The Safe Pac Corporation has started to offer USDA and FDA-approved High Pressure Pasteurization (HPP) to packers, food processors and manufacturers on a contract service basis, according to a company statement.

The HPP process is one solution for pre-packaged RTE products including meats, soups, wet salads, sauces, fruit smoothies, shellfish and seafood. According to the company, the process works best with moist foods without internal air pockets as HPP places pre-packaged products in flexible containers (i.e. pouches, plastic bottles) into a high-pressure chamber, which is then flooded with cold water and pressurized for 3 to 5 minutes. As pressure is applied uniformly around and throughout the product, treated foods are able to retain their original shape and texture.

"By applying up to 87,000 pounds of hydraulic pressure per square inch to ready-to-eat food products in their final packaging, our HPP Process completely eradicates harmful bacteria, eliminating the need for chemicals and preservatives, without compromising the taste or texture of the treated products," said Guy Giordano, president of Safe Pac Pasteurization LLC.

Unlike competitive heat-based processes, the quality of HPP processed foods is similar to fresh food products because pressure has little to no effect on low molecular weight components such as color, flavor and vitamin content. Because it protects naturally, preserving foods with water pressure, HPP meets organic standards, processing products without impacting their USDA organic designation.

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