High pressure processing and why it is more efficient and safer

Recently, the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) published his scientific opinion on high pressure processing (HPP).

Experts involved in the assessment of the safety and efficiency of HPP reported that HPP effectively destroys pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella and E. coli.

In this scientific opinion, EFSA states that HPP can be used to increase food safety in various products, such as cooked meat products ready to eat and milk. Furthermore, it was concluded that HPP does not favor the migration of food contact materials into food.

This treatment has been used in the world for more than two decades. However, while US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada have established a regulatory framework for its use, the situation in Europe is not well defined, since HPP is not specifically regulated at the European Union level.

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High pressure processing and biological safety

PPH food does not represent additional health problems. microbial food safety for consumers compared to other common treatments routinely applied to food.

For example, HPP is not expected to increase prion infectivity or induce expression of genes associated with virulence factors, toxins and cross-resistance. However, it is important to know that high pressures (HPP) do not inactivate spores.

In this sense, EFSA highlighted the need for adequate control of the cold chain, keeping the temperature below 7° during distribution and storage in order to prevent the germination and growth of spores. It is worth mentioning that the ESFA also considers that mycotoxins and process contaminants are of no greater concern with the use of HE compared to conventional feed.

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EFSA states that HPP can be used to increase food safety in a variety of products

HP efficiency

The EFSA Scientific Panel found that none of the assessed indicators can currently be proposed as an appropriate indicator to be used under technologically and commercially viable HE conditions applied by industry, including alkaline phosphatase.

It should be noted that alkaline phosphatase is usually used as an indicator of successful pasteurization of milk, since it is destroyed at a temperature close to the pasteurization temperature (similar to relevant pathogens).

This enzyme i milk pathogens have different resistance to pressure, which means that this enzyme cannot be used as an indicator of successful processing. However, the fact that it cannot be used as an indicator has nothing to do with the effectiveness of HPP against pathogens.

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