Processing of orange juice by pulsed electric fields (PEF) and heat treatments was carried out to determine the quality variables during storage of 180 days at 4 degrees C. Depending on the magnitude of applied electric field strength (13.82-25.26 kV cm(-1)), energy (10.89-51.32 J), in comparison with heat treatment (90 degrees C for 10 and 20 s); significant changes in pH, titration acidity, total dry matter, and browning index were found during the storage period. With no significant change in shelf-life period, the PEF processing better preserved orange juice quality than did the heat processing. Ascorbic acid content peaked with PEF-treated orange juice under the electric field strength of 17 kV cm(-1), the treatment time of 1034 mu s, and the energy of 17.37 J through which no significant degradation occurred during the storage with the longest half-life (1112 days). Although ascorbic acid retention of the most of the PEF processed samples was higher than that of the heat processed ones; samples processed by 10.89, 12.70 and 29.57 J energies resulted in lower ascorbic acid content than did the heat processing (90 degrees C for 20 s). Except for the samples treated by 43.99 and 51.32 J energies on 180th day, the PEF processing led to no hydroxyl methyl furfural formation during and at the end of the storage, unlike the heat treatment. (C) 2016 Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of Institution of Chemical Engineers.