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High-pressure processing to extend food shelf life?

One of the consequences of the ongoing consumer trend toward foods that are more healthful is that food manufacturers trying to meet this consumer preference may be shortening some of their products’ shelf lives.

The reduced shelf life stems from the fact that salt, sugar, and fats are all high on the list of things that health-conscious consumers want less of. But all three of these things perform as natural preservatives in food, so it they are eliminated, shelf life can suffer.

News from foodmanufacture.co.uk suggests that these trends have caused a renewed interest in High-Pressure Processing (HPP) as a means of extending shelf life of seafood, packaged meats, and fruit juices. The Agri-Food and Bioscience Institute has installed a pilot plant at its Belfast headquarters facility in Northern Ireland. HPP equipment supplier Avure Technologies provided the equipment involved. According to Nigel Rogers, regional sales marketing manager at Avure, though HPP systems are not inexpensive, most who have installed them have recouped their costs in less than five years. He tells foodmanufacture.co.uk that a significant uptake in HPP is likely in the coming year.

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