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Processes based on supercritical fluids, especially carbon dioxide, have been extensively investigated for their utility in pasteurizing milk, fruit and vegetable juices, raw vegetables, meat, and fish. This chapter initially reviews current issues in food pasteurization, then presents the thermodynamic fundamentals of supercritical fluid behavior and how SCFs can be utilized for pasteurization. The chapter includes possible mechanisms and models for the inactivation of a variety of hazardous microorganisms. This is followed by a comprehensive overview of specific studies of applications to a wide range of foodstuffs. Finally, the commercial viability of SCF pasteurization and the recent patent literature is discussed. The goal of this chapter is to enable both researchers and process developers to understand the scientific fundamentals behind the use of supercritical fluids for food pasteurization and assess the breadth of applications that have been considered.

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