Food suppliers are finding more efficient ways to meet both retailer and consumer needs with moves to become more transparent in all aspects of production. With more and more products touting USDA organic, non-GMO, and fair-trade certifications, on-label visibility is increasing on grocery store shelves.
And now, the Cold Pressure Council is assuring both retailers and consumers that high-quality products are certified safe with the launch of its new High Pressure Process-certified Seal.
Launched in April 2017, the new HPP Cold Pressure Council is working to develop the best practices for the HPP industry and the new Cold Pressure Consumer Seal, as well as currently completing guidelines for membership and use of the seal. The Cold Pressure Council consists of nine founding members including the following HPP leaders and food companies: Avure Technologies, Hiperbaric, American Pasteurization Company, Universal Pasteurization, Suja, Campbell’s, Evolution Fresh, West Liberty Foods, and Good Foods Group.
The food pasteurization technique High Pressure Processing (HPP) is an innovative technology benefiting food that is recognized by the U.S.’s Food and Drug Administration and here to make waves in food integrity. Used worldwide, HPP is cold pasteurization in pure water that uses ultra-high pressure purified water to keep packaged food pathogen-free and fresh. During the process, food is subject to 87,000 lbs of pressure per-square-inch–the same amount of pressure found at the deepest parts of the ocean. Under such high pressures, bacteria such as Listeria, E. coli, and Salmonella are destroyed.
I sat down to chat with JBT’s Chief Marketing Officer, Lisa Wessels, and President of Perfect Fit Meals, Jasmine Sutherland, to learn more about the HPP process and the new seal set to launch in the first quarter of 2018.
“The whole seal process began when people in the industry realized that there is nothing out there to assure retailers and consumers alike that products have been High Pressure Processed correctly, which led to a wide range of people in the industry coming together to form a council and create guidelines that ensure products are being HPP’d correctly and to standard,” Lisa tells me. “As HPP becomes more known in our industry, anyone interested in becoming HPP-certified can join this council and be subject to a review of their HPP processes. As long as they are doing it correctly, they will be able to put the seal on their products.”
And, the HPP market is already growing thanks to retailer and consumer demand for clean label, high-quality, natural foods. Because it uses cold water rather than hot water, the HPP process helps foods retain and preserve vitamins, nutrients, and taste, extending the shelf life, which reduces food waste, and maintaining the nutrition and sensory quality of food products.
“HPP is a great and emerging technology that allows us to make an honest clean label product with complete transparency,” Jasmine shares with me. “We don’t have to add chemicals and extreme heat, and so we can create and service customers with a hand-crafted, high-quality product. While our products do not have the seal yet, we are very excited about it. The seal adds some uniformity in emerging technology and gives consumers a standard of food. While in the past, consumers had to hunt for things in the grocery store, the HPP seal is here to let retailers and consumers know that a higher bar has been set for that product and its processing.”
The new HPP High Pressure Consumer Seal is similar to the “Organic Seal” in which a third-party organization will verify the food has been HPP’d. Once HPP-certified, food companies can feature the seal on the outside of their consumer packaging. The Cold Pressure Verified seal will appear on juice products early 2018.
“The process of launching the seal is allowing more consumers to become aware of what HPP is and the benefits that come with this technology–which is really what is driving the coming about of the seal,” Lisa continues. “Not to mention, it’s a very attractive seal, with greens and blue symbolizing freshness and an all natural process.”
“The seal is noticeable,” agrees Jasmine. “Retailers can help by drawing extra attention to the seal, but the seal calls itself out on its own. It has a clean and vibrant appeal that will catch consumers while they’re shopping.”
While the first products to showcase the seal include juice, retailers and consumers can expect to see more products like sauces and dips, guacamole, salsa, hummus, salad dressing, ready-to-eat meals, soup, baby food, pet food, and meat touting the HPP-certified seal soon.
For more on what’s shaking up the deli, dairy, and bakery world, keep checking back with Deli Market News.