The Food and beverage industry is increasingly moving toward new product development through novel processing technologies to enable innovations not previously possible.
We have been excited to introduce High Pressure Processing to the FoodBowl in Auckland and this has led to amazing new products being developed with our onsite project and technical teams. There is also a smaller bench-scale HPP unit available at our sister site, Food Pilot.
So, what is it? High-Pressure Processing is a cold pasteurisation technique which consists of subjecting food, previously sealed in flexible and water-resistant packaging, to a high level of hydrostatic pressure (pressure transmitted by water) for a few minutes. It offers the food industry a technology that, in some cases, can achieve the food safety of heat pasteurisation while meeting consumer demand for fresher-tasting minimally processed foods.
Exciting new, never seen before products can be developed as the technology respects the functional properties of the fresh product, so it is a great fit for the development of new propositions for the consumer. It’s a natural process which respects the ingredient and helps maintain fresh food characteristics like flavour and nutrients. It also extends the product shelf life and reduces the overall microbiological spoiling flora and avoids or reduces the need for food preservatives.
The largest growth area worldwide for HPP has been in raw juices – HPP can give a raw juice a shelf life of several weeks and consumers are attracted to the health benefits associated with “raw”. In New Zealand, Homegrown has successfully capitalised on this and gained a significant share of the juice market with their raw juice range – their white bottles with green caps in our supermarkets are now familiar to us all. Another successful application in of HPP in New Zealand has been the use of the technology for the shucking of mussels in the South Island. Globally, HPP is also extensively used to extend shelf life in cooked meats, such as chicken and ham, guacamoles and dips, raw pet foods, bioactives and a wide variety of other applications.
For larger manufacturers, The Food Innovation Network gives you the opportunity to try new technology before investing in it. You can also reap the benefits of our technical expertise on how to set up and manage any new process flow required with this technology.
Alexandra Allan is the Chief Executive for The FoodBowl – an open access facility operated by NZ Food Innovation Auckland and part of the NZ Food Innovation Network. She has experience in managing client projects as well as oversight on plant operations previously as the Client Solutions Manager for The FoodBowl. Prior to that, Allan has held senior positions at Danone and Horley’s in product development.