High-Pressure Processing: A Revolution for the Juice World

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High-Pressure Processing: A Revolution for the Juice World

Over the past 10 years, High-Pressure Processing, widely known as HPP, has revolutionized the safety and preservation techniques within our niche industry of ultra-premium, cold-pressed juices. This innovative technique has completely changed the game for our category, enabling quality-focused juice companies like ours to produce juice that is not only fresher-tasting but also raw and more nutritious, with minimal tradeoffs.

At Raw Juicery, we consider HPP to be the cornerstone of our commitment to offering you the safest, best tasting and highest quality juices you can find anywhere on earth.

What is High-Pressure Processing (HPP)?

High-pressure processing is a safety and preservation method that eliminates the need for thermal pasteurization. Instead, it utilizes extremely intense pressure within a cold environment. Just imagine 90,000 pounds per square inch of pressure applied around our bottles - equivalent to submerging them to the bottom of the deepest part of the ocean in the Mariana Trench. The process is applied at the very final stage of our production after the juices have been bottled.

This is what truly sets HPP apart; it allows for the juice to be left pure and untouched by preservatives or high heat to eliminate potential pathogens, all while leaving the delicate molecular structures of the micronutrients and enzymes in their natural state.

The Wonders of HPP Machines

The true heroes of HPP are the machines themselves. These are not your ordinary machines, they are marvels of modern technology and food science with roots going back to the 17th century when French scientist Blaise Pascal first began discovering the effects of pressure on different fluids. HPP is also known as Pascalization because of Pascal's discoveries with the pressure applications these machines affect on food to the present day.

HPP machines are absolutely gargantuan, sometimes weighing more than 100 tons each. Yes, you read that correctly. Some machines span over 60 ft in length and 14 ft in height. Of course, these machines don't come cheap either, with some of the largest machines costing upwards of 10 million dollars each. The building that houses such a machine must have reinforced concrete floors to support such weight and must also have a ridiculous amount of amperage dedicated to it. We've heard of some folks spending over 2 million dollars in building upgrades alone for just one machine!

However, investment in such advanced technology is what allows us to exist! We simply wouldn't be able to live up to our name without these machines. Delivering the highest quality raw juices in the world is what we live for, and HPP is the best method available for us to do so. While it is a more expensive and laborious process, you'll soon learn why HPP is worth the cost.

How HPP Machines Work

HPP machines have a large chamber within them where the packaged food or juice products are placed. Once ready, the chamber is filled with cold water as a pressure-transmitting medium to create hydrostatic pressure. Once filled, extremely powerful pumps begin blasting even more water inside the chamber, resulting in the water molecules becoming tightly packed together and forming that bottom-of-the-ocean-like pressure.

This extreme pressure is applied evenly around the products for anywhere between 1 to 3 minutes at a time. During those few minutes, any potentially harmful food pathogens such as listeria, e. coli, and Salmonella are utterly decimated, making the products safe for consumption per the FDA's standards. This is all done using chilled water in a refrigerated environment, keeping the products cold throughout the entire process.

HPP vs Traditional Pasteurization

For many years, pasteurization has been the go-to method for preserving juices and is still the most commonly used treatment method within the juice industry. The reason for this is that pasteurization is a much easier process to apply and far less costly than HPP.  Pasteurization machines cost mere pennies in comparison to HPP, ranging in the thousands of dollars instead of the millions. They're also relatively low maintenance and use a fraction of the energy in comparison to HPP machines, as they're essentially just big pots for cooking juice.

Additionally, pasteurization allows for the juice to become shelf-stable, extending the shelf life for years without requiring refrigeration. Logistically, pasteurized juice is far more salable for transport and mass distribution in comparison, as raw juice has a much shorter shelf life and requires constant refrigeration.

While the benefits of thermal pasteurization may sound great from a business standpoint, the tradeoff is that it destroys the delicate micronutrient structures, enzymes, and any bioelectric properties that would otherwise survive the harsh heat. The natural taste and flavors of the ingredients are irreparably altered or ruined completely in comparison to their raw form, and the benefits of the juice are dramatically reduced.

The Unmatched Benefits of HPP Juice

Preserving Nutrients & Enzymes

Perhaps the most compelling reason we choose HPP is its superior ability to retain the delicate nutrient structures intact, maximizing the nutritional value and health benefits of the ingredients. When compared to traditional pasteurization, HPP will always come out on top for nutrient preservation. But that's not all - enzymes, the extremely important catalysts that dissolve proteins, fats, and sugars into tiny digestible molecules, are also preserved with HPP. This means that when you drink HPP juice, you actually get to experience all of the health benefits that raw juice has to offer.

Keeping the Flavor Real

Combined with our cold-press method of extraction, HPP allows us to maintain the juice's most authentic taste directly as it was from inside the fruit or vegetable. Anyone who does a side-by-side can taste the difference almost immediately in comparison to pasteurized juice; the flavor difference is unequivocally on the side of HPP. Don't just take our word for it - we have thousands of reviews you can check out to back it up.

The heat from pasteurization changes and denatures almost every molecule of the juice, and that becomes immediately apparent once consumed. The bottom line: cooking the juice, kills the juice- and ruins the flavor!

Reasonably Extends the Shelf Life

HPP significantly increases the shelf life of our juices, otherwise, they'd spoil in about 3 days. The caveat here is that HPP juice must continue to be refrigerated to achieve the 30-80 days shelf life it grants us. Unlike pasteurized juice that can last for years inside hot warehouses and pantries, HPP juice is still raw and must be treated as such. The short shelf life extension while under refrigeration that HPP gives us is a sensible tradeoff to maintain our quality and flavor, while allowing us a reasonable amount of time to hold an inventory of juices and our customers enough time to drink them.

Raw Juicery: Our Commitment to HPP

Here at Raw Juicery, we do things a little differently than the average juice company. We champion the things that separate an excellent product from a world full of average ones. We don't take shortcuts on our ingredients and certainly not with our processing methods.

We'll continue to harness the wonders of high pressure through the use of HPP machines because they're absolutely the best option today for giving us the freshest tasting, raw, and nutritious juices possible. Pasteurization? Heck no. We're all about keeping our products raw and in their natural state, and we invite you to try the difference if you haven't yet.