Product manager in the Systems Business Group Tobias Richter explained: "Despite it being a niche technology with slightly higher costs, we see a lot of potential for HPP. In most cases, the advantages balance the costs quite well, and open up new markets."
Those advantages include perceived 'freshness' and food safety. "In the US, many companies are already facing a situation where they actually have to use HPP because it's demanded by retailers," he said, citing Listeria Monocytogenes as a specific concern.
"We see a trend in Europe as well for regulations to become stricter. The European Food Safety Authority has issued a proposal to Brussels indicating a possible change." At the Düsseldorf show, Multivac will be exhibiting a small, 55l version of the Uhde HPP autoclave that it is now supplying. Multivac claims that these units can be integrated into automatic packing lines. In fact, post-interpack, this particular autoclave will be shipped out to an unnamed New Zealand co-packer and toll-processor for manual loading and unloading.
The Uhde system will process products from meat and poultry to ready meals and fruit at rates of up to four tonnes an hour. Pressure can be applied in such a way that MAP formats may be processed safely. A buffering system allows packing to continue while the autoclave is in operation.