NC Hyperbaric collected the award at the IFT Food Expo in New Orleans, Louisiana, for its Wave 600/420 High Pressure Processing (HPP) Equipment. Wave 600/420 uses high levels of isostatic pressure transmitted by water to pressurize foods at cold or room temperature for a number of minutes. The high pressure acts mainly by modifying the cellular membrane of micro-organisms and by inactivating vital enzymes. The equipment is said to increase shelf life, improve maintenance of a food's taste and nutritional properties and also provide greater throughput. Other benefits are said to include improved food safety, through the reduction of pathogenic flora and spoilage, and elimination of contamination risk. HPP is suitable for a range of food products containing a good proportion of water, said the company. Candidates include meat products, fish and seafood, dairy, juices and most fruit and vegetable-based goods. Better throughput The 420 model, the largest unit in NC Hyperbaric's Wave 600 range, can process about 4,500 lbs (2041kg) of product per hour at a cost of $0.032 (€0.020) per pound. High rates of product throughput are delivered not just by the unit's size but also through reduced machine cycle times and quicker vessel filling, said the company. Included in the design is a 15-inch (38.1 cm) diameter vessel with a 111 gallon (420.1 litres) capacity. Inactivate bacteria The IFT award judges described the Wave 600/420 as: "an innovative non-thermal process to inactivate bacteria." The model offers "large (maybe the largest) capacity to process product at 87,000 psi (6116.7 Kgf/cm2) in one cycle, which greatly improves the efficiency and cost of high pressure processing," said the judges. The two other food packaging and processing companies to win IFT Food Expo Innovation Awards were CEM Corporation and Multisorb. CEM Corporation won an award for its Sprint Rapid Protein Analyzer which determines protein contents more accurately and more quickly and conveniently than conventional methods. Multisorb Technologies received recognition for its Active Oxygen Barrier Enhancement system. This extends food shelf life and quality by excluding oxygen from packaging products.