Md Jeff Winter claimed high pressure processing (HPP) had enabled Deli 24 to increase the shelf-life of its products from two weeks to 50 days, without losing any of the snacks’ freshness and taste.
Winter says Deli 24 is the only food manufacturer in the UK to install an HPP facility, and it was now making its unit available for other manufacturers to use on a contracted basis.
HPP technology has been available for over a decade and has been used successfully in other countries, particularly in Spain and the US, in a wide range of meat, poultry, dairy, dips, seafood and fruit juice applications.
“It started to gain traction in about 2005−6 mainly through extended use in America,” said Winter. “About 45% of the machines in the world are in use in America, and about 40% are in the meat industry where it is used as a cold pasteurisation process for cold meat products.”
Lethal cell damage
The process works by pasteurising produce within its finished packaging. The pressure of up to 6,000 bars of cold water causes lethal cell damage to bacteria, moulds and yeast but leaves the shape and texture of the food – and its packaging – intact.
This then doubles or even trebles the shelf life of the product, without the need for preservative food additives, claimed Winter. HPP extended the shelf life of Deli 24’s snacks from two weeks to 50 days, without losing any of the colour, nutrients, taste and texture of the snacks that would be damaged through heat treatments, he added.
“Our products use proper Cheddar cheese and no water-added ham, but we still have a shelf-life of 50 days. We would not have been able to do that if we had not had this type of technology in place.
“We immediately saw how the HPP technology could add value to our own product range, and after discussions with manufacturers NC Hyperbaric and with Interfood, we decided to invest in the Wave 6000 machine.”
The firm used the high pressure technology in its own brands when the business started in 2010. “With the experience of using the technology we’ve started doing it as a tolling process on other people’s products,” he said.
“We now offer a facility in which processors or retailers can toll their products, on a contract basis, through our Milton Keynes site. We bought a machine that was in excess of our own needs and it’s something we can scale up if required.”
Deli 24 sticks are sold at all major supermarkets nationwide, including Asda, The Co-operative Group, Sainsbury and Tesco, as well as One Stop Stores, Premier Stores, Esso and Total Garages.