Improving the quality and nutritional aspects of food is one of the key issues for healthy life of human beings. The stability during storage is an important parameter in quality assurance of food products. Various processing techniques such as high pressure, thermal, pulsed electric field and microwave have been used to prolong the shelf-life of food products. In recent years, ultrasound technology has been found to be a potential food processing technique. The passage of ultrasound in a liquid matrix generates mechanical agitation and other physical effects due to acoustic cavitation. Owing to its importance, a number of review articles and book chapters on the applications of ultrasound in food processing have been published in recent years. This article provides an overview of recent developments in ultrasonic processing of food and dairy systems with a particular focus on functionality of food and dairy ingredients. More specifically, the use of high frequency ultrasound in fat separation from milk and viscosity modification in starch systems and the use of low frequency ultrasound in generating nutritional food emulsions, viscosity modification and encapsulation of nutrients have been highlighted. The issues associated with the development of large scale ultrasonic food processing equipment have also been briefly discussed.
Keywords: Acoustic cavitation; Encapsulation; Food processing; Ultrasound; Viscosity modification.
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