Proper nutrition is one of the main factors to determine population health. The raising consumer awareness of proper eating habits and the increasingly faster pace of life necessitate seeking new solutions for food and gastronomic technology. Food processing with the use of microwave radiation is a technique to enable a significant reduction in the time duration of technological process. The microwave radiation energy has already been used, among other things, in drying, heating and sterilization of food products. The final product can be characterised by some altered properties, e.g. a decreased level of essential for human health bioactive substances present in unprocessed foods or on the contrary – by preserving the health-promoting properties of food compared to conventional processing methods. The objective of the research study was to analyse the health risks and health benefits resulting from the application of microwave radiation in households and the food industry. The study reviewed the reference literature on the public awareness of the safe use of microwave ovens and the effect of microwave processing on health-promoting features of food products. Based on the analysis of this issue, it can be concluded that many research studies have confirmed the advantage of the microwave treatment over the conventional methods in terms of health (preservation of bioactive substances in foods), comfort of use and economic aspect (a shorter time of process duration, which means lower costs of food product heat treatment).
microwave radiation, public health, food preservation, drying, heating, sterilization