Preserving fresh food longer without chemicals

July 8, 2015

Whether it’s turning agricultural plant waste into sustainable food ingredients or growing chicken in a lab, food technology innovators are creating potential solutions to tomorrow’s food supply challenges. This month’s FutureFood 2050 series highlights technology leaders working on innovations to impact our food supply in the decades to come. FutureFood 2050 is an initiative supported by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) that addresses how to feed the world’s expected population of more than nine billion by 2050.

One of this month’s articles showcases the work of Carole Tonello, an industrial researcher and IFT member working on high pressure processing (HPP) advancements to boost the shelf life of food without chemical preservatives. HPP uses intense pressure at chilled or mild temperatures to preserve food with minimal changes, meaning that foods maintain their flavor and nutrients. Developed commercially in the 1990s, HPP is still in its infancy.

At Hiperbaric—a Spain-based designer, manufacturer, and marketer of HPP industrial equipment—Tonello is working to improve the technology with the aim of reducing costs and making HPP more productive and affordable. That way, HPP food products can be priced comparably with chemically and thermally processed foods. The biologist believes that HPP will ultimately lead to better-quality products for consumers who want to eat healthier. In fact, in 10 years, Tonello predicts developed countries will all adopt HPP for fresher and innovative premium, raw or chemical-free products.

FutureFood 2050 article