Novel processing methods

Area of Expertise:

AFBI is looking at new ways of keeping foods fresher, tastier, safer and nutritious for longer using novel food processing techniques, especially high pressure processing.

Novel food processing techniques

High Pressure Processing rig
Research is conducted on novel food processing techniques, especially High Pressure Processing. 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.

This research has helped to establish High Pressure Processing as a viable processing method for many foods. Research and pilot facilities are available [HPP facilities]. While much of this research has been on vegetable products, work has also been conducted on meat and dairy products.

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.

Strong links have also been recently established with a microwave volumetric heating manufacturer to investigate potential applications to destroy pathogenic micro-organisms while retaining quality attributes of liquid foods.

Contact: Food chemistry group