The technical feasibility of ohmic heating was evaluated for viscous liquids in static ohmic heating cells in three stages. First, electrical conductivities and time/temperature profiles were measured and compared for selected hydrocolloids (carrageenan, gelatin, pectin, starch and xanthan) in water at various concentrations (1--6%). Of the thickening agents examined, carrageenan gave the highest value for electrical conductivity and the shortest time to raise the temperature from 20 to 100°C. It was followed by xanthan. Pectin and gelatin samples were found to exhibit lower, but similar electrical conductivities and heating profiles. Starch samples had the lowest electrical conductivity and the temperature of starch solutions never exceeded 62°C within the specified time limit of 10000 s.