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Effects of Magnetic Fields on Freezing: Application to Biological Products

AutorOtero, Laura ; Rodríguez, Antonio C.; Pérez Mateos, Miriam ; Sanz Martínez, Pedro D.
Fecha de publicación2016
CitaciónComprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety 15: 646- 667 (2016)
ResumenMagnetic freezing is nowadays established as a commercial reality mainly oriented towards the food market. According to advertisements, magnetic freezing is able to generate tiny ice crystals throughout the frozen product, prevent cell destruction, and preserve the quality of fresh food intact after thawing. If all these advantages were true, magnetic freezing would represent a significant advance in freezing technology, not only for food preservation, but also for cryopreservation of biological specimens such as cells, tissues, and organs. Magnetic fields (MFs) are supposed to act directly on water by orientating, vibrating, and/or spinning molecules to prevent them from clustering and, thus, to promote supercooling. However, many doubts exist about the real effects of MFs on freezing and the science behind the potential mechanisms involved. To provide a basis for extending the understanding of magnetic freezing, this paper presents a critical review of the materials published in the literature up to now, including both patents and experimental results. After examining the information available, it was not possible to discern whether MFs have an appreciable effect on supercooling, freezing kinetics, ice crystals, quality, and/or viability of the frozen products. Experiments described in the literature frequently fail to identify and/or control all the factors that can play a role in magnetic freezing. Moreover, many of the comparisons between magnetic and conventional freezing are not correctly designed to draw valid conclusions, and wide ranges of MF intensities and frequencies are unexplored. Therefore, more rigorous experimentation and further evidence are needed to confirm or reject the efficacy of MFs in improving the quality of frozen products.
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1111/1541-4337.12202
issn: 1541-4337
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