Alternatives to Conventional Food Processing
Chapter 6: High Hydrostatic Pressure Food Processing
Published:16 Dec 2010
The wide variety of commercialized food products using high-pressure processing (HPP) illustrates the versatility of this technology that has evolved from the status of emerging processing to an industrial reliable technology in the past 20 years. The unique effects of pressure on food constituents along with the consumers' acceptance of the process, explain the tremendous potential of this technology for the production of microbiologically safe, nutritional-rich and preservative-free products. While the advantages of the process compensate for the reasonable processing cost (€0.045 /kg to €0.087 /kg, i.e., ∼ US$ 0.066/lb to US$ 0.127/lb depending on the operating conditions at an industrial level), the technology still needs to overcome few drawbacks to pursue its development, and some more mechanistic understanding of HPP effects are yet required. This chapter gives an overview of the effect of this technology on food safety- and shelf life-related microorganisms, food constituents, and quality attributes of treated products. This chapter also addresses the use of this technology as an extraction tool and identifies some of the challenges that the technology still faces. The past, current and upcoming progresses that have been done on the development of industrial-size high pressure equipment, and the current commercial applications are also described.