AFBI scientists are looking at new ways of keeping foods fresher, tastier, safer and nutritious for longer. One of their most exciting projects is using very high pressure as a food preservation method.
Typically pressures up to 600 Mega Pascals (or ~90,000 pounds per square inch) are applied for a few minutes at room temperature. This is sufficient to destroy many bacteria without affecting nutrients such as vitamins. Although the pressures used are immense, the processing conditions are designed so that foods retain their shape. The technology is well accepted by consumers as it does not alter the appearance of the foods, helps avoid the need for chemical additives and preservatives, maintains vitamin levels and removes bacteria to give longer shelf-life and safer products.
AFBI has a 35 l capacity commercial high pressure food processing facility which complements existing laboratory scale equipment. This creates opportunities for AFBI to work with other research centres and the food industry in the research and development of pressure-treated foods.
Samples must be appropriately packaged - vacuum packed in plastic bags or a flexible container. Glass and metals are not suitable. Samples must be able to fit into a basket with a diameter of 16 cm. The packaging must be able to withstand a volume change of up to 15%, followed by a return to its original size, without losing seal integrity or barrier properties.
AFBI can advise on suitable packaging materials or pack samples for use.
Other analytical services
A high pressure product development service is available to assist companies in determining the optimum processing parameters (e.g. pressure, time, temperature, packaging) for their individual products.
In addition, AFBI can provide a complete range of microbiological analyses including shelf-life assessment and challenge testing. We have containment level 1,2 and 3 laboratories. Many of the routine microbiological analyses are UKAS accredited and all the work is accredited under ISO9001:2008. A range of chemical analytical services are available on request.
A sensory evaluation suite is also available for the evaluation of products. Members for panels can be arranged if required.
In all cases, we will discuss your specific requirements when you schedule your samples for HPP processing. The analytical charges will be additional to the pressure processing costs.
The high pressure facility is also available as a Toll service for customers who wish to use it on a regular basis.
To find out more about high pressure processing, schedule a free trial run or discuss your processing requirements please contact AFBI at: firstname.lastname@example.org