For years we have been preserving food through the application of extreme heat. Pasteurization has been the staple in protecting consumers by killing any harmful bacteria by heating a food item to a high enough temperature for a long enough duration. The exact temperature and duration are dependent on the pathogen the food is being treated against. A new method uses high pressure to achieve the same goal.
High Pressure Processing, HPP, sounds frightening in terms of food but in fact is less detrimental to nutritional characteristics than the common method. In common pasteurization temperatures used are so brutal that often vitamins and useful proteins breakdown, in the end the food is safe for consumption but at a degraded nutritional value. In HPP vitamins and proteins are not destroyed, but bacteria within the food item are ruptured.
Pressures used can reach 87,000 psi delivered via a pressurized water bath within a pressure chamber, and some even use moderate heat to further prevent spoilage in certain products.
HPP promises the same level of food safety that heat pasteurization does, but without damaging the nutrients in fruits and vegetables. According to Dr. Barrett, several studies have found that vitamin C is relatively unaffected by the process for instance.
Click here for the full article by Sorina Buzatu.