The Cold Pressure Council (CP Council) aims to lead, facilitate, and promote industry standardization, user education, and consumer awareness of HPP, or High Pressure Processing. HPP is a cold pasteurization technique by which product sealed in its primary packaging is subjected to a high level of isostatic pressure transmitted by water. HPP inactivates bacteria, yeasts, parasites, and molds in food in much the same way that thermal processing methods like retorting or aseptic processing do. The advantage of HPP is that most thermal processing technologies have a more negative impact on flavor and nutritional properties than HPP. In a marketplace where having a “clean label”—i.e., your food product is as free of preservatives and chemicals as possible—is a top priority, this is a technology with tremendous potential.
Though the terms “HPP” and “High Pressure Processing” have by now become reasonably well established descriptors of how this technology works, the organizers of the newly formed CP Council favor the term “Cold Pressure” because they felt that consumers would be suspicious of anything food-related that has the word “processing” in it. Millennials, in particular, fret about having “processed food” or “processed beverages” anywhere in their lives.
In introducing the CP Council, PMMI Senior Vice President Glen Long indicated that of the ten founding members, three are from the food & beverage manufacturing sector: Evolution Fresh (a division of Starbucks), Campbell Soup Co., Suja Juice and Good Foods. The other members are either third-party toll processors like American Pasteurization and Universal Pasturization or makers of cold-pressure treatment equipment like Avure and Hiperbaric. Long also indicated that the CP Council has scheduled a Cold Pressure Summit for October 16 at a site to be announced in late April. Details can be found at www.coldpressurecouncil.org
Joyce Longfield, Vice Chair of the CP Council and a consultant with experience in this technology, said at the media briefing that growth in the number of cold-pressure treatment machines running has been brisk through 2016 (see chart). She also outlined plans for developing a “Cold Pressure Verified” program where some kind of third-party verification and a logo for on-pack use would be involved.
Longfield observed that guacamole producers have pretty much led the way with cold-pressure treatment technology. Also notable in taking advantage of this promising technology for nearly a decade is Hormel with its Bread ReadyRand Natural ChoiceRbrands (to see Hormel’s description of how cold-pressure treatment meets its requirements, including a video on the basics of the technology, visit http://www.hormelfoodservice.com/hpp/). Longfield sees juices and salads now poised for expanded use of cold-pressure treatment. She also emphasized how important it will be to educate consumers about cold-pressure treatment. Ensuring that such education takes place, she added, is a high priority for the CP Council.