Introduction to HPP
High Pressure Processing (HPP) is a cold pasteurization technique by which products, already sealed in their final packages, are introduced into a vessel and subjected to a high level of isostatic pressure (300–600MPa/43,500-87,000psi) transmitted by water.
Pressures above 400 MPa / 58,000 psi at cold (+ 4ºC to 10ºC) or ambient temperature inactivate the vegetative flora (bacteria, virus, yeasts, moulds and parasites) present in food, extending the products shelf life and guaranteeing food safety.
High Pressure Processing respects the sensorial and nutritional properties of food, because of the absence of heat treatment, and maintains its original freshness throughout the shelf-life.
Advantages of HPP
To meet the demands of the 21st century consumer (convenience foods, higher sensorial and nutritional quality, additive free/natural, functional products, etc.), food companies need to innovate by using the latest non-thermal technologies, and the premiere technology to achieve this is High Pressure Processing.
Thermal methods, traditionally used in the food industry for food preservation, carry disadvantages like vitamin destruction or flavor changes that can be avoided with HPP.
High Pressure Processing Technology (HPP) Main Advantages
- Characteristics of the fresh product are retained, sensorial and nutritional properties remain intact: Greater food quality, taste and texture
- Destroys pathogens (Listeria, Salmonella, Vibrio, Norovirus, etc.): USDA and FDA accepted food safety and exportability
- Extends product shelf life: Increased distribution range, lower returns, improved customer satisfaction
- Drastically reduces the overall microbiological spoiling flora.: Maintains product quality over a longer shelf life
- Supports clean label and low-sodium trends: Higher profit, Clean label foods
- New innovative food propositions. Products that can not be thermally treated can now be High Pressure Processed: Innovation and competitive advantages
- Able to shuck molluscs or extract crustacean meat without boiling.: Higher yields, fresh flavor, minimum hand labor
- Only needs water (which is recycled) and electricity: Environmentally friendly
What foods work well with HPP
HPP works well with pre-packaged products with high water activity and low air. Good HPP candidates include:
- Pre-cooked and RTE sliced or whole meats
- Fresh cut fruits, vegetables and juices
- Dips, spreads, guacamole, hummus, salsa
- Dressings, soups, condiments
- Deli salads
- Seafood and shellfish
Increasingly, raw meats and poultry are also being processed via HPP including:
- Ground beef and poultry
- Raw pet food
- Marinated ready-to-cook meats and poultry