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Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2018;58(14):2476-2489. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2017.1319322. Epub 2017 Aug 14.

Microwave processing: Effects and impacts on food components.

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a College of Food Science and Engineering , Northwest A&F University , Yangling , Shaanxi , China.
b College of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering , Northwest A&F University , Yangling , Shaanxi , China.
c Department of Biological Systems Engineering , Washington State University , Pullman , WA , USA.


As an efficient heating method, microwave processing has attracted attention both in academic research and industry. However, the mechanism of dielectric heating is quite distinct from that of the traditional conduction heating, and is widely applied as polar molecules and charged ions interaction with the alternative electromagnetic fields, resulting in fast and volumetric heating through their friction losses. Such a heating pattern would cause a certain change in microwave treatment, which is an unarguable reality. In this review, we made a retrospect of the essential knowledge about dielectric properties and summarized the concept of microwave heating, and the impact of microwave application on the main components of foods and agricultural products, which are classified as carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, chromatic/flavor substances, and vitamins. Finally, we offered a way to resolve the drawbacks of relevant microwave treatment and outlined the directions for future research.


Foods; carbohydrates; chromatic/flavor substances; lipids; microwave; proteins; vitamins

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