The term High Pressure Processing (HPP) is used to describe the technology wherebyproducts are exposed to very high pressures in the region of 50 - 800 MPa (500 - 8000Atmospheres). The potential application of HPP in the food industry has gained popularityin recent years, due to developments in the construction of HPP equipment which makesthe technology more affordable. Applying HPP to food products results in modifications tointeractions between individual components, rates of enzymatic reactions and inactivationof micro-organisms.The first commercial HPP products appeared on the market in 1991 in Japan, where HPPis now being used commercially for products such as jams, sauces, fruit juices, rice cakesand desserts. The pioneering research into the application of HPP to milk dates back to theend of the 19th century. Application of HPP to milk has been shown to modify its gelforming characteristics as well as reducing its microbial load. HPP offers the potential toinduce similar effects to those generated by heat on milk protein.Recent reports have also indicated that HPP could accelerate the ripening of cheese. Muchof the Irish cheese industry is based on the production of Cheddar cheese, the ripening timefor which can vary from 4 - 12 months or more, depending on grade. A substantial portionof the cost associated with Cheddar manufacture is therefore attributed to storage undercontrolled conditions during ripening. Thus, any technology which may accelerate theripening of Cheddar cheese while maintaining a balanced flavour and texture is of majoreconomic significance.While food safety is a dominant concern, consumers are increasingly demanding foods thatmaintain their natural appearance and flavour, while free of chemical preservatives. HPPoffers the food industry the possibility of achieving these twin goals as this technology canlead to reduced microbial loads without detrimentally effecting the nutritional or sensoryqualities of the product.The development of food ingredients with novel functional properties offers the dairyindustry an opportunity to revitalise existing markets and develop new ones. HPP can leadto modifications in the structure of milk components, in particular protein, which mayprovide interesting possibilities for the development of high value nutritional and functionalingredients.Hence these projects set out to investigate the potential of HPP in the dairy industry andto identify products and processes to which it could be applied.
Teagasc End-of-Project Reports
Food Programme End of Project Reports