Iowa Public Television


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posted on March 28, 2003

Tuning out harmful bacteria…

Researchers have found high intensity radio waves can kill bacteria. The radio frequency electrical fields technique, or R-F-E-F, has been studied as a pasteurization method since the 1950s. The latest research suggests R-F-E-F may be capable of cold pasteurization.

The tests showed apple juice blasted with high-intensity, low-frequency radio waves eliminated 99.9 percent of a non-dangerous strain of e.coli known as K12. Because e. coli o157:H7 is from the same family, it is hoped this lethal cousin will respond accordingly.

R-F-E-F may also have application as a cold pasteurization method for other heat-sensitive foods such as liquid egg products.

Tags: bacteria food news radio safety