Review Paper

Food and Environmental Virology

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 1-12

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

High Pressure Processing and its Application to the Challenge of Virus-Contaminated Foods

  • David H. KingsleyAffiliated withUSDA Agricultural Research Service, Delaware State University Email author 


High pressure processing (HPP) is an increasingly popular non-thermal food processing technology. Study of HPP’s potential to inactivate foodborne viruses has defined general pressure levels required to inactivate hepatitis A virus, norovirus surrogates, and human norovirus itself within foods such as shellfish and produce. The sensitivity of a number of different picornaviruses to HPP is variable. Experiments suggest that HPP inactivates viruses via denaturation of capsid proteins which render the virus incapable of binding to its receptor on the surface of its host cell. Beyond the primary consideration of treatment pressure level, the effects of extending treatment times, temperature of initial pressure application, and matrix composition have been identified as critical parameters for designing HPP inactivation strategies. Research described here can serve as a preliminary guide to whether a current commercial process could be effective against HuNoV or HAV.


High pressure processing Foodborne viruses Bivalve shelfish Produce Oysters Clams Mussels