When it comes to pasteurization, HPP is known to protect food from pathogens and improve its shelf life. But one of the most popular advantages of high hydrostatic pressure processing has more to do with a consumer’s culinary experience. HPP maintains a food’s natural flavors, which not only makes it taste good, but also adds to the pleasure of eating.
For Los Angeles residents, eating is a joy. Our city is home to a variety of diverse culinary traditions, appreciated by chefs and everyday consumers alike. From the authentic taco trucks that line the streets of Boyle Heights to the innovative cuisine of the booming restaurant scene in Downtown LA, Los Angeles is a city of food. No matter where you go, there’s something for everyone. Self-proclaimed foodies can dine on bold experimental flavors from promising young chefs, while the average citizen can get his money’s worth at any number of restaurants. Browse any neighborhood from Santa Monica to Hollywood, and you’re sure to find a satisfying snack or meal.
Consumers don’t settle for average cuisine, which puts a great deal of pressure on businesses in the food industry to deliver quality. Producing fresh food is a priority, but of course it poses certain problems as well. Not only do brands want to source food responsibly, they have to face the logistical issues of processing and delivering it in a timely manner. Juggling consumer demands for tasty food, best practices, and a company’s own bottom line can be difficult. However, thanks to HPP, it doesn’t have to be.
How it works
High-pressure pasteurization is a popular choice among food processing companies because it allows food to maintain its natural flavor. Unlike other forms of pasteurization that alter taste and texture, HPP doesn’t break foods’ covalent bonds. As a result, freshness is maintained through delivery and – perhaps more importantly – the point of consumption by the consumer.
Whether a Los Angeles resident is shopping at a Westwood market or dining at a high-end restaurant in Beverly Hills, food that’s been subject to HPP is guaranteed to be fresh and deliciousness. Really, everyone wins. Food processors can rest assured that their products will arrive to their destination tasty and unspoiled, while consumers will be happy to enjoy a delectable dish, packaged meal, or other kind of fresh food.
For a better idea of how HPP preserves food flavor, here are few examples.
Fruits and vegetables
Anyone who’s left fruit out too long knows what to expect. It becomes a brown, mushy mess. This can be frustrating, especially if you were particularly hungry for one of Southern California’s signature citrus fruits, avocados, or berries. Additionally, you now have to throw the damaged fruit out and potentially feel guilty about wasting food. There is no perfect way to gauge when fruits and vegetables are ready to eat, and artificially prolonging their life with additives isn’t a good solution either. It’s a dilemma for both consumers and businesses.
However, through high hydrostatic pressure processing, companies can lock in fruits and vegetables’ natural flavors for longer stretches of time. And perhaps the best part? No additional preservatives are needed. For Los Angeles vegetarians or for the many residents who just enjoy a well-balanced diet, having access to fresh fruit without additives is very important. Whether you’re a South Bay resident strictly devoted to natural foods or a Hollywood business that wants to provide long-lasting produce to the public, HPP reduces enzymatic browning of fruits and vegetables. It’s also been shown to help degrade certain lipids and compounds that cause off flavors.
While the innovative pasteurization process is known to preserve natural flavors, it can also enhance them in certain foods as well.
When it comes to meat and seafood, consumers are particularly careful about freshness. This may be due to prior experience with a bad cut of meat, or maybe it’s just the thought of spoiled fish that turns them off. Either way, all it takes is the idea of past-its-prime beef to steer consumers away. Food industry businesses have to work extra hard then to guarantee the safety and freshness of their products. And with HPP, that’s not a difficult task.
In fact, high-pressure pasteurization not only preserves flavor of meat, it augments it as well. HPP allows the behavior of proteins and hydrocolloids within meat to flourish. As a result, the meat’s binding characteristics are enhanced, and it becomes more susceptible to marinating and tenderizing. Additionally, HPP stokes the activity of particular enzyme systems, which allow for greater tenderization. Whether a consumer orders an exceptional cut from a steak house in Burbank or just wants to barbecue on the deck of his Culver City home, meats that go through the HPP process are ripe for preparation, and make for mouth-watering, delicious dinners.
Additionally, for packaged meats, HPP enhances protein hydration. In this process, non-covalent interactions are allowed to take place and as a result, brands and consumers can enjoy a bigger yield and a moister cut. Liquid purge, which can be responsible for dry and unsavory pieces of meat, is reduced, sealing in flavor.
Picking quality seafood can be a nerve-racking experience for consumers. Unless you’re eating at one of Los Angeles’ famed fish restaurants along The Pacific Ocean, or shopping at a gourmet market in Brentwood, it’s hard to know if a commercial operation is offering quality. Diners and shoppers more or less have to rely on what looks good on the menu or at the counter. Fortunately, high hydrostatic pressure processing allows seafood to maintain its fresh appearance in addition to taste.
Through HPP, seafood never acquires an overly fishy smell, which is usually a sign of spoilage or poor quality. Pressurization allows the fish to stay healthy, fresh and delicious. In fact, there’s no need for pre-cooking among manufacturers. With HPP, fish keeps its natural flavors throughout packaging, distribution and purchase. Consumers or commercial operations can cook the meat raw, and trust that it will taste great.