Hiperbaric foresees a 25% growth in high pressure processing in Spain


Visit to the company headquarters in Burgos

Intercompany Drafting05/06/2022

This figure advances a very favorable future for this productive sector through an innovative technology that increases the sanitary quality of the products by prolonging their conservation period, maintaining their nutritional and sensory characteristics and eliminating the use of preservatives and dyes.

The Cold Pressure or processed by high pressures (High Pressure ProcessingHPP) will grow in the food and beverage sector by 25% in 2022 in Spain, according to data collected by the Spanish company Hiperbaric, a world leader in the manufacture of high-pressure technology industrial equipment based in Burgos.

The company organized a conference for the specialized press in which it was possible to verify on-site the high technology that surrounds the design, manufacture and marketing of this world-class equipment, which is produced exclusively at the Hiperbaric factory in Castilla y León. More than half of the 635 industrial high-pressure processing (HPP) equipment ) installed in the world have been manufactured by Hiperbaric, which represents 60% of the market share. In Spain, 8 out of 10 machines installed are from the world’s leading manufacturer, with 32 of the 39 existing machines.

One of the aspects that have made Hiperbaric the world leader in this sector is its after-sales service. In the words of Andrs Hernando, CEO of Hiperbaric, “it is what differentiates us from the rest”. 15 engineers currently work in this department to offer customer service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With two remote service points in Burgos and Mexico, Hiperbaric makes an average of 400 shipments of spare parts every month to the whole world.

Hiperbaric has its headquarters in Burgos (Spain), an international delegation in Miami (USA) and commercial and technical representation offices in Mexico, Asia and Oceania.

How does it work?

It is a method that is based on applying high levels of water pressure of up to 6,000 bar for a few seconds or minutes, which manages to inactivate the microorganisms responsible for food spoilage and preserve the nutritional characteristics of the fresh product. This technology thus responds to the growing social demand for products without additives, which are not eaten in isolation but are added to foods to improve their preservation or their organoleptic properties.

Carolle Tonello, Director of Food Applications at Hiperbaric, explained in detail the differences and advantages of this method compared to pasteurization. One of the aspects to highlight is the benefit it provides when it comes to planning production in a “more efficient” way. And she gave the case of Rodilla as an example. The popular restaurant brand specializing in sandwiches, a user of this technology through Hiperbaric, is capable of preserving its mayonnaise-based fillings for up to 3-4 weeks thanks to high-pressure processing.

The cold-pressed preservation technique replaces preservatives and colorants or thermal and chemical treatments, prolonging the shelf life of foods and maintaining their nutritional values. Likewise, it lengthens its useful life, allowing it to be exported to new markets and helping to reduce food waste. It is evidence that this technology offers longer life to food, promoting a sustainability factor by having less turnover, keeps the product packaged in a more natural way by reducing the incorporation of additives and thus connects with a consumer who seeks health and care for the environment. environment, Andrs Hernando pointed out.

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Andrs Hernando, CEO of Hiperbaric.

Food safety

Cold-press technology is also a guarantee of food safety by destroying disease-causing bacteria such as listeria and salmonella. Salmonella is the most common cause of foodborne outbreaks in the European Union, and nearly one in three foodborne outbreaks in the EU in 2018 were caused by this bacterium, according to a report published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). ) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Cold pressing also responds to the social claim that requires clear and precise information on product labeling by allowing a clean label that eliminates preservatives and additives, and meets consumer demand for sustainable purchases that respect the environment. environment by reducing food waste and using recycled and recyclable materials in containers suitable for this type of processing, which also allow food to be refrigerated instead of frozen.

scientific validation

There are several studies that have been carried out on the benefits that this technology brings to food, such as those carried out by the Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA) who, in the words of its Innovation technician, Francesc Borrisser, all Research and projects developed at the institute conclude that high-pressure processing inactivates microorganisms while preserving sensory properties, allowing safer foods to be obtained, extending their shelf life and reducing or eliminating the use of additives, he clarifies.

These benefits have been, precisely, those that have allowed companies such as the MRM Group to develop their division of prepared dishes with the quality standards set by the company. Without high-pressure processing, it would not have been possible to prepare our prepared dishes with the quality we seek from the raw materials, the fresh products that we use without dyes or preservatives and the traditional preparation of our dishes, points out Elena Rodríguez, director of operations of the MRM Group. Alejandro González, a partner of the Tappers company, expresses himself along the same lines, for whom HPP technology, by extending the shelf life of food, has allowed us to reach other sales channels that would have been impossible otherwise, he clarifies to then explain how this technology has made it possible for them to market their products in other countries and in sectors such as mass catering.

For Alain Guiard, chef and owner of Alain&Gourmand for the HORECA channel, the high pressures are 100% in line with his concept of traditional and innovative cuisine, of developing artisan gastronomic solutions offering a product as freshly prepared in the kitchen of any restaurant.

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Alain Guiard at the Hiperbaric pilot plant.

Variety of products

The implementation of this innovative technology has been experiencing constant growth in recent years, especially in North America where 47% of the market is located. Europe accounts for 25% of the global market, closely followed by Asia, which generates 16% of the business. South America and Oceania each represent 5%, and the presence of this technology in Africa is testimonial with a 1% market share.

The first industrial HPP applications were in Japan in the early 1990s with fruit purees. From then on, its application was extended to a wide variety of foods and beverages. The industries that use cold pressure in Spain are mainly juices and beverages (25%), avocado products, fruits and vegetables (25%), meat products (19%), maquila (9%), fish and shellfish (8%), R+D+i (6%), prepared dishes (6%) and dairy, infant and animal feed (3%).

One of Hiperbaric’s next challenges is to implement this technology in the brewing sector, for which they are already carrying out various tests. The high-pressure processing technique could preserve the aromas and flavor of fresh beer which, in most cases, is pasteurized before going to market, thus eliminating yeasts and a good part of its organoleptic qualities.

Applications in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry

The inactivation of pathogenic microorganisms provided by HPP also allows other applications and the development of organic cosmetic products free of additives. It also makes it possible to further increase the safety of already sterile pharmaceutical products, thanks to microbiological inactivation, and to produce modified proteins with medical or pharmaceutical interest.

Another of the possible applications, following the microbiological inactivation provided by HPP, includes the development of new vaccines with pathogens inactivated by pressure, but conserving or even improving their immunogenicity.

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