As the only facility of its kind in the United States, the Center for Nonthermal Processing of Food (CNPF) is ideal for researching the latest methods in nonthermal food processing. The equipment is top of the line, the expertise professional, and the experience substantial. CNPF is located in Pullman, WA on the campus of Washington State University. There, doctoral students, faculty, and visiting scholars are free to explore the different approaches to solving the many technical problems and challenges common to food processing and the food industry. The center also offers users an effective way to interact with faculty from a variety of disciplines, which serves to address an even wider array of inquires in the field.
Why Nonthermal? Traditional thermal processing methods via heating and cooking are traditionally used in the food industry to inactivate pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms. This increases the shelf life of food and maintains food safety. However, since heat treatment can adversely affect food’s flavor, taste, appearance, and nutrient content, less destructive food preservation methods are now being sought. Nonthermal processing has been shown to preserve food without reducing the quality of food, and since nonthermal technologies require shorter treatment times and use less energy, they appear to be more economical. Since the goal of food preservation is to provide the food industry with products that are microbiologically safe, consumer-acceptable, and economically priced, nonthermal technology may be the preservation method of choice in the future.