The food industry is constantly in search for new food technologies that will improve safety and prolong the shelf life of commercial products both at consumer and business levels. In addition, one of the main objectives of new food processing tech is to combat the major flaw of canning, heating and preserving, which is: taste.
For example, the food becomes tasteless and mushy due to being dipped in sodium benzoate to keep them safe to eat, or simply lose its “structural integrity” after being nuked in the microwave. Today, more people are getting cautious in regards to the chemicals being used to preserve food. This makes it vital for new and safer food processing technologies to be developed.
Thankfully, there is a new food technology that is destined to change the reputation of processed foods. It’s called “high pressure processing”. The technology was used to manufacture synthetic diamonds in the past. This food technology has been termed as the most promising food safety creation in recent years. Products processed using the new high-pressure technology are already hitting stores. Ground beef patties and guacamole and an assortment of fruit juices made via high-pressure technology are already available today.
“It squeezes 2000 liters of juice per hour. The juice is then placed under an incredible pressure of 87000 psi.”
In March 2012, Starbucks unveiled its first evolution fresh store in Seattle. The juices sold at the store are treated in a stainless steel self contained processor. It squeezes 2000 liters of juice per hour. The juice is then placed under an incredible pressure of 87000 psi. The pressure is so intense it kills all microbes by collapsing the cell walls. To get a feel of the pressure being dealt with, imagine two grown African bull elephant standing on a 5-cent coin. This results in about 30000 pounds of pressure. Now multiply this by 3, which mean 6 grown African elephants standing on a 5-cent coin.
Unlike pasteurization and other traditional food technologies “high pressure processing” leaves food texture and nutrition 90% intact. According to ‘Innovative Food Sciences and Emerging Technologies’ the process may actually increase the nutrition of the food. The flavors are also reported to be retained with this method.
With such innovative food processing technologies being developed, we won’t have to worry about that processed food taste (which many of us have grown accustomed to). High Pressure food processing technology is spreading globally and rapidly, which will ultimately result in cheaper cost of production. Some products may already be at your local supermarket, like the bottle pictured above. I bought one of these a while back not knowing anything about high pressure processing and only coz the bottle looked quirky. But I can confirm that the taste was sensational!