High Pressure Processing or High Hydrostatic Pressure Processing (HPP) is a method of processing products such as Apple, Orange, Strawberry, Pomegranate and blended juices as well as other beverages like Smoothies, Coconut Water, fruit drinks and vegetable juices without using added heat. It has the potential to produce high quality, fresh, pure, nutritious, safe-to-consume juice and beverage products without using chemical preservatives or artificial additives.

High Pressure Processing in Food involves subjecting juice and beverage products to pressures from 400 MPa (58,000 psi) to 600 MPa (87,000 psi) for a period of 1 to 5 minutes. These high pressures used in High Pressure Processing Equipment kill most harmful microorganisms such as Salmonella, E. Coli, and Listeria Monocytogenes, by damaging cell components, but unlike Ultra High Temperature (UHT) thermal treatment, HPP does not alter a product’s flavor, texture or nutritional value.

HPP also makes juice and beverage products more tolerant to cold chain abuse, further assisting in the minimization of spoilage and associated returns.

HPP Juice & Beverage Processing Applications:

  • Citric Juices (e.g. Orange, Mandarin, Grapefruit, Mango, Pineapple, Lemon & Lime).
  • Low Citric Juices (e.g. Apple, Strawberry, Banana, Pear, Peach & Pomegranate).
  • Vegetable Juices (e.g. Carrot, Tomato, & Broccoli).
  • Smoothies.
  • Organic juices and beverages.

HPP Juice & Beverages Processing:

When using High Pressure Process Technology, juice and beverage products are sealed and placed into a stainless steel pressure chamber containing water, and intensifiers are used to create pressure. The intensifier-supplied pressure is applied uniformly to all surfaces of the end-product, leaving the shape and integrity of the
packaging intact. HPP works especially well on acidic juice and beverage products such as Orange juice because pressure-tolerant spores are unable to survive in environments with low pH levels.

Since hydrostatic pressure acts quickly and evenly, neither the size of a product’s container nor its thickness plays a role in the effectiveness of high pressure food preservation. Some juices and beverages may experience a slight change in the color. HPP helps to substantially maintain nutritional value, taste, texture, and appearance. As a result, high pressure treatment of juice and beverage products is regarded as a “natural” pressure pasteurization method, as it does not use or rely on any added chemical preservatives.

Advantages of HPP vs. Pasteurisation and UHT Processing:

HPP treatment is capable of rendering juice and beverage products that possess quality characteristics similar to those undergoing heat pasteurization or UHT processing. However, processing temperature and storage conditions have a significant impact on the final quality of products. High temperature processing can deteriorate sensory (flavor and appearance) characteristics.
Since HPP is a cold temperature process it enhances shelf life, while retaining organoleptic and nutritional qualities and textures can even be improved in juice and beverage products.

In summary the many advantages of HPP include:

  • Increased shelf-life (3 to 10 times longer than the same product without HPP, stored at the same temperature).
  • Product Freshness.
  • No impact on sensory, nutritional or functional properties.
  • Effective elimination of spoilage and pathogenic micro organisms.
  • Greater tolerance to cold chain abuse.