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High-Pressure Pasteurisation (HPP)

Prolonging the shelf-life of food with High-Pressure Pasteurisation (HPP)

Preserving food products without harming the taste, texture or vitamin content and without adding additional preservatives is a problem, every food manufacturer is facing and where often compromises must be made to ensure a consumer and retail friendly shelf-life.

For fluid food products like juices or purees or soft food products like boneless meat or sausages, there is now a solution to this particular problem, which called high-pressure pasteurisation.

It is using very high pressure instead of heat to deactivate Enzymes and kill micro-bacteria and because there is no heat involved the vitamin levels in the food product stay the same and also the proteins don't denature, so the texture of the food also stays intact.

Sounds like the perfect pasteurisation process, right? But there are also some limitations to this technique.

To be able to apply a pressure of more than 3000 bars the product must be pre-packed in a flexible packaging, without any air inside, so the pressure can work evenly on to the product. In addition, the packaging has to be very waterproofed, as the pressure chamber often gets filled with water to ensure an even transmission of the pressure on to the product. Therefore, the variety of packaging materials you can use is pretty limited.

You can't use for example glass or stiff plastic packaging.

Furthermore, the machine itself is very expensive as each component of the machine has to be built very robust to withstand the enormous pressure of three times the pressure down in the Mariana trench. This high pressure also must be built up and to be released afterward, which makes this process also rather slow and influent compared to usual continuous pasteurisation.

You will therefore not be able to pasteurise a huge amount of products, especially as the pressure chambers often fit no more than 1000 Litres of prepackaged food products.

For a bigger production to supply whole retail chains, you would, therefore, need to have multiple machines.

Spending a lot of money into such machines and putting so much effort into the pasteurisation with the HPP process itself therefore just makes sense if you have a high margin product or customers are really willing to spend the extra euros for a clean label product like cold pressed smoothies, Baby food, guacamole or maybe other food product for the raw vegan cuisine, but with the increasing demand for clean label solutions, we believe that we will see more and more HPP Products getting released in the future.

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