High Pressure Processing or High Hydrostatic Pressure Processing (HPP) is a method of processing fish and seafood products such as Salmon, Lobster, Crab, Oysters, Shrimp and other Ready-To-Eat products without using added heat. It has the potential to produce high-quality, fresh, pure, nutritious, safe-to-consume fish and seafood products without using chemical preservatives or artificial additives.

High Pressure Processing Food involves subjecting fish and seafood products to pressures from 400 MPa (58,000 psi) to 600 MPa (87,000 psi) for a period of l to 5 minutes. These high pressures kill most harmful microorganisms by damaging cell components, but unlike Ultra High Temperature (UHT) thermal treatment, HPP does not significantly affect flavor, color or nutritional value. There has been research that has shown that the technology has been successful in controlling pathogenic Vibrio, coliform bacteria, and viruses in oysters and other shellfish. It has been shown that High Hydrostatic Pressure Processing can control/reduce Listeria Monocytogenes.

HPP Fish and Seafood Processing Applications:

  • Fish.
  • Lobster, Crab, Shrimp/Prawns, Crayfish and other Crustaceans.
  • Oysters, Clams, Mussels & Whelk.
  • Eel.
  • Ready-to-Eat seafood (e.g. Cooked Salmon or Hake Fillets, Shrimp with Vegetables, etc.).

HPP Fish and Seafood Processing:


When using High Pressure Processing Technology, fish and seafood products are sealed and placed into a stainless steel pressure chamber containing water, and intensifiers are used to create pressure. The intensifier-supplied hydrostatic pressure is applied uniformly to all surfaces of the end-product, leaving the shape and integrity of the packaging intact.

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. Certain Fish products might incur a slight change in the color, but HPP does not greatly affect nutritional value, taste, texture, or appearance. As a result, high pressure treatment of fish and seafood 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 fish and seafood products that possess safety characteristics similar to those undergoing 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 (touch, taste, and smell) characteristics.

Since HPP is a cold temperature process it enhances shelf life while retaining organoleptic and nutritional qualities, and some textures will even be improved for fish and seafood products.

In summary the many advantages of HPP include:

  • Increased shelf-life (2 to 4 times longer than the same product without HPP, stored at the same temperature).
  • Easier and higher yield shucking and meat extraction (20% – 50% more meat).
  • Product freshness.
  • No Impact on sensory, nutritional or functional properties.
  • Effective elimination of spoilage and pathogenic micro-organisms.
  • Greater tolerance to cold chain abuse.