High Pressure Processing

High Pressure Processing

High Pressure Processing is a non-thermal, environmentally friendly process that allows the development of juices and beverages with fresh-like organoleptic quality and nutrition, while extending the shelf life of the product.


The 17th Century scientist Blaise Pascal who is the pioneer in high pressure processing (HPP) would not have imagined that the process named after him as "Pascalization" has such a high potential for saving foods from spoilage today. The first test was done on bacteria in the 1890s. Several years later, Bert Hite of the Agriculture Research Station in West Virginia, USA, studied HPP’s effects on milk, meat, fruits and vegetables and was able to inactivate dangerous food borne microorganisms with high pressure. Toward the end of the 1980s, more advanced research ensued with modern equipment and know-how. This resulted in the development of pressure technologies that could be applied at a large scale in food processing plants.
The first commercial success on the U.S. market was achieved by presherized Foods with a product called Wholly Guacamole. Following orange juice, guacamole, and sliced cooked ham were successfully commercialized in the 1990s. In the early 21st century, researchers discovered that HPP could separate shellfish (oysters, lobster, crabs and shrimp) meat from shells and exoskeletons. After applying HPP, meat slides easily out of the cracked shell.

High Pressure Processing Technology (HPP) Main Advantages

·   Characteristics of the fresh product, sensorial and nutritional properties remain almost intact: Greater food quality.
·       Destroys pathogens (Listeria sp, Salmonella sp, Vibrio sp, Norovirus sp etc.): Food safety and exportation.
·   Extends product shelf life: Lower returns, improved customer satisfaction.·         Reduces drastically the overall microbiological spoiling flora: Higher quality along shelf life.

· Avoids or reduces the need for food preservatives: Clean label foods (Natural/Additive Free).
·       New innovative food propositions. Products that can’t be thermally treated can now be High Pressure Processed: Innovation and competitive advantages
·     Able to shuck molluscs or extract crustacean meat without boiling: Higher yields, fresh flavour, minimum hand labour.
·         Only needs water (which is recycled) and electricity: Environmentally friendly.
·       Adapted to sanitize products where heat processing is inappropriate (dry cured ham, fermented meat products, sliced ready to eat meat products, etc.)
·        Does not produces new chemical compounds and radiolytic byproducts.

Early Methods of Processing and Preservation

·         Using chemicals, e.g. acid and salt:
·         Pickling in vinegar;
·         Salting meat;
·         Sugar to make jam;
·         Storing in alcohol.
·         Temperature control:
·         Sun drying fruit;
·         Using ice blocks.

Harmful Effects of Traditional Preservation

Packaging polymers may contain also high levels of trace elements affecting food quality .The greatest exposure to pesticides comes from residues in food but these are reduced by processing and food preparation processes, Furthermore, toxic substances found in foods may be transformed into various toxic metabolites as in the case of some PAHs (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), pesticides and also of packaging components. This makes it very difficult to identify all toxic substances of consumer risk.

HPP Process

      The packaged food is submerged in liquid.
      Pressure applied up to 1000 Mpa.
      Pressure distributed uniformly.
  Collapse of intracellular vacuoles and damage the cell wall and cytoplasmic membrane.
      Microorganism more sensitive in the log phase.
      HPP effect ionic bond, hydrogen bond but don’t have effect on covalent bond.

Used for:-

      Meat products                        
      Avocado products
      Ready to eat meals                           
      Seafood products
      Juices and fruit products                  
      Dips and salsa
      Salad and sandwich fillings                    
      Dairy product(Tofu)
      Baby food
       Coconut Water 
Examples of a wide range of fruit and vegetable products, that can be processed by HPP are:
      Wet salads
      Ready-to-eat products


   Food that can’t be HHP treated {like solid foods with air included - bread , mousse, foods with a very low water content (Spices and Dry fruits) and packaged foods in completely rigid packaging  in glass} can be canned.
     Some enzymes are not inactivated leading to possible quality deterioration during extended storage and causes further damage to stored products.
      Some spores are not affected, especially under low acidic environment.
      High investment needed for setting up the plant will naturally reflect on the cost of processing and products from HPP line are bound to be more expensive to the consumer.
  Probably fish and meat may remain the most suitable substance for HPP technology because of their high value. 

Obstacles for the implementation of HPP

      Low level of public knowledge about the technology
      Image of high cost
      Real costs are lower than perceived costs
      Need of processing centers providing HPP contract processing
      False image of high technological sophistication
      Reduced number of suppliers for equipment.
   Initial high investment cost (mainly for big companies with need for simultaneous purchasing of multiple equipment)

Future Scope

      North America is by far the largest market of high pressure processing (HPP) attributed to the high per capita consumption of processed food in this region.
   Moreover the rising health care expenditure coupled with increased health consciousness in consumers is fueling the market in this region.
      Europe is the second largest market of high pressure processing (HPP) followed by Asia Pacific.
      The demand of HPP in Asia Pacific is mainly fueled by the increasing demand of process food in developing countries such as China and India. 

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Hello friends, I'am Dr. Subhrajyoti , from Odisha, India. I have completed my UG & PG from OUAT and Ph.D. from JAU. During my early year of teaching, I loved to provide important information to the young agriculturists and farmers. With the suggestions from my best friend Mr. S. R. Biswal, (Ph.D. Research Scholar; website designer & content editor of agriculture2u.com (blog &YouTube), I got interested to create such an amazing platform, where I can share my knowledge to a greater range of audience and also get enriched with new ideas and knowledge. I feel privileged to be in contact with you all. I would like to thank you all for your valuable support and encouragement through viewing my articles. I will always try my best to provide the quality and latest information on this website. Thank you….

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