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Procesado para la conservación de alimentos

Hiperbaric, the global leader in HPP technology and equipment, will share the latest technology developments for HPP meat and poultry at the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta on Jan. 25-27. Join us to learn more about the benefits of High Pressure Processing (HPP) for meat products, which include food safety, premium quality, clean label, and extended shelf life.

IPPE 2022

Save the date! Hiperbaric will be sharing the latest technology development for HPP meat and poultry at the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta on Jan. 25th – 27th and is looking forward to connecting with you.

Hiperbaric will be exhibiting at the event at booth #BC10131, but you can also book time in advance to talk to the team and learn more about the benefits of High Pressure Processing (HPP) for meat products, which include food safety, premium quality, clean label, and extended shelf life.

With recalls becoming an increasing challenge among meat manufacturers, learn how HPP can be leveraged as an effective method to inactivate foodborne pathogens.

This non-thermal preservation method is a game-changer for many meat brands on the market, including Hormel Foods, Maple Leaf, Sofina, West Liberty Foods, Cooper Farms, Moira Mac’s, Noel Alimentaria and Espuña.

HPP has also seen an increasing demand for pet food products. Join us for an IPPE 2022 TechTalk session, “Fresh, Nutritious and Safe Pet Food with HPP” at booth #C10611 on Thursday, Jan 27th at 10am EST.

HPP in the Meat Industry

Meat products are an everyday commodity for families around the world that help to meet the daily dietary intake of nutrients like proteins and essential amino acids. As in any food system, improper handling of meat products endangers the health of humans and companion animals.

In cooked and RTE meats, pathogen Listeria monocytogenes is one of the most persistent and dangerous microorganisms. Not long ago in South Africa, the largest and deadliest listeriosis outbreak ever recorded ended the lives of more than 200 individuals and infected over 1,000 people that consumed tainted bologna meat. The U.S. meat industry was also in crisis during the late 1990’s with recurrent recalls and listeriosis outbreaks in deli meats and sausages, forcing processors to use multiple barriers (i.e., salt, chemical preservatives, modified atmosphere packaging, etc.) to slow down Listeria and spoilage microorganisms.

HPP became a lifesaver for the meat industry as the technology safely extends the shelf life of RTE meats up to 120 days without changes in their sensory properties, and as of today, no foodborne outbreaks have occurred in HPP meats or other products. As a post-packaging intervention, the recontamination risk is practically nonexistent, allowing processors to reduce salt and minimize ingredients of the formulation for healthier and clean label products with HPP.

Premium Quality Meats

Case study: improving safety & reducing processing costs of dry-fermented sausages (DFS) with HPP, and the importance of water activity (aw)

Balamuruagan et al. (2015) evaluated the inactivation of E. coli O157:H7 at different stages of the elaboration of DFS, as described next and showcased in our webinar recording ‘Meating’ Your Food Safety and Clean Label Expectation Using the HPP Technology.

The study detailed that the elaboration of DFS starts with the fermentation (F) of the minced pork and/or beef trims mixed with salts, spices, and the starting culture, lasting between 1-2 days. Then, the fermented meat is transferred to a chamber with temperature and relative humidity control for the maturation stage (M). The temperature drops to halt fermentation, and the relative humidity is gradually lowered to dry the meat.

It is viable to obtain optimal organoleptic properties of DFS after 5-10 days of maturation, implying the whole process involving fermentation and maturation (F+M) may be completed within 12 days. Nonetheless, processors extend the drying process (D) beyond 12 days to induce a 5-log10 reduction of pathogens like E. coli O157:H7. In Fig. 1, the gray line shows the log10 reductions of E. coli O157:H7 during the elaboration of DFS. The drying stage starts at day 5 and meets ideal sensory properties by day 12. However, the overall process (F+M+D) slightly delivered more than 3 log10 pathogen reductions by day 12. It took at least 21 days to yield 5 log10 reductions (Fig. 1), but the whole process may last up to 40 days. The additional drying negatively impacts the sensory properties of the DFS, increases the risk of recontamination, and also takes up resources to keep the drying chamber running.

On the other hand, the blue line of Fig. 1 indicates the number of log10 reductions by combining the DFS steps (F+M+D) with HPP at 6,000 bar (87,000 psi) and 3 min holding time. The combined approach (F+M+D+HPP) exceeded the 5 log10 thresholds regardless of the drying stage in which HPP was applied. These results suggest that processors can ensure the safety of DFS immediately after the product meets the optimal sensory properties while reducing the total process length by at least by half!

Figure 1. Inactivation of E. coli O157:H7 during the elaboration of dry fermented sausages (DFS). F: Fermentation, M: Maturation, D: Drying, HPP: High Pressure Processing. Data from Balamuruagan et al. (2015).

However, the lethal contributions of HPP are not the same through the drying process, even when the combined approach results in 5.5-6.5 log10 reductions of E. coli at any stage. The plot below shows that HPP by itself nearly reaches 5 log10 reductions at the end of the maturation stage (day 5) when water activity (aw) is about aw = 0.88, whereas F+M+D induced ~1.5 log10 reductions (Fig. 2). On day 12 when optimal sensory occurs, the combined approach tallied approximately 5.5 log10 reductions, and HPP contributed with ~2.2 log10 reductions. The image also illustrates how HPP becomes less efficient as the value of aw drops.

Figure 2. Effect of water activity (aw) on E. coli O157:H7 inactivation. F: Fermentation, M: Maturation, D: Drying, HPP: High Pressure Processing. Data from Balamuruagan et al. (2015).

As a general rule of thumb, HPP works best as a lethal agent (meet or exceed 5-log10 reductions) when water activity (aw) is above 0.96. For the aw 0.80-0.95 range, combining HPP with other processes like fermentation, curing, or drying help to meet food safety objectives. Alternatively in the meat industry, HPP may be applied as a post-lethal intervention to extend shelf life and minimize risk associated with pathogen Listeria monocytogenes (i.e., 1-3 log10 reductions) as in the case of sliced deli meats or pre-cooked RTE chicken.

Raw Meats

The foodborne illness risk is even greater for raw meats, where other pathogenic bacteria (Campylobacter spp., E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella spp.), viruses (hepatitis, norovirus), and parasites (Trichinella spp.) may be present. Once again, HPP helps to enhance the safety of raw muscle, aiding to control foodborne pathogens.

HPP does not modify the nutritional content of raw meats, but color change occurs becomes noticeable at relatively low pressure levels (2,500-400 bar). Marinating meats improves color retention demonstrated by Old Neighborhood Foods in their broad commercial applications.

Andrew Demakes, Director of Operations for Old Neighborhood Foods, states in a recent Q&A, “Our newest, biggest initiative is our new marinated meats line, which has been a huge success and one of the main reasons we’ve invested in a new HPP machine”.

Furthermore, an application that has recently gained more notoriety in the pet food industry, where companion animals and processors all over the world have benefitted from the HPP technology (Q&A with Pet Food Manufacturers).

If you want to learn more about HPP technology and its applications do not hesitate to contact us or stop by booth #BC10131 at IPPE 2022.

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