High Pressure Processing

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the September 2016 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.


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In high pressure processing (HPP), food is sealed in water-resistant packaging, placed in a water-filled container, and exposed to very high hydrostatic pressures (up to 87,000 psi) for three to nine minutes. High pressure is harmful or deadly to many pathogenic and spoilage bacteria, so HPP can improve food safety and extend shelf life. But two problems remain. One is that high pressure doesn’t just squash bacteria; it also affects the proteins in meat. HPP-treated beef is much darker than fresh beef. Another is that Canada’s Food and Drug regulations classify “foods resulting from a process not previously used for food” as “novel foods.” This means that detailed scientific data needs to be submitted to Health Canada for review and approval before these foods can be sold commercially.

However, HPP may be quite useful if these hurdles can be overcome. Marinating beef also affects the colour of uncooked beef, so perhaps using Continue reading

Extending the shelf life of marinated steaks

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igh Pressure Processing (HPP) can extend the shelf life of food by killing microorganisms that can cause spoilage. HPP has been approved for use in the United States. Canada’s Food and Drug regulations classify HPP-treated products as novel foods.

Research currently underway, funded by the National Check-off and Canada’s Beef Science Cluster, is investigating the effects of HPP on Continue reading