Ever since the advent of industrial scale microwave ovens after World War II, its potential as a rapidly heating system has not been fully exploited. How ever domestic models of microwave ovens have been able to penetrate into practically every home in most developed countries and are making rapid progress in many developing countries also. Design of continuous microwave heating stations for food sterilization posed many challenges and only few commercial plants are working to day based on microwave energy. The recent innovative technology developed in the US gives hope that microwave will eventually emerge as technology of choice for the food processing industry.
The team's Microwave Sterilization Process technology submerges the packaged food in pressurized hot water while concurrently heating it with microwaves at a frequency of 915 MHz--this frequency penetrates food much more deeply than home microwave ovens. This combination eliminates food pathogens and spoilage microorganisms in five to eight minutes and produces foods with much higher quality than conventionally processed products.
Probably it may take several years for the technology to become accepted as industry standard, because of the high capital cost necessary to install such plants with high capacity. Even in the US where food safety is on top of the agenda of the federal and state governments, establishing the credibility and reliability of the new combination technology is going to take time though it has been given clearance by the country's safety agency the FDA.