HDC in Food Processing

Recent developments in food processing are focused on producing high-quality, pure, and fresh food products as per the consumers demand. The advanced technologies now emphasize on increasing the stability and shelf life of the food products having low/reduced bacterial load, favorable processing conditions, time, and costs with minimal use of chemical preservatives that conserve the high-quality product characteristics. Many techniques including the thermal pasteurization method have been used for microbial inactivation in the food products. However, these thermal methods are unable to prevent the loss of vitamins, flavors, taste, etc., or cause the inactivation of heat-resistant bacteria, which reduce shelf life of products.

To overcome the adverse effect of thermal methods, some nonthermal methods including high hydrostatic pressure processing, electric fields, and cavitation are currently being explored for the pasteurization of fluid foods.

HDC has been found to be an efficient technique for processing the impure food products.  Cavitation has been shown not only destroy the microorganisms but also eliminated the external heat sources that caused cell disruption.

In HDC, the process generally occurs at ambient conditions with no requirement of external heating, and the desired yield can also be achieved at lower operating pressures, unlike high-pressure devices or homogenizers used for the inactivation of microbes.

HDC has been applied for the sterilization of different fluid foods such as apple juice, skimmed milk, and tomato juice. It was found that HDC generated adequate destructive forces for the complete inactivation of vegetative cells of yeast, bacteria, yeast ascospores, and heat-resistant bacterial spores. HDC was found to be an efficient technique for the sterilization of fluid foods by operating the reactor at ambient conditions or low temperature conditions.