High pressure technologies keep moving forward

Federico Harte, PhD, Professor of Food Science, Department of Food Science, The Pennsylvania State University

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March 26, 2020, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM


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This presentation will briefly highlight the state of high-pressure technologies, including high hydrostatic pressure, high-pressure homogenization, and high-pressure jets (HPJ), from benchtop to full industrial applications, and will further focus on HPJ processing.

In HPJ, a liquid food is subjected to hydrostatic pressure (up to 600 MPa) and then forced into a restriction to flow in the form of a diamond nozzle. The liquid comes from the nozzle at high speed (up to Mach 4), forming an aerosol that is then recovered into a liquid stream. We investigated the use of HPJ processing to inactive spore-formers in liquid foods and improve the physicochemical properties of dairy and plant proteins. We hypothesized that HPJ processing promotes the expression of interfacial properties of protein monomers that normally exist as quaternary structurers in foods (e.g., casein micelles). Experimental results confirmed that HPJ processing of skim milk can be used to create long lasting foams, stabilize carrageenan-free chocolate milk, and improve the stability of oil-in-water emulsions.

The long-term goal driving research in HPJ is to create protein ingredients to be used where clean label stabilizers, viscosity enhancers, emulsifiers, and foaming agents are needed. I’ll summarize research effort in the Harte Lab ranging from basic projects aiming to understand HPJ-derived protein functionality to applied projects and patents geared towards the successful industrial application of HPJ processing.