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High pressure-temperature meat sterilisation


Key words High-pressure, protein denaturation, inactivation, meat, sterilization, high pressure processing
Latest version 2010/12/21
Completed by FRIP

How does it work?

Primary objective To prevent meat from overcooking with respect to protein denaturation and microbial contamination while stabilizing it. The quality of high pressure sterilised products is usually superior to conventionally heat sterilised products.
Working principle Overcooking degrades product quality and wastes energy. To prevent heat-induced protein denaturation, high pressure conditions can be used while heating. The thermal denaturation is relatively pre-empted.

It is known while using the high-pressure processing (HPP) at pressures higher than 200 MPa that a strong modification of meat colour and a reduction of water holding capacity. This technology could influence to some extent water holding capacity and colour modifications of beef. Concerning the quality of a meat sauce, while using the HPP, only limited damage of the physico-chemical characteristics were observed in comparison with only thermally processed meat.

Going into detail it was shown that conditions of HPP have no effect on the rate of residual nitrite loss throughout the storage. A decreased of the concentration of some biogenic amines (tyramine, agmatine, and spermine) was proved while using HPP. High pressure sterilisation is a promising method for the production of ambient stable products with improved quality [1-9]

Additional effects Increased hardness of meat can take place with increasing pressure.
Important process parameters The effect of 70°C for 10 minutes must be reached in the meat product centre while thermal processing.
Important product parameters By choosing the appropriate process conditions, it is possible to completely inactivate both vegetative cells and microbial spores resulting in food products that are shelf stable.

What can it be used for?

Products Meat, vegetable
Operations Sterilisation, pasteurisation
Solutions for short comings It restricts the flavour of overcooked meat, efficient from the microbial point of view, safe time and energy within the process.

What can it NOT be used for?

Products Products not included in the line above “product”.
Operations Not known yet.
Other limitations The level of high-pressure and time interval used have to be considered due to the product characteristic.
Risks or hazards The level of used high pressure influences the quality of processed products (colour, water activity, protein quality, product texture i.e.).


Maturity At pilot scale.
Modularity /Implementation This technology can be inserted in an existing production line. Processing in-pack.
Consumer aspects Not expected.
Legal aspects Regulation No. 326/2001 Sb. (valid for the condition of the Czech Republic)

Europe: Novel Food Regulation


Environmental aspects Environmental friendly technology. Doesn’t need so much energy as thermal processing.

Further Information

Institutes Teagasc, CSIC - IATA
References [1] Fernández-Martín, F., Fernández, P., Carballo, J., & Colmenero, F. J. (1997). Pressure/Heat combinations on pork meat batters: Protein thermal behavior and product rheological properties. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 45(11), 4440-4445.

[2] Ruiz-Capillas, C., Aller-Guiote, P., Carballo, J., & Jiménez Colmenero, F. (2006). Biogenic amine formation and nitrite reactions in meat batter as affected by high-pressure processing and chilled storage. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 54(26), 9959-9965.

[3] De Heij, W., Van Schepdael, L., Van Den Berg, R., & Bartels, P. (2002). Increasing preservation efficiency and product quality through control of temperature distributions in high pressure applications. High Pressure Research, 22(3-4), 653-657.

[4] Pierpaolo, R., Squarcina, N., Gola, S., Sandei, L., Iametti, S., & Carpi, G. (2000). Effect of thermal treatment under high pressure on the quality of a meat sauce. High Pressure Research, 19(1-6), 99-107.

[5] Leadley, C., Tucker, G., & Fryer, P. (2008). A comparative study of high pressure sterilisation and conventional thermal sterilisation: Quality effects in green beans. Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies, 9(1), 70-79.

[6] van de Ven, C., Courvoisier, C., & Matser, A. (2007). High pressure versus heat treatments for pasteurisation and sterilisation of model emulsions. Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies, 8(2), 230-236.

[7] Marcos, B., Kerry, J. P., & Mullen, A. M. (2010). High pressure induced changes on sarcoplasmic protein fraction and quality indicators. Meat Science, 85(1), 115-120.

[8] Ma, H. -., & Ledward, D. A. (2004). High pressure/thermal treatment effects on the texture of beef muscle. Meat Science, 68(3), 347-355.

[9] Cofrades, S., Carballo, J., Fernández Martín, F., & Jiménez Colmenero, F. (2002). High pressure/thermal treatments effects on functionality of comminuted muscle from different meat species. High Pressure Research, 22(3-4), 721-723.

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Created by Hamoen on 14 December 2011, at 12:54