Principles and Applications of Non-thermal Technologies for Meat Decontamination

Lee Yewon1, Yoon Yohan1,2,*
Author Information & Copyright
1Risk Analysis Research Center, Sookmyung Women's University, Seoul 04310, Korea.
2Department of Food and Nutrition, Sookmyung Women’s University, Seoul 04310, Korea.
*Corresponding Author: Yoon Yohan. E-mail:

© Copyright 2023 Korean Society for Food Science of Animal Resources. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Sep 15, 2023 ; Revised: Oct 19, 2023 ; Accepted: Oct 25, 2023

Published Online: Nov 14, 2023


Meat contains high-value protein compounds that might degrade as a result of oxidation and microbial contamination. Additionally, various pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms can grow in meat.  Moreover, contamination with pathogenic microorganisms above the infectious dose has caused foodborne illness outbreaks. To decrease the microbial population, traditional meat preservation methods such as thermal treatment and chemical disinfectants are used, but it may have limitations for the maintenance of meat quality or the consumers acceptance. Thus, non-thermal technologies (e.g., high-pressure processing, pulsed electric field, non-thermal plasma, pulsed light, supercritical carbon dioxide technology,  ozone, irradiation, ultraviolet light, and ultrasound) have emerged to improve the shelf life and meat safety. Non-thermal technologies are becoming increasingly important because of their advantages in maintaining low temperature, meat nutrition, and short processing time. Especially, pulsed light and pulsed electric field treatment induce few sensory and physiological changes in high fat and protein meat products, making them suitable for the application. Many research results showed that these non-thermal technologies may keep meat fresh and maintain heat-sensitive elements in meat products.

Keywords: Non-thermal technology; decontamination; meat