Pulsed Electric Fields (PEF) is a non-thermal technique that causes electroporation of cell membranes by applying very short pulses (μs) of a high-intensity electric field (kV/cm). Irreversible electroporation leads to the formation of permanent conductive channels in the cytoplasmic membrane of cells, resulting in the loss of cell viability. This effect is achieved with low energy requirements and minimal deterioration of quality. This chapter reviews the studies hitherto conducted to evaluate the potential of PEF as a technology for microbial decontamination in the winemaking process for reducing or replacing the use of SO2, for guaranteeing reproducible fermentations or for wine stabilization.
Part of the book: Grapes and Wine