Effect of ohmic heating processing conditions on color stability of fungal pigments


Diederich Aguilar-Machado1, Lourdes Morales-Oyervides2, Juan C Contreras-Esquivel1, Cristo´bal Aguilar1, Alejandro Mendez-Zavala2, Javier Raso3 and Julio Montañez*2

1 Department of Food Research, Universidad Autonoma de Coahuila, Saltillo, Mexico
2 Department of Chemical Engineering, Universidad Autonoma de Coahuila, Saltillo, Mexico
3 Food Technology, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain


The aim of this work was to analyze the effect of ohmic heating processing conditions on the color stability of a red pigment extract produced by Penicillium purpurogenum GH2 suspended in a buffer solution (pH 6) and in a beverage model system (pH 4). Color stability of pigmented extract was evaluated in the range of 60–90 C. The degradation pattern of pigments was well described by the first-order (fractional conversion) and Bigelow model. Degradation rate constants ranged between 0.009 and 0.088 min1 in systems evaluated. Significant differences in the rate constant values of the ohmic heating-treated samples in comparison with conventional thermal treatment suggested a possible effect of the oscillating electric field generated during ohmic heating. The thermodynamic analysis also indicated differences in the color degradation mechanism during ohmic heating specifically when the pigment was suspended in the beverage model system. In general, red pigments produced by P. purpurogenum GH2 presented good thermal stability under the range of the evaluated experimental conditions, showing potential future applications in pasteurized food matrices using ohmic heating treatment.