High pressure process (HPP) challenge testing
High pressure process (HPP) challenge testing is a method used to show that micro-organisms are successfully reduced to acceptable levels. The method can be used for pathogenic or food spoilage micro-organisms. High pressure processing is a non-thermal pasteurisation technique which uses ultra-high pressure (typically up-to 600 MPa) to inactivate micro-organisms .
Microbial inactivation with HPP can be influenced by the properties of food, such as pH, water activity, fat or protein content. Demonstrating the effectiveness of the pressure, temperature and time combination used for specific food or drink to reduce micro-organisms is critically important. The primary technique for doing this is challenge testing.
A challenge test provides scientific evidence for due diligence requirements. The food or drink product is inoculated with a known quantity of a target organism and processed with HPP. The organism is recovered from the treated food and the lethality of the HPP process is assessed.
We have decades of experience conducting challenge testing using traditional and emerging preservation technologies. Our class II laboratories and laboratory-scale high pressure system enables us test a wide range of micro-organisms, including pathogens such as Clostridium botulinum.
We also provides expert advice on best practice for labeling non-thermally pasteurised products. Cold press, ultra high pressure (UHP) and high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) are all terms sometimes used to describe HPP. Their definitions are sometimes not clear or applied consistently.
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Where we refer to UKAS Accreditation
Campden BRI (Chipping Campden) Limited is a UKAS accredited testing laboratory No. 1079 Campden BRI (Nutfield) is a UKAS accredited testing laboratory No. 1207