Pressure makes perfect: Hiperbaric’s HPP technology checks all boxes in food packaging

Recent global developments have mandated innovative food packaging solutions concentrating on health, safety, and productivity. Hiperbaric’s HPP technology has been a leading figure in meeting these demands, offering a spectrum of services across the food and beverage industry.

Manufacturers and consumers are always on the lookout for safe, nutritious solutions to food processing – and yet, these demands are not often met through traditional heat-pasteurisation processes. Frequently, these processes trade one factor for the other, meeting either safety but not nutrition, taste but not hygiene. With Hiperbaric’s high-pressure processing (HPP) technology, however, manufacturers can now look forward to packaging processes that promise safety, efficiency, and health.

A revolutionary packaging process

Twenty years ago, Hiperbaric revolutionalised HPP technology through the introduction of horizontal units – where all previous designs were vertical – making product loading and unloading a challenge as well as traceability. Since then, in addition to a commitment toward constant innovation and development, Hiperbaric has been at the fore of HPP technology. For example, in 2018, the company introduced the HPP in-bulk technology, which, as the name suggests, enables beverages to be processed in-bulk, allowing for maximum productivity, and cost and energy efficiency.

HPP technology is also highly flexible and applicable across various foodstuffs and beverages. In the past, Hiperbaric has worked with Duria Manufacturing to create processing solutions that preserve not only the unique flavour and smell of the durian fruit, but also enhances both shelf life and food safety by guaranteeing five to six-log reductions. Other possible foodstuffs where the technology may be applied include seaweed salads, sugarcane juices, and local seafood, making high-pressure processing a versatile option across manufacturers in the food and beverage industry.

Raising an example where Hiperbaric had facilitated the packaging of soup packs for Singaporean company The Soup Spoon, Ainhoa Carrancio, marketing specialist of Hiperbaric, commented: “All in all, HPP technology helped them to improve the quality of the products served in cold storage by providing a longer shelf life without compromising the quality of their products.”

The success of HPP technology, and Hiperbaric’s role in it, has been testified through its growing market. With 30% of their sales stemming from repeat customers, Hiperbaric’s HPP units are well-relied upon for  innovation and technology.

For smaller companies, it is also possible to experience the benefits of high-pressure processing. Hiperbaric offers tolling services for small-to-medium-sized companies who wish to reap the benefits of HPP technology but do not want to invest in new equipment, or simply to test out the latest products they intend to launch in the market.

Nutrient-preserving packaging

With HPP, pasteurised food and beverages can contain immune-boosting properties whilst maintaining its nutrients and organoleptic characteristics, making it more appealing to a growing health-conscious consumers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The nutritional properties of food and beverages are not altered by high pressure, especially the antioxidants and bioactive compounds like polyphenols or citric acid, which are beneficial for health.

Moreover, in comparison to heat-pasteurisation, the preservation of nutrients and freshness offered by HPP  has also garnered the attention of manufacturers, especially with the rise of food delivery services.

“With a proper development and combination of technologies, it can be used as a powerful tool for industrial kitchens looking forward to build stocks of semi-finished recipes to be easily reheated, plated and served,” said Carrancio.

Given these recent global developments, Hiperbaric has been expanding its services and technology around the world. In 2018, they opened a regional office in Singapore to better cater to the growing needs of the Asia-Pacific region. Since then, they have worked with several companies, bringing the knowledge and benefits of high-pressure processing.

With the evolving needs and expectations of both consumers and manufacturers over the last decade, Hiperbaric is confident that it can deliver the technology and expertise needed for a safe and nutritious food processing system.

Citing a study conducted by Khouryieh in 2020, Carrancio pointed out that HPP was the most commonly used form of non-thermal technologies, especially in the United States, because of its nutritional-retentive advantages and sensory properties, despite certain drawbacks like cost and investment.

“HPP technology has very few disadvantages but a lot of benefits. No thermal process can provide the combination of benefits that a non-thermal technology brings,” concluded Carrancio.