• Research studies report that high pressure processing (HPP) is one the most efficient interventions to control foodborne viruses
  • Dr Carole Tonello, commercial & HPP applications director at Hiperbaric, indicates HPP is the best alternative against foodborne pathogens and viruses
  • Hiperbaric, HPP equipment manufacturer for the food industry, guarantees uninterrupted service and supply to customers processing staple foods, without endangering the health of their employees.

The ongoing pandemic linked to coronavirus COVID-19 alerts millions of people around the globe and raises concerns about the way the virus spreads. Dr Carole Tonello, with in engineering degree on Food Technology and applications director at Hiperbaric, highlights, "there is no evidence that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted through food".

Viruses from the coronavirus family (CoV), like the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), induce respiratory infections in animals and humans. Symptoms associated with the infection of the latest COVID-19 discovered by the end of 2019, induces fever, cough, breathing difficulties, muscle pain, and fatigue. "Contact with infected patients is the main transmission source for COVID-19 and other respiratory virus, although other viruses like norovirus, hepatitis, rotavirus, and Aichi virus also infect patients through water or food" says Dr Tonello.

Nonetheless, the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) and an article of the Food Safety Magazine report there is no evidence of COVID-19 transmission through foods or packaging. Both sources also state that hygiene control and current good manufacturing practices (cGMP’s) in food processing facilities serve as the first barrier against viruses and other pathogens. Therefore, "the probability of acquiring COVID-19 through packaged foods is low, particularly if the product has been subjected to other interventions, minimizing foodborne pathogens like high pressure processing", Dr. Tonello indicates.

HPP inactivates foodborne pathogens to ensure food safety

Raw foods are common sources of foodborne outbreaks, but improper handling of cooked and ready-to-eat (RTE) meals can also contaminate products with Listeria and other foodborne pathogens like virus. If the product did not receive a post-packaging intervention, food safety relies on the hygiene and adequate handling during distribution, at retail, and consumers. Alternatively, the use of chemical preservatives slows down the growth of microorganisms associated with foodborne illness or product spoilage.

The HPP equipment manufactured by Hiperbaric, ensures food safety and keeps nutritious, tasty foods, while notably reducing or eliminating the use of chemical preservatives. HPP is a non-thermal food processing technology that uses cold water (5-25 °C) at high pressure (4000-6000 bar) to inactivate pathogenic microorganisms, parasites, and virus. HPP is applied to foods contained in its final packaging, notably reducing the likelihood of recontamination in subsequent handling.

Some viruses like COVID-19 are contained within a lipid layer known as envelope, which may be disrupted under high pressure. Dr. Tonello established, "It is well reported that HPP effectively inactivates enveloped virus like the avian influenza (AIV), herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), and avian metapneumovirus (aMPV). Published research suggests HPP will likely render a favorable outcome against COVID-19, but this still needs to be experimentally demonstrated".

Hiperbaric guarantees service and supply of customers in the food industry

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic reinforces Hiperbaric’s commitment with their customers, and their social responsibility to help with the continuous supply of food in this critical situation. "Employee safety and customer support are our priority. Our customers are food companies that continue to produce staple foods. Hiperbaric guarantees to continue providing customers with the technical support and supplies needed to keep food production running", stressed Andrés Hernando, Hiperbaric CEO.

Hiperbaric guarantees service and supply of customers in the food industry

Hiperbaric designs, develops, manufactures, and sells HPP industrial equipment all throughout the world since its foundation in 1999. The company is renowned by their reliability, customer support, team work, and continuous R+D+I efforts.

Hiperbaric has experience with clients in more than 40 countries and industrial equipment installed in five continents, making them the leaders in the development of HPP technology, with the most reliable and economical machines on the market.

Hundreds of companies in the world use Hiperbaric’s equipment for the processing of juices and beverages, meat, fish and seafood, fruits and vegetables, dairy and ready-to-eat meals. It is therefore a highly versatile technology that can be applied to a wide range of foods.

With headquarters located in Burgos (Spain), international delegation in Miami (USA) and commercial and technical representation offices in Mexico, Asia and Oceania, Hiperbaric continues to explore HPP technology with new applications in different industrial sectors.

For more information visit: www.hiperbaric.com.