High Hydrostatic Pressure Processing or High Pressure Processing (HPP) is a method of processing Ready-to-eat meals such as chicken salad, roast chicken, ratatouille, gazpacho, guacamole, pasta or rice entrees with vegetables, with seafood etc. without using added heat. High Pressure Processing of Ready-to-eat meals obtain a longer shelf life while preserving the homemade taste and avoiding overcooking. It allows the development of healthier products to meet the needs of current consumer, while at the same increasing food safety.
High Pressure Processing Foods involves subjecting Ready-to-eat products to pressures from 500MPa (72,500psi) to 600MPa (87,000psi) for a few minutes at refrigerated temperature. The high pressure used in High Pressure Processing Equipment kills most harmful microorganisms like, Salmonella, E. Coli, and Listeria, Vibrio, Anisakis etc. in seafood products, by damaging cell components such as cell membranes, but unlike Ultra High Temperature (UHT) thermal treatment, HPP does not significantly affect a product’s flavor or nutritional value.
Additionally, HPP is noted for its ability to enhance flavor, texture and tenderness and to extend product shelf life and provide natural, healthier, clean label, salt-, phosphate-, and preservative-free products. Product maintains the flavor and juiciness, with an increase on shelf life thanks to the HPP, as well as avoiding overcooking and texture losses during the manufacture.
HPP Ready-to-eat Processing Applications:
• Wet salad
• Soups and chowders
• Dips, guacamole, hummus
• Pasta or rice with vegetables, with seafood or meat
• Dairy or mayonnaise based stuffing and fillings
• Meal tray
In summary the many advantages of HPP include:
• Several logs of spoiling microorganisms (such as lactic acid bacteria, yeast, moulds etc.) and pathogens (E. coli, Salmonella, Vibrio etc.)
• Extended shelf life
• Clean, natural label product
• Reduce the cooking time: overcooking is avoided
• Maintain taste, juiciness, and texture in products
• Allows salt and preservatives to be reduced
• Eliminate the risk of cross contamination for post-packaging process
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