Clean label food preservation with HPP

Ahead of her presentation at the IUFoST /GDL workshop on Healthy Foods Through New Food Processing Technologies at Health ingredients Europe 2018, we interviewed Dr. Carole Tonello, Director of Applications at the Hiperbaric Company, to discover how High Pressure Processing is helping food and beverage manufacturers meet today’s growing demand for healthier, less processed natural prodicts.



Can you briefly explain what Hiperbaric does and how it works?
“Hiperbaric is the global leader in designing, manufacturing and commercializing High Pressure Processing (HPP) machines for food and beverage industries. So far, we have installed more than 250 HPP machines in 40 countries in the five continents, having currently more than 60 % market share in this business. Located in Spain, we export more than 90% of our equipment, with a strong hold on markets not only in North America (our main market) and Europe but also Central Asia, the Middle East and beyond.”


Please Note: To gain access to this workshop you must register for a Hi Europe visitor pass as well as buy a workshop ticket.
Ticket for Hi Europe 2018 required
: Register here 
Ticket for the workshop: Register here


You will be giving a presentation about High Pressure Processing (HPP). Can you explain what this is exactly?
“HPP is a ‘cold pasteurization’ technique by which food and beverages are introduced into a vessel and subjected to a high level of isostatic pressure (300 – 600 MPa / 3000 to 6000 bar) transmitted by water. This non-thermal preservation technology results in more natural products (keeping their nutrients, vitamins and fresh flavour) than classical preservation techniques (heat pasteurization and chemical preservatives). The process inactivates the microorganisms present in food by subjecting them to a high level of hydrostatic pressure, increasing food safety (killing pathogen microorganisms) and shelf-life (inactivating spoilage microorganisms). Shelf-life is multiplied from 2 to 20 times, depending on the product.”

“The global production of high pressure processed (HPP) products in 2017 is estimated to be more than 1.2 million tons / year and it is steadily growing. This expansion, is mainly driven by customers’ demand for fresher, natural (organic), healthier (preservative-free) safe products with extended shelf-life. The range of HPP products: guacamole, salsas, dips, wet salads, fruit and vegetable bars, ready-to-eat (RTE) meats and meals, dairy products, seafood… is growing each year, but the most impressive commercial development concerns the sector of beverages with juices, smoothies, probiotic beverages, cold soups, teas, coffees and even milk.”


“Until recently HPP was a post-packaging process and only already packaged food or beverages in bottles could be processed. But Hiperbaric has recently launched its latest breakthrough innovation, the Hiperbaric Bulk technology, which allows the processing of big volumes of liquids (beverages) in bulk, before bottling, thus increasing the productivity (up to 5000 L/h with a Hiperbaric 525 Bulk machine) and making possible the use of any packaging material besides plastic. These among other benefits are making a revolution on the juices and beverages segment."

HPP has been around for a long time, why is it now seen as a better alternative to current thermal processes?
The main reason can be that consumers’ trends are clearly going in the direction of healthier, less processed and more natural products, which is exactly what HPP offers. HPP is a chance for innovation of healthy foods because it preserves nutritional properties, keeping freshness, while increasing shelf-life, from few days to few weeks or even months. The technology stabilizes foods and beverages with reduced amount of salt or sugar and no, or less, chemical preservatives. Another reason is the continuous improvement in productivity and reliability of HPP machines which makes now HPP much more affordable than earlier.”

What are the challenges HPP still has to overcome?
“Although the first HPP commercial products were launched almost 30 years ago, the great potential of the technology regarding safety, quality and convenience, is still not very well known by the industry. In order to increase the awareness of the technology, Hiperbaric founded, in collaboration with other companies, the Cold Pressure Council (CPC), which leads, facilitates and promotes industry standardization, user education, and customer awareness of High Pressure Processing. The CPC developed the standard and promotes the use of the ‘High Pressure Certified’ logo which can be seen since the beginning of the year on some HPP products in the USA. We hope that initiative will give more visibility to HPP as the logo will be perceived as a guaranty of superior quality by consumers, helping sales growth of the High Pressure Certified Products.”

High Pressure Certificate

“The other main challenges are still price and production. Hiperbaric is aware and is continuously working to make HPP a more convenient technology. For that Hiperbaric relies on a continuous R&D improvement of the technology, which cuts down total cost of ownership. The recent development of the Hiperbaric Bulk range, allowing a drastic TCO reduction, will overcome this challenge in the beverage sector."

Which specific advantages does HPP offer food quality and operations managers?
"Besides avoiding changes caused by thermal processing in food, another strength of HPP is that the pressure is equal in all of the product, no matter what is its size, weight, or shape. Geometry doesn’t affect the result of HPP on microbial inactivation, which is very different from heat processing for example. This simplifies considerably the control of the process efficiency by the food producer.”  

From a food processing perspective, what are your predictions for the next 3-5 years?
“Concerning HPP machines, the future of HPP looks like a more affordable technology thanks to more productive and more automated machines."

“In terms of product development, the future is going in the direction of clean(er) labels and less salt. In order to make those products safe, we think HPP could be combined in the future biological interventions. The R&D project BlacHP, for example, investigates the synergy between lactic acid bacteria and HPP to control C. botulinum spore germination in meat product (cooked ham). “

Discover more about the latest innovations in food technology at the workshop ‘Healthy Foods Through New Food Processing Technologies’ organised by IUFoST/GDL during Hi Europe on Wednesday 28 November from 10:30 a.m. - 13:00 p.m. in Symmetrie 3.

More information on programme and costs here.

Please Note: To gain access to this workshop you must register for a Hi Europe visitor pass as well as buy a workshop ticket.
Ticket for Hi Europe 2018 required: Register here 
Ticket for the workshop: Register here