As testimony to the food industry's embrace of high pressure processing, a new West Coast company, HPP Food Services (HPPFS), has opened its doors to provide the post-packaging treatment on a contract services basis. Using a high-production horizontal HPP system from Avure Technologies, the plant has a capacity of 264,000 lbs per 20-hour workday.
"Food safety has become such a critical issue today," observes Susan Ricci, president of the Wilmington, Calif.-based HPP Food Services. "Retailers are also becoming more sophisticated, looking for food products that are all natural while offering extended shelf-life to cut down on waste. High pressure processing destroys harmful micro-organisms and keeps products pathogen free without preservatives, so there are a lot of reasons why it makes sense."
HPPFS will operate an Avure 350L HPP system, which has the capacity to process more than two tons per hour—the industry's highest throughput. HPPFS will also offer other value-added services such as labeling, kitting, shipping and cold storage. The facility's location in the south bay area of Los Angeles makes it ideal for food processors in southern California.
HPP Food Services' inaugural customer is Gourmet 101, a nearby food processor. Gourmet 101 is currently rolling out a new line of refrigerated value-added seafood consisting of four varieties of fresh fish (shrimp, tilapia, salmon, and mahi-mahi) in a sauce, sold in 10-oz packages. Tailored to today's consumer tastes for healthful, fresh and convenient eating, the fish is sautéed with its sauce in the home kitchen and ready to eat in less than 10 minutes. When added to rice or pasta, it makes a tasty, nutritious, cooked-at-home family meal.
Gourmet 101 wanted to assure safety and freshness with a 30-day shelf-life for its new product line. "HPP does this with no alteration in taste or texture, so it was the right solution," says Ricci.
HPP technology is widely deployed throughout the global food industry to protect products as diverse as ready-to-eat meats, guacamole, salsas and hummus, as well as soups, juices and deli salads. Avure Technologies (Kent, WA) is the leading system provider, with its high-capacity model 350L-600 HPP system offering the world's fastest cycle times.
In conjunction with Avure's laboratory experts, HPP Food Services can provide product development assistance to processors in search of new food applications, especially those aimed at satisfying consumers' growing preferences for more wholesome products with less sodium and fewer chemical ingredients. The facility can handle all levels of production, from test-marketing small quantities of new products to repeated large volume runs.
"Avure is clearly the worldwide leader in HPP technology, and our 350L system affords the highest level of uptime at the lowest operating cost, which is very attractive for contract customers," Ricci comments.
"We are excited to welcome HPP Food Services to the ever-expanding network of high pressure processing installations," states Matt Rutherford, Avure svp of global sales. "It is gratifying to play a part in bringing more healthful eating to the consumer arena, and the fact that this is accompanied by a new business opportunity reinforces the value of our technology."
To introduce its new capabilities to processors, HPP Food Services is holding a day-long workshop and plant tour on May 12, 2011, in Long Beach, CA. Discussion will focus on food trends and consumer priorities, the science and economics of HPP and the full range of services offered at the facility, along with a tasting of Gourmet 101 products. For more information or to register for the workshop, visit www.responsetrack.net/hppfs or call Kim Mendoza at 562- 743-8996.
Source: Avure Technologies Inc.