USA, Chicago. The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies (P.M.M.I.) announced the formation of an industry council – the Cold Pressure Council – focused on the advancement of High Pressure Processing (HPP) at ProFood Tech, which was held 4–6 April in Chicago.
The council will address questions about the technology while developing and formalizing industry best practices. The new council also will promote networking among professionals using the processing technology in the food and beverage industry, while at the same educating consumers on the benefits of HPP manufactured foods and beverages.
Founding members are Good Foods Group L.L.C., Pleasant Prairie, Wis., Avure Technologies L.L.C., Middletown, Ohio; Hiperbaric, Miami; Universal Pasteurization Company L.L.C., Villa Rica, Ga.; American Pasteurization Co., Wauwatosa, Wis.; Suja Juice (The Coca-Cola Co.), San Diego; C-Fresh (Campbell’s Soup Co.), Camden, N.J.; and Evolution Fresh (a division of Starbucks Corp.) Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
The pressure processing technology transitioned from the lab to the production floor almost 20 years ago. Now, it is gaining greater recognition among consumer packaged goods companies for a variety of products. The leading benefits of HPP include destruction of pathogens, pasteurizing product within its packaging, extending shelf life, developing cleaner label products and reducing food waste.
For example, with HPP, artificial preservatives may be removed from product formulations without reducing shelf life. It is also possible to reduce sodium, a natural preservative, in HPP meat products, enabling sodium reduction claims.
The HPP system involves the loading of airtight/hermetically sealed packages into carrier baskets. The baskets are inserted into the HPP vessel, which then gets sealed by plugs. At this point, potable water is pumped into the vessel creating isostatic pressure (equal pressure on all sides) on the packages. Product is held at a high pressure for up to six minutes, with pressures and times varying by product. The pressure disrupts the microbial biochemistry of pathogens and spoilage bacteria, which helps preserve freshness and increase shelf life.
Meat is one of the leading industries using this technology.
Food and beverage manufacturers using HPP technology are not required to label or declare use on packaging or elsewhere. However, it is the council’s belief that it makes sense to communicate use to consumers so they better understand why certain products have a long shelf without the inclusion of preservatives.