The primary advantage of RF heating for food products is rapid and volumetric heating. The fast heating can reduce the come-up time for thermal processing when compared to conventional heating. This is particularly true for solid and semi-solid foods because of their low heat conduction rate which would result in a slow heat transfer rate during conventional heating. Therefore, RF heating holds the benefits of high-temperature-short-time (HTST) processing by killing the target bacterial, while thermal degradation of food quality is reduced.
With RF’s unique volumetric heating, a relatively more uniform heating profile can be achieved. Compared to conventional heating with conduction as the transfer mechanism the heating rates are low and the process times are relatively long. That leads to surface overheating and non-uniformity in the temperature distribution.
Another advantage of RF heating is that it can be turned on or off instantly, and the RF system is more energy efficient compared to conventional heating.