High-pressure processing is the perfect non-thermal method to increase the shelf life of plant-based foods such as fruit and vegetable-based dips, spreads, ready-to-eat wet salads, dressings and marinades, condiments, meat analogues, and non-dairy cheese. HPP inactivates foodborne pathogens and spoilage microorganisms, thus extending the shelf life and ensuring food safety.
In fact, high pressure processing of plant-based foods have been commercially marketed well before the term plant- based became as popular as we know it today. Examples include tofu, salsa, hummus, and avocado based products.
Hummus as well as tomato and fruit-based salsas are an ideal high-pressure application. Without HPP, these products have very short shelf-life and a high risk for food safety issues. Another example is avocado based products such as guacamole. HPP guacamole, avocado halves, slices and pulp is one of the largest categories of HPP treated products.
Without HPP treatment, these products spoil quickly. When treated with high pressure and with no preservatives, shelf life is significantly extended, food-safety is ensured, and nutrients and fresh taste are kept intact.
Regarding avocado products, HPP does not inactivate the enzyme responsible for oxidation, hence browning. When combining HPP with other manufacturing steps that remove oxygen and use the correct packaging materials, enzymatic browning from PPO activity can be prevented.