Basic HPP Principles

Various physical and chemical changes result from the application of pressure. Generally, physical compression during pressure treatment results in a volume reduction and an increase in temperature and energy (Heremans, 2003). In predicting the effect of HPP on foods, it is necessary to consider the net combined pressure-temperature effect of the process.

Le Chatelier's principle governs the behavior of foods under pressure: Any phenomenon (phase transition, change in molecular configuration, chemical reaction) accompanied by a decrease in volume is enhanced by pressure. Accordingly, pressure shifts due to differences between the compressibility of air and water, and unless the food is perfectly elastic and consists of closed-cell foam from which air cannot escape, the food will not be restored to its original size and shape. As a result, foods like strawberries are crushed by HPP, but an air-filled balloon does not burst (Balasubramaniam, Farkas, Turek, et al., 2015).

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