Application of High Pressure in Food Processing

Kemija u Industriji. 2011;60(01):11-19


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Journal Title: Kemija u Industriji

ISSN: 0022-9830 (Print); 1334-9090 (Online)

Publisher: Croatian Society of Chemical Engineers

Society/Institution: Croatian Society of Chemical Engineers

LCC Subject Category: Science: Chemistry

Country of publisher: Croatia

Language of fulltext: English, Croatian

Full-text formats available: PDF



Herceg, Z.
Režek Jambrak, A.
Lelas, V.
Krešić, G.


Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

In high pressure processing, foods are subjected to pressures generally in the range of 100 – 800 (1200) MPa. The processing temperature during pressure treatments can be adjusted from below 0 °C to above 100 °C, with exposure times ranging from a few seconds to 20 minutes and even longer, depending on process conditions. The effects of high pressure are system volume reduction and acceleration of reactions that lead to volume reduction. The main areas of interest regarding high-pressure processing of food include: inactivation of microorganisms, modification of biopolymers, quality retention (especially in terms of flavour and colour), and changes in product functionality. Food components responsible for the nutritive value and sensory properties of food remain unaffected by high pressure. Based on the theoretical background of high-pressure processing and taking into account its advantages and limitations, this paper aims to show its possible application in food processing. The paper gives an outline of the special equipment used in highpressure processing. Typical high pressure equipment in which pressure can be generated either by direct or indirect compression are presented together with three major types of high pressure food processing: the conventional (batch) system, semicontinuous and continuous systems. In addition to looking at this technology’s ability to inactivate microorganisms at room temperature, which makes it the ultimate alternative to thermal treatments, this paper also explores its application in dairy, meat, fruit and vegetable processing. Here presented are the effects of high-pressure treatment in milk and dairy processing on the inactivation of microorganisms and the modification of milk protein, which has a major impact on rennet coagulation and curd formation properties of treated milk. The possible application of this treatment in controlling cheese manufacture, ripening and safety is discussed. The opportunities for its application within the meat processing sector are also discussed, particularly the specific effects of high pressure on the colour, texture, nutritive value and functional properties of fresh and processed meat. This paper also considers the possibilities of implementing high-pressure technology in fruit and vegetable processing with the aim to maintain microbiological safety, nutritive value, “fresh-like” appearance and antimutagenic properties. The intention of this paper is to broaden the knowledge of experts and technologists regarding implementation possibilities of high pressure, as one of the emerging technologies in the various food-processing sectors. Given the trend of growing consumer preferences for fresh-like, additive-free and microbiologically safe food, high pressure processing is likely to find its future application in food processing for niche products with added value.