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By Sanjay Indani, Khushbu Shah, Lakshita Worlikar

High Pressure Processing is a cold pasteurization technique by which the final product which are already sealed, are introduced into a vessel and subjected to a high level of Isostatic pressure (100-800 MPa) which is transmitted by water.

Fruit beverages have their unique identities having large content of micronutrients, polyphenols, vitamins, flavonoids and other nutritional compounds. Major concern of this beverage industry is the stability of the products throughout the post-processing storage. Thermal treatment has been used as a common process as means of preservation of these products. However, various studies have shown that the application of heat renders a negative impact on the nutritional quality, appearance and taste of these. Vitamins are the major heat-sensitive constituents among them, vitamin C is the least resistive to heat. It is more prominent in case of non-citrus beverage. The degradation reactions like oxidation, non- enzymatic reaction, pigment destruction and condensation are responsible to exploit the nutrient content of products.

Pressures above 400MPa/58,000 psi at cold (+4?C to 10?C) or ambient temperature inactivate the vegetative flora (bacteria, virus, yeasts, molds and parasites) present in food, extending the products shelf life importantly and guaranteeing food safety. Pressure is evenly and instantaneously transmitted throughout the sample, which provides products without over treated parts.

High Pressure processing respects the sensorial and nutritional properties of food, because of the absence of heat treatment, and maintains its original freshness throughout the shelf-life.

The High pressure processing (HPP) method is based on the Le Chatelier’ principle, Isostatic  pressure and Microscopic ordering principle for the cold pressure sterilization.

At constant temperature, an increase in pressure increases the degrees of ordering of molecules of a given substance. Therefore, the temperature is increased as long as the pressure applied is increasing (between 2–3 ?C per each 100 MPa).

The products are compressed by uniform pressure from every direction and then returned to their original shape when the pressure is released. So, the products are compressed independently of the product size and geometry because transmission of pressure to the core is not mass/time dependent; thus the process is minimized.

HPP leads to modifications of cellular membranes and interrupts cellular functions which are responsible for reproduction. Those are one of the main causes of bacterial death. The pressure also plays a role on the availability of the energy within the cells, because it affects some biochemical reactions which produce energy.

It can also affect certain molecular reactions, such as genetic expression and protein synthesis, between 30 and 50 MPa. At pressures of 100–220 MPa, there was a reversible phase transition in parts of the lipid bilayer, which passed from the liquid crystalline to gel phase; there was also dissociation and/or conformational changes in the protein subunits, which could cause the separation of protein subunits and gaps between protein and lipid bilayer, creating trans-membrane tunnels.

A pressure of 220 MPa or higher irreversibly destroys and fragments the membrane structure due to protein unfolding and interface separation, which was amplified by the increased pressure.

In general, HPP above 200 MPa inactivates vegetative bacteria, yeast and molds. In practice, pressures up to 700 MPa and treatment times from a few seconds to several minutes are used to inactivate microbial cells.

Bacterial spores on the other hand, are highly resistant to pressure, showing a remarkable tolerance to pressures above 1000 MPa near room temperature.


Hite was the first to report the effect of HHP on food borne microorganisms in 1899 by subjecting milk to a pressure of 650 MPa and obtaining a significant reduction in the number of viable microbes. Though this technology was evolved in Japan in 1990 when Mitsubishi Heavy Industries developed a High pressure processing vessel for food processing. Since, then other countries are also adopting it.


These are the list of High Pressure Processed (HPP) products that are sold all around the world in various countries such as Canada, European nations, Asian countries, USA, etc.

• Juices and beverages

• Vegetable And Fruit Products

• Avocado Products

• Meat Products

• Seafood Products

• Ready To Eat Meals

• Dips And Salsas

• Wet Salads And Sandwich Fillings

• Baby & Infant Food

• Dairy

In most of these countries the HPP products are sold with a HPP seal. Cold pressure council has introduced the High Pressure Process Certified Seal.

Current Scenario in India:

Currently there are not many companies in India who  are  producing food products based using  High pressure processing as the outlay of  the initial high capital cost. But, there might be  chances  of more companies working to adopt this process in future.

High Pressure Processing in an upcoming technology in the food industry. With increasing demand for nutritional rich natural alike products with better retention of nutrients, this technology will come in commercial application with great demand. As the size and shape of the product does not have any effect on the method of HPP, in coming times, there might be decrease in the cost of the product. Moreover this technique might be used for reduction of allergen effect caused by various protein compounds.


Effect of High Pressure Processing on the Microbial inactivation in fruit preparation and  other vegetable based beverages; Dahlia Daher, Solène Le Gourrierec, et.al; July 2017.

High hydrostatic pressure technology in dairy processing: A review; Rekha Chawla, Girdhar Ramdass Patil, et.al; December 2010.

Current status and future trends of High Pressure Processing in food industry; Hsiao-Wen Huang, Sz-Jie Wu, et.al; July 2016.

Review on High Pressure Processing of foods; Gezai Abera W/giorgis; February 2019.

HPP: achieve high standards of food safety without compromising food quality; Mork Duffy, March 2017


This article is compiled by Sanjay Indani, Head @ SafeFoodz Solutions, is a Food Safety-Regulatory Advisor-Trainer, Co-author Ms. Khusbu Shah is a Food safety Advisor-trainer, supported by Ms. Lakshita Worlikar & they can be reached on safefoodz@gmail.com

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