High pressure processing is emerging as one of the prime technologies food producers are using to ensure the safety of their products, and as regulations become stricter manufacturers are constantly on the look out for the highest quality systems. The new QFP 2L-700 system comprises a two-litre vessel that can be pressurised up to 100,000 pressure per square inch (psi), and is capable of temperatures 10 - 90 degrees celcius, the manufacturers claim. The unit gives manufacturers precise control of the pressure and temperature, and provides all the data necessary for detailed microbiological studies, they said. High pressure processing is a non-thermal pasteurisation process in which a food is subjected to pressures four to seven thousand times higher than normal atmospheric levels. The pressure is held for a time, generally under 10 minutes. By using HPP, food processors can maintain the sensory and nutritional quality of their food products as they are not using additional heating, which kills microsorganisms. Stricter regulations and consumer demand for freshness in products such as ready-to-eat meats, wet salads, dressings, juices, and packaged fruits and vegetables, has led to a four-fold increase in HPP production capacity in North America alone over the past 12 months, Avure claims. The market for HPP systems is also growing in Europe, Australasia and Asia. HPP is currently used by a range of companies such as Hormel Foods, Perdue Farms, Avomex, Clearwater Seafoods, Winsom's, Calavo, Motivatit Seafood, Lovitt Farms, Joey Oyster, Jumex and Leahy Orchards. Avure specialises in high pressure pasteurization for food, as well as high pressure presses for sheet metal forming, the densification of advanced materials and critical industrial parts, according to the company website. It has operations in the US and Sweden. In 2005, Avure won a Frost & Sullivan award, as its high pressure processing system for the food industry was one of the year's biggest innovations in food technology. The panel made the award because Avure's systems are effective in destroying almost all major food-borne pathogens, including Listeria monocytogenes.