For seafood processors looking to gain consumers’ trust and protect their customers, food safety is paramount. High Pressure Processing (HPP) technology from JBT Avure offers a solution for keeping seafood free of pathogens and shell debris, while boosting yield, increasing shelf-life and helping retain nutrients and a fresh-from-the-sea flavor.
Cold pasteurization in cold water, HPP uses ultra-high pressure purified water to inactivate harmful pathogens, such as Listeria, Salmonella, Vibrio bacteria, and E.coli, making seafood safe to eat. At the same time, it plays a crucial role for much of the seafood industry by helping preserve quality and flavor and extending the shelf-life for products like raw fish, shrimps, and lobster by up to 30 days.
Already used extensively by lobster and oyster processors, HPP has significant benefits when it comes to increasing yield. At lower pressures, HPP separates 100% of meat from shells, while it increases the total meat yield by 40% in lobsters compared to 25% when using heat.
Making seafood safe
But arguably food safety is the area where HPP has its most important function.
Every year, an estimated 48 million people fall ill due to foodborne diseases in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with salmonella the leading cause of illness linked to seafood. In the most serious cases – Vibrio vulnificus poisoning from raw seafood – approximately 80,000 people are affected and 100 die in the US every year.
HPP systems from JBT Avure make seafood safe to eat by rendering potentially deadly pathogens inactive. A food safety intervention technology recognized by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as well as other global food safety agencies, HPP inactivates Vibrio bacteria in oysters while shucking them and also inactivates pathogens in items such as shrimp, crab meat and other seafood products.
Boosting yield and shelf-life
From shellfish and crustaceans, HPP enables 100% product yield without loss of quality or nutritional benefits. The process is so effective that a wide range of small to large seafood companies already use HPP for meat separation and the preparation of high-quality meat for sushi and other premium products. This results in a significant saving in labor costs.
HPP’s shelf-life advantages are also considerable. As well as working wonders with shellfish, the technology is also used to extend the shelf-life of salted cod. Stock fish is desalted and HPP’d to extend shelf-life and allow immediate home cooking instead of having to wait three days for desalting.
HPP is even extending into some of the new product areas. HPP is used for the shucking and decontamination of certain shellfish before being turned into pharmaceutical products.
The technology also helps retain the quality and considerable nutritional benefits of seaweed, which is increasingly becoming recognized as a sustainable food source. As well as gradually gaining higher levels of consumer acceptance, seaweed is already widely used in the pharmaceutical industry.