal Pasteurization

F. Sampedro, A. McAloon, W. Yee, X. Fan, D. J. Geveke

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81 Scopus citations


The cost of high pressure processing (HPP) and the environmental impact of pulsed electric fields (PEF), HPP and thermal pasteurization of orange juice were estimated in the US. The cost analysis was based on commercial processing conditions that were validated for a 2-month shelf-life of orange juice under refrigeration conditions. Total electricity consumption was estimated to be 38,100 and 1,000,000 k Wh/year for thermal and HPP processing, respectively. Total pasteurization cost of HPP was estimated to be 10.7 ¢/l for processing 16,500,000 l/year (3,000 l/h). Of this, capital costs accounted for 59 % (6.3 ¢/l), labor costs accounted for 37 % (4.0 ¢/l) and utility charges, mainly electricity, accounted for 4 % (0.4 ¢/l). The total HPP cost was 7-folds higher than that of conventional thermal processing (1.5 ¢/l). The equivalent CO2 emission was 90,000 kg for thermal processing and 700,000 and 773,000 kg for PEF and HPP, respectively. This corresponds to an increase between 7- and 8-folds in comparison to the thermal processing. Increasing the production output by 2- to 6-folds reduced the total production costs of nonthermal processing by 50-75 %. A deeper knowledge of the processing costs and environmental impact of nonthermal technologies will afford companies a better understanding of the benefits and limitations of these novel systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1928-1937
Number of pages10
JournalFood and Bioprocess Technology
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments The authors are grateful to the Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología (FECYT) from Ministerio de Innovación y Ciencia from Spain for providing the postdoctoral grant to Dr. Fernando Sampedro. The authors acknowledge Drs. Tony Jin and Brendan Niemira for their helpful reviews of the final draft. The authors also acknowledge Mr. Joseph Sites for providing technical assistance with the HPP unit and Mr. Michael Kempkes of Diversified Technologies, Inc. (Bedford, MA), Ms. Carole Tonello of Hiperbaric S.A. (Burgos, Spain) and Mr. Nick de Pinto of Avure Technologies (Franklin, TN) for their valuable data.


  • Cost analysis
  • Environmental impact
  • High pressure
  • Pulsed electric fields
  • Thermal processing


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