The present invention relates to a cost effective, non thermal pasteurization system that effectively treats liquid foods using radio frequency electric fields "RFEFs". One embodiment of the system operates by flowing liquid food products through a treatment chamber or a series of treatment chambers wherein the liquid food is exposed to high strength, uniform RFEFs for very short periods of time (i.e. less than 1 second). The treatment chamber is designed to apply a uniform and concentrated RFEF to the liquid food being treated. The system can be designed to incorporate recycling to increase the effectiveness. Suitable field strengths, treatment times and frequencies are provided.
U.S. GOVERNMENT RIGHTS
 The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC02-76CH03073 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Princeton University. Furthermore, inventors Geveke and Bigley are government employees of the United States Department of Agriculture.