Polymeric-Based Food Packaging for High-Pressure Processing


High-pressure processing (HPP) of foods mainly utilizes flexible packaging materials for commercial products. Many materials have been evaluated for their adequacy in the process. There are a number of integrity requirements for these packaging materials that must be complied with for acceptance and use in different product applications. These include visual integrity, gas permeability, seal and physical strength properties, and global migration of packaging components into the food, some of which are specific to either refrigerated or shelf-stable products. Different laminate options reported in the literature were reviewed in this article with the aim of classifying suitable packaging materials for HPP at both low- and high-temperature conditions according to these requirements. Packaging materials currently utilized in industry are also listed. The suitability of standards to assess requirement deviations after HPP is also discussed. Current scientific literature has shown to lack information on one or more of these requirements to provide a complete picture for their suitability. Studies have shown that EVOH-based and other high-pressure–high-temperature-treated materials do not follow the barrier requirements established by the US Army for shelf-stable products. However, they still show potential for their utilization in the development of commercial products. The importance of package headspace on package integrity is also highlighted. Studies on transport phenomena such as material sorption and diffusion of components from the food and the pressurization fluid are described. Methods such as SEM, C-SAM, DSC, FT-IR, and X-Ray diffraction provide complementary information to assess the structural and barrier changes observed during HPP. The article concludes by providing preliminary recommendations according to specific requirements that are met after the process. Other types of materials not yet evaluated for HPP are presented as potential alternatives to be explored for this technology.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3



Aluminum foil

AlO x :

Aluminum oxide


Biaxially oriented polyamide


Biaxially oriented polyamide (“nylon”) film


Biaxially oriented polypropylene film


Computational fluid dynamics


Cast polypropylene


Scanning acoustic microscopy


Differential scanning calorimetry


Ethylene–vinyl acetate


Ethylene–vinyl alcohol


Fourier transform infrared


High-density polyethylene


High-pressure processing


High pressure–high temperature


High pressure–low temperature


Polyvinylidene-coated BOPP film


Liquid crystalline polymer


Low-density polyethylene


Linear low-density polyethylene




Metallized polyethylene terephthalate

P :

Pressure (MPa)


Polyamide (nylon)


Pressure-assisted thermal sterilization


Pressure-assisted thermal processing




Polyethylene terephthalate


Poly 3-hydroxy butyrate co 3-hydroxy hexanoate






Poly(vinylidene chloride)


Poly(vinyl alcohol)


Scanning electron microscopy

SiO x :

Silicon oxide

T :

Temperature (K)

t :

Time (s)


US Department of Agriculture


US Food and Drug Administration


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The authors are very grateful for the information provided by Dr. Carole Tonello at NC Hyperbaric. We would also like to thank Mr. Michael Kelly from CSIRO for his contribution as CSIRO internal reviewer.

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Correspondence to Pablo Juliano.

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Juliano, P., Koutchma, T., Sui, Q. et al. Polymeric-Based Food Packaging for High-Pressure Processing. Food Eng. Rev. 2, 274–297 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12393-010-9026-0

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  • Packaging
  • High-pressure processing
  • Pouch
  • Sterilization
  • Pasteurization
  • Shelf stable
  • Food