24 California Food Producer EDITION 2, 2017 What do oysters, lobsters, guacamole, fruits, beverages, ham and cooked chicken have in common? They all can benefit at one point in their production from the use of high pressure processing (HPP). For what purpose? For one or several of these benefits - to increase food safety, shelf-life, yield and improve sensory attributes. WHY IS HPP A TECHNOLOGY THAT THE FOOD INDUSTRY IS INCREASINGLY LOOKING AT? The versatility, reliability and tremendous improvement in the machine used this technology, and consumer’s request for chemical preservative-free foods have all contributed to the development of this technology in the past couple of years. How does HPP work? The food is submitted to pressures up to 87,000 psi, which is transmitted through water. WHAT ARE THE LIMITATIONS OF HPP? The technology has a couple of limitations. Among them, it cannot sterilize foods. The food needs to have a minimum moisture content for the technology to be efficient from a microbial reduction point of view, and foods with too much air will not maintain their shape during treatment. HOW WIDELY IS THE TECHNOLOGY USED? Around 350 industrial HPP machines are in production lines around the world (compared to two in 1990). More than 150 are located in the U.S. with 20 in California. These 20 HPP machines belong to a total of five HPP tolling companies (treating products for customers), three companies are using HPP mainly for juice production and two for meat processing. But every food sector can poten- tially benefit from the use of HPP. Another growing sector using HPP is the pet industry. IS THIS TREND GOING TO SLOW DOWN? Emerging technologies initial applications are usually in niche markets and for premium products. This is because High Pressure Processing of Foods Distribution of HPP industrial size machines (column) and associated volume versus food sectors or activities for 2016a 0 5000 10000 15000 HPP machines volume (L) Number of HPP machines 20000 25000 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% R&D Dairy Ready Meals Seafood Juices& Beverages Fruit& Vegetables Tolling Meat Products Stephanie Jung Why Is the Food By STEPHANIE JUNG – Professor of Food Science, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo stjung@calpoly.edu