Errol Raghubeer, vice president microbiology and food technology at Avure Technologies, told FoodProductionDaily.com gave examples of products being manufactured in Greece and sold in Romania and made in Romania and sold in Russia due to the extra days of shelf life.
The quality of the product also remains the same, he added during the IFFA 2013 Trade Show in Frankfurt.
Raghubeer also spoke about other drivers in the industry, different technologies and what he thinks the future holds for HPP.
“Another area that is showing a great demand for HPP is coconut water, coconut water coming out of Brazil or South East Asia, processed out the US it’s a product which cannot be heat treated, if it’s heat treated you lose all the nutritional components that you are trying to get from coconut water,” he said.
“There are several products already on the marketplace, they are small operations but it is growing and the demand is for HPP.”
He said there were new applications they were looking in the meat industry for shelf life extension and to meet regulatory requirements for pathogen control.
“Two new Avure patented applications are being offered and one is the use of HPP for the tenderization of meats, in particular beef products as well as the treatment of hides and those applications we hope will grow HPP technology in areas not just for food production and for food processing.”
Raghubeer also explained how HPP could be used at low and high concentrations depending on the product.
“Most of the meat tenderizations are lower pressure that we are looking at, in the shellfish industry we use low pressures for shocking on oyster, it is significantly less pressure than we would use to say do a ready to eat meat and get rid of listeria monocytogenes.
“They are also low pressure applications for none microbiological purposes, main reason being we can change certain components of foods such as carbohydrates and proteins to enhance a certain food quality perspective in order to develop new products, increase viscosity, increase creaminess,” he explained.
“So HPP is not only used as an antimicrobial process, it is used to aid in the development of products with better texture, better taste, better mouth feel and we are finding especially in the United States more and more interest is being put into that area in order to improve certain formulations or develop new formulations.”
He acknowledged a number of other technologies exist such as pulsed electrical field (PEF), cold plasma, UV, irradiation and sonication but said it seems as if HPP has been more accepted by consumers and producers due to education on the process and the technology.
Talking about the safety of HPP, he said: “In the US we also did a lot of work on that, to ensure packages and materials are not damaged, to make sure the food are not changed in any way that can be an health issue.”
Future for HPP
Ragbubeer said the biggest driver in the future of HPP could be taking the technology to a sterilization technology and not just requirements for refrigerated food.
Currently there is a filing by the Institute of Food Safety and Health in Chicago for new shelf stable foods as well as the mashed potato which was approved by the FDA in 2009
“These conditions for HPP are a little different than what we do right now, in the sense that heat is also needed because the target is clostridium botulinum.
“And for clostridium botulinum we have to have a combination of heat, we are trying to find the lowest possible combination of heat we can use, and in some cases taking the pressure up over the 6000 bars we currently use for pasteurization.”
He said the technology, pressure assisted thermo sterilisation (PATS), had been successful in industry.
“We are looking at it in a different way, thermo assisted pressure sterilisation in which we can get the primary benefit from pressure and we can reduce the temperature we are using and if that’s the case we have a better quality product in the end.”
However, despite some filings and successful it would take three to five years to make it a mainstream technology due to the equipment needed to tolerate the higher pressure and temperatures only being available at the moment on a research basis.