Skip to main content

Factors Affecting Microwave Heating of Foods and Microwave Induced Destruction of Foodborne Pathogens – A Review

Buy Article:

$37.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


In the 30 year time period that microwave ovens have been used in households, several studies have examined variables that influence temperatures and bacterial destruction achieved in foods heated by microwave energy. Factors of primary importance include both physical and chemical (product mass, density, specific heat, ionic content, dielectric properties) parameters. The majority of evidence indicates that microwaves inactivate microbes by thermal effects alone. Concern about the safety of microwave-heated foods has arisen because of the abbreviated thermal treatment that microwave heating affords, the potential for temperature abuse of microwavable products, and the risk of pathogen survival in foodservice cook/chill foods. Foodborne pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella spp. have been the focus of most studies of microwavable food safety, primarily because of their ubiquitous nature and prevalence in causing illness. The practical implications of the findings of both basic and applied studies of bacterial destruction within microwave-heated products are examined.


Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: The Pennsylvania State University, Department of Food Science, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802

Publication date: November 1, 1994

More about this publication?
  • IAFP Members with personal subscriptions to JFP Online: To access full-text JFP or JMFT articles, you must sign-in in the upper-right corner using your Ingenta sign-in details (your IAFP Member Login does not apply to this website).

    The Journal of Food Protection (JFP) is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

    Print and online subscriptions are available to IAFP Members and institutional subscribers. IAFP Members with a subscription to JFP Online will have access to all available JFP and JMFT content. Online visitors who are not IAFP Members or journal subscribers will be charged on a pay-per-view basis. Membership and subscription information is available at
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • Information for Advertisers
  • ingentaconnect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more
Real Time Web Analytics