Thermal Factors : High Hydrostatic Pressure ( HHP )

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High Hydrostatic Pressure (HHP) High hydrostatic pressure is a non-thermal technique that’s been used since the late 1800s to process foods (Hite, 1899). Its use in large scale processing only began in the last 20 years, due to innovation of new technologies that allowed the construction of high pressure chambers that could withstand the high pressures that the process requires at a reasonable price (Muntean et al., 2016). To work, HHP requires the adjustment of three parameters: temperature, pressure, and exposure time. It works under two principles: 1. Le Chatelier’s principle: if pressure is applied to a system that is in equilibrium, molecules within that system will react to offset that pressure until equilibrium is re-established. These reactions will result in the inactivation of microorganisms and enzymes. 2. Isostatic rule: when pressure is applied to food products, they will compress regardless of the size and geometry of the product. (Chawla, Patil, & Singh, 2011) This process disrupts non-covalent bonds, such as ionic, hydrogen and hydrophobic bonds, due to their susceptibility to pressure. HHP does not affect vitamins and aromatic compounds due to their low molecular weight (Carlez, Rosec, Richard, & Cheftel, 1994). In the case of larger molecules, such as proteins, their structure is lengthened after HHP treatment, which in essence destroys the 3D structure of the large molecule, thus changing the structure of a protein or in the case of enzymes,

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