Impact of pulsed electric field treatment on the recovery and quality of plant oils

Author(s): Guderjan M, Töpfl S, Angersbach A, Knorr D


This study examined the impact of pulsed electric fields (PEF) on maize, olives and soybeans for enhanced and gentle recovery of functional food ingredients through induction of stress reactions. A modified process scheme for the production of maize germ oil with increased amounts of phytosterols (up to 32.4%) at simultaneous by higher oil yield (up to 88.4%) was developed. Phytosterols are secondary plant substances and essential metabolites of plant membranes, reducing the serum level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in humans, associated with atherosclerosis. By using hull fractions during the extraction additionally to a mild application of PEF (0.6 kV/cm) on maize germs, the yield of phytosterols increased by 32.4%. In addition the oil yield of fresh olives increased by 6.5–7.4% depending on the field strength and the amount of the isoflavonoids genistein and daidzein in soybeans increased by 20–21% in comparison to the reference samples.

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