High pressure processing (HPP) is a non-thermal, post-packaged process that is a viable alternative to heat and other food processing methods. It’s a globally recognized natural process that provides food safety and extended shelf-life without damage to nutrients. HPP has become mainstream as more food categories and package options are offered to the market.
A mid-September visit to the Avure Technologies booth at Process Expo revealed a breakthrough development on the equipment side as well as a surprising range of products and packaging that were treated using high-pressure processing, a cold pasteurization treatment.
On the packaged products side, the company's booth displayed the following foods that are HPP pasteurized:
- Hormel Natural Choice lunchmeats, which have been HPP treated since 2007, has introduced new packaging;
- Instinct Raw pet food pouches;
- 1915 brand juices (shown on the next page), introduced in 2015, are the latest among a growing number of HPP-pasteurized “cold-pressed” beverages;
- Guacamole products (and salsas for that matter) have been associated with HPP for years, including products for Sabra, Peak Perfection and Wholly Guacamole brands; and
- Bolthouse Farms salad dressings, packed in PET bottles, were among the most surprising packaged products on display.
Guacamole products in sealed tray packaging have been an HPP staple for years.
We take an inside look at what’s happening in the HPP market from the perspective of Lisa Pitzer, Avure Technologies’ marketing director, who responds to our questions starting with one that points to the company’s new AV-X series of equipment. The AV-X (shown below) is billed as the “world’s first expandable HPP machine,” a system that grows with the processor’s needs. It is available in AV-40X to AV-70X versions, with each number signifying the millions of pounds of product that can be processed yearly by the system from 40 to 70 million.
What’s the reaction to your new modular system?
Pitzer: The interest for the AV-X Series of Machinery has been outstanding—we have discussed it with numerous customers. The new machines will enable a producer to buy the machine that best suits their current needs, but as their company grows and their volume expands, the machine can be upgraded to keep up with increased demand.
These upgradable machines have a flexible design with a smaller footprint to suit individual production needs. The new design also reduces energy consumption by as much as 50%, resulting in lower energy bills for the customer. This is the biggest development in HPP since Avure created the first commercial high pressure processing system more than 60 years ago.
Next: The HPP market, product benefits and packaging...