High hydrostatic pressure is an emerging non-thermal technology that can achieve the same standards of food safety as those of heat pasteurization and meet consumer requirements for fresher tasting, minimally processed foods. Applying high-pressure processing can inactivate pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms and enzymes, as well as modify structures with little or no effects on the nutritional and sensory quality of foods. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have approved the use of high-pressure processing (HPP), which is a reliable technological alternative to conventional heat pasteurization in food-processing procedures. This paper presents the current applications of HPP in processing fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, dairy, and egg products; such applications include the combination of pressure and biopreservation to generate specific characteristics in certain products. In addition, this paper describes recent findings on the microbiological, chemical, and molecular aspects of HPP technology used in commercial and research applications.
Keywords: Food processing; high hydrostatic pressure; non-thermal technology; pasteurization.