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peer-reviewed research article

Radiofrequency power disinfects and disinfests food, soils and wastewater

authors

Manuel C. Lagunas-Solar, Department of Chemical Engineering and Material Sciences, UC Davis
Nolan X. Zeng, Department of Chemical Engineering and Material Sciences, UC Davis
Timothy K. Essert, Department of Chemical Engineering and Material Sciences, UC Davis
Tin D. Truong, Department of Chemical Engineering and Material Sciences, UC Davis
U. Cecilia Piña, Department of Chemical Engineering and Material Sciences, UC Davis

publication information

California Agriculture 60(4):192-199. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v060n04p192. October-December 2006.

NALT Keywords

California, disinfection, food safety, foods

abstract

Radiofrequency (RF) is an advanced telecommunication technology first invented in the early 1900s, which is in use today for wireless communication worldwide. Because of its ability to penetrate and heat various materials, RF has the potential to disinfect and/or disinfest food, agricultural and environmental materials. However, research to validate this approach has been restricted by limited understanding of how RF photons interact with materials, and by limited access to and the high cost of its source electronics. Since the early 1990s, we have conducted research at UC Davis on continuous RF power applications using nonconventional RF systems and new operational concepts. Laboratory tests have successfully demonstrated the effectiveness of RF power to disinfect and/or disinfest fresh produce, rice, soils, agricultural wastewater, and other foods and materials. Likewise, rapid pulses of RF are lethal to arthropod pests and may provide a nonthermal disinfestation process for fresh, temperature-sensitive commodities, as well as a promising alternative to the fumigant methyl bromide.

References

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