Under pressure

Another way to alleviate the risk of contamination and the potential for food recalls is through the employment of newer, more advanced processing technologies. PMMI’s Trends in Food Processing report reveals that half of all food manufacturers are actively exploring or testing process technologies to not only eliminate contamination, but also improve food quality and prolong shelf life.

Although thermal pasteurization technology remains a core technology, concerns that it may affect the appearance, flavor and nutritional value of foods has caused new options to emerge. Thermal pasteurization also does not necessarily meet the demand of modern society for natural, fresh and aesthetically appealing foods. High Pressure Processing (H.P.P.) and ultra-high-pressure processing (U.H.P.) are alternatives to high-temperature processing gaining traction as of late, despite transitioning from the lab to the production floor almost two decades ago.

Recognized by the F.D.A., H.P.P. is a food safety and preservation technique that uses ultra-high pressure purified water to keep packaged food pathogen-free and to stay fresh longer. High pressure is applied to products at a level that reaches 100 thousand pounds per square inch (psi) — over 6.8 thousand times greater than ambient atmospheric pressure at sea level. The uptake of this technique is also growing; unlike applying heat, it has little effect on enzymes and biochemical activity, which helps to preserve original product quality.

The Cold Pressure Council, managed by PMMI is an association formed to lead, facilitate and promote industry standardization, user education and consumer awareness of H.P.P.

Before investing in the equipment and automation that ensures the elimination of contamination risk, food and beverage companies will have to do their due diligence to be certain they are acquiring the most cost-effective solutions for their supply chain. Food and beverage companies can find the latest solutions at ProFood Tech 2019, being held March 26-28, 2019 in Chicago, which focuses on all food and beverage sectors and features 7,000 processing professionals and 450 of the world’s top supplier.

For more information and to register online, visit www.profoodtech.com.