PMMI Offshoot Draws Attention to Cold Pasteurization Technique

The Cold Pressure Council, a group with interest from both manufacturers and food companies, is working to make the case that high-pressure processing could be a great way to simplify pasteurizing foods.

The concept of high-pressure processing (HPP), a type of cold pasteurization, is already considered a game changer when it comes to deli meats and juices.

But a new group wants to take the concept to new places. The Cold Pressure Council—an offshoot of PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies—hopes to make the case for the technique to be used more broadly within the food industry. The group formally launched this week at the ProFood Tech tradeshow.

Part of the reason for the growing interest in HPP is that the technique, which relies on placing food items within a high-pressure chamber, generally at a point when the food is already in its final packaging. The pressurization has the effect of destroying dangerous bacteria without negatively affecting the food’s taste. Because of the noninvasive production process, members of the group say HPP has the potential to redefine the packaging industry.

“HPP allows food processors to achieve significant benefits in terms of food safety and extended shelf-life. The formation of this Council will help us take this technology to the next level,” said Jaime Nicolas-Correa, the director of council member Hiperbaric USA, in a news release.

The council’s members—such as Jeff Williams, CEO of Avure Technologies—emphasize that they will focus on educating people about what can and can’t be done with HPP.

“Obviously, when it comes to food safety and plant safety, none of us want anyone taking any shortcuts, but for this technology first, selecting for the right application is important,” Williams told BevNet recently. “Take hummus. For your basic most common form of hummus, it is a fantastic process. It is widely used. But there’s other types of hummus with toppings, etc. that [HPP] is not as good or safe a process [for] because of what happens with packaging and the intermixing of contents within that package.”

Outside of technology companies like Avure and Hiperbaric, the council has also drawn the attention of food makers, including Campbell Soup Company, the Starbucks division Evolution Fresh, Suja Juice, and Good Foods.

A sketch of the HPP process in action. (YouTube screenshot)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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