The HPP system involves the loading of airtight/hermetically sealed packages into carrier baskets. These baskets are inserted into the HPP vessel, which then gets sealed by plugs. At this point, potable water gets pumped into the vessel creating isostatic pressure (equal pressure on all sides) on the packages. Product is held at a high pressure for up to six minutes, with pressures and times varying by product. This pressure disrupts the microbial biochemistry of pathogens and spoilage bacteria, which helps preserve freshness and increase shelf life.
In today’s regulatory environment, the technology is gaining importance. HPP allows food processors to achieve significant benefits in terms of food safety and extended shelf life.
Meat is one of the leading industries using HPP technology. Fruits and vegetables, and the premium juices made from them are also increasingly turning to HPP. The guacamole industry was one of the first to employ HPP technology in the US.
Interestingly, food and beverage manufacturers using HPP technology are not required to label or declare use on packaging or elsewhere. However, it makes sense to communicate use to consumers so they better understand why certain products have a long shelf without the inclusion of preservatives.