Deli 24 - the first food and drink manufacturer in Britain to install a HPP facility - is now making the kit available on a contract basis to other manufacturers, md Jeff Winter told FoodManufacture.co.uk.
The privately-owned firm, which launched its first range of chilled meat-based snacks in September 2010, now supplies customers including Morrisons and Total, said Winter.
“Dairy and meat don't usually go together very well from a microbiological perspective, but HPP has enabled us to combine ingredients that would otherwise be problematic, and significantly increase shelf-life.
"For the kind of products we are making, HPP can increase the shelf-life from around two weeks to 50 days, so we immediately saw what added value it could bring to our own product range … but we can also see an opportunity to work with other processors or retailers on a contract-service basis.”
Trials with other manufacturers
Other firms were already conducting trials with Deli 24's 135-litre HPP machine from Spanish equipment manufacturer NC Hyperbaric (which is represented in the UK and Ireland by Interfood Technology), he revealed.
"There are lots of manufacturers out there that are interested in this technology but cannot necessarily justify stumping up the cash to buy a machine outright."
He added: “HPP is certainly one of the most exciting [new technologies], opening up tremendous opportunities at a time when the food industry is very focused on alternatives to chemical-based initiatives as people look for healthy options in their snacking.
“From the discussions we have had, we know there has been a lot of interest in the UK in adopting HPP but the investment in the equipment has often been seen to be the barrier.
“Now that we have made that investment, companies can have access to the process, as well as the product knowledge that we have gained, to develop safer, tastier products with fewer additives.”
Shelf-life extension, quality improvements
HPP – or so-called cold pasteurisation - offers the potential for manufacturers to double or triple the shelf-life of some products while at the same time reducing or even removing traditional preservatives, and maintaining colour, texture, flavour and nutrients that are often damaged through heat treatment.
It has also enabled firms to create completely new products such as 'fresh’ purees, coulis or fruit for the yogurt industry with an extended shelf-life or high-quality prepared seafood products as it frees meat from shells without damaging it.
How it works
The technology, which has been used in cooked meats, poultry, seafood, dairy, dips and juice applications overseas, allows products to be treated in their final packaging, with flexible containers carrying the product into a high-pressure chamber, which is flooded with cold water and pressurised for a few minutes.
The pressure acts uniformly and instantly, regardless of the products’ size or shape, causing lethal damage to the cellular structure of bacteria, moulds and yeasts.
The Wave 6000/135 machine operated by Deli 24 allows HPP up to 6,000 bar in a range of temperatures from 5-35˚C. The 135-litre capacity vessel can offer throughputs of more than 500kg or litres per hour.