What Is High Pressure Processing?

By: Berlin Packaging Specialist
Date: December 20, 2019

High Pressure Processing
High pressure processing (HPP) is a cold pasteurization technique that uses water to create isostatic pressure. The sealed and filled product bottles are placed inside the isostatic pressure chamber for a predesignated period to decrease harmful bacteria.

Pasteurization is a method of deactivating harmful food bacteria like E. coli and salmonella. The most common forms of pasteurization use thermal methods, often at extremely high heats. For fruit and vegetable juices, this can sometimes decrease the number of nutrients finished products contain. Using methods like HPP cold pasteurization helps retain those nutrients, and can also extend the shelf-life of products. Juice products that are cold pressed maintain their aroma, texture, and taste longer when they are processed using HPP. Most products containing moisture can undergo HPP. The right containers and closures are required to ensure that they can withstand the use of high pressure processing equipment.

Packaging that's compatible with high pressure processing equipment will generally be listed as HPP or cold press safe. Products commonly packed using containers like HPP cold press bottles include dairy, salad dressings, and fruit and vegetable juices. There are also a number of HPP-safe plastic containers to use for packaging items like lunch meat and cheese. HPP-compatible plastic bottles should be tested with your product before mass production to ensure they meet performance requirements. The best plastic bottles and containers for packaging using HPP are made of PET materials. Products packaged using high pressure processing techniques and PET plastic bottles require fewer additives, so they attract health-conscious consumers and reduce materials cost.

Yes. Aside from HPP, microfiltration and ultraviolet light methods are also non-thermal cold pasteurization techniques. Of the three treatment techniques, HPP is the most common. Cold pasteurization using high pressure processing, has become popular for cold-pressed juices and dairy products that are high in certain types of bacteria.

While thermal packaging is still more popular, HPP is picking up speed in many fresh fruit and vegetable juice industries. See Benefits of High Pressure Processing for more information about the benefits of packaging products using HPP applications.