High Hydrostatic Pressure Processing (HHPP) has gained wider acceptance as a viable technology in the last few years because of its various benefits. The major advantage being that the process is generally independent of sample size and shape, unlike thermal and other non-thermal processes. This project addresses one of the most important issues related to HHPP, i.e., whether the pressure distribution is uniform in a food product. It can safely be assumed that the internal pressure is uniform (isostatic) for liquids and homogeneous solids. However, for heterogeneous solid food samples, the internal pressure may not be uniform. We hypothesize that for heterogeneous meat and poultry products that contain fibers and bones, the internal pressure distribution will not be uniform and the internal pressure will be less than the applied pressure, which may lead to under processing and unsafe products. We have obtained preliminary microbial inactivation data on high pressure processed chicken and turkey samples showing lower lethality near the bones, which supports our hypothesis. The overall objective of our proposed research is to predict and validate non-isostatic nature of HHPP for heterogeneous food samples. It responds to the priority area no. 2 described in section d. Improving Food Quality and Value, program code 93430, of the RFA emphasizing advanced and innovative processing, engineering, and technologies. We will carry out mathematical modeling and numerical simulation of HHPP to predict pressure distribution and its impact on microbial inactivation. The predictions will be validated with experimental data on pressure distribution as well as microbial inactivation. Knowledge of non-uniform pressure distribution is critical to quantify the process lethality, which directly influences the quality and safety of the food product. The results of this research will aid regulatory agencies (such as USDA and USFDA) in developing guidelines for food processors.
|Effective start/end date||9/1/09 → 8/31/11|
- National Institute of Food and Agriculture (National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA))