U.S. Department of Defense


Date of this Version



Published in Food Research International, 43, (2010), 2201–2207


Few studies exist on flavored milk processed by pulsed electric fields (PEF). The main concern is product stability. This study aimed to analyze the degradation of coloring agent Allura Red in strawberry milk under PEF. Four systems were tested containing Allura Red: two commercial milks and two model systems. PEF conditions were 40 kV/cm, 48 pulses (2.5 μs), and 55 °C; coloring agent was quantified via RP-HPLC. After processing, only minor changes were observed in color, Allura Red concentration, and pH. During storage (32 d) at refrigerated conditions (4 °C) commercial samples maintained pH above 6. Model systems dropped below pH 6 after 10 days of storage. Color of samples showed important decrease in a; hue angle and chroma changed during storage. HPLC analysis reported a bi-phasic effect in Allura Red concentrations versus time. Concentration changed, reaching a maximum value during the middle of storage, possibly attributed to microbial growth, pH reduction, or interaction of proteins. However, PEF affected the stability of Allura Red in milk when additional ingredients were not added to the product.