Mexican scientists have developed a new technique for killing foodborne bacteria like Listeria monocytogenes. They’re using the shock waves from an electrohydraulic generator, accompanied by intense flashes of visible and ultraviolet light. They predict that this procedure could one day replace pasteurization to sterilize dairy products and other foods without affecting taste.

However, the method still needs some fine-tuning, since it doesn’t yet kill acceptable levels of bacteria. The researchers plan to perfect the system so that they can achieve a million-fold reduction of bacteria populations. Furthermore, they need to better understand exactly how the bacteria are killed so the process can be commercialized.