The safety and quality of sous vide food
The demands of contemporary health conscious consumers are increasingly focused on minimally processed, convenient and affordable food that retains its natural sensory qualities along with nutritional value. In order to fully respond to these expectations, the use of sous vide processing technology, which refers to cooking vacuum-sealed food in heat-stable plastic pouches under precisely monitored conditions, has been widely adopted. Due to the low temperatures of sous vide processing, most research on this processing method is associated with biological hazards such as Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus cereus and Clostridium botulinum. Not only has sous vide long been accepted by the food industry, in recent years, it has also been applied in households and in restaurants which are searching for innovative ways to attract more health conscious consumers. In this review, the authors present basic techniques, benefits and disadvantages of sous vide cooking and consider the great efforts the modern food industry is undertaking to extend shelf-life, ensure microbiological safety and maintain nutritional and organoleptic quality of sous vide food products.