Polymeric-Based Food Packaging for High-Pressure Processing

Abstract

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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Abbreviations

Al:

Aluminum foil

AlO x :

Aluminum oxide

BOA:

Biaxially oriented polyamide

BON:

Biaxially oriented polyamide (“nylon”) film

BOPP:

Biaxially oriented polypropylene film

CFD:

Computational fluid dynamics

CPP:

Cast polypropylene

C-SAM:

Scanning acoustic microscopy

DSC:

Differential scanning calorimetry

EVA:

Ethylene–vinyl acetate

EVOH:

Ethylene–vinyl alcohol

FT-IR:

Fourier transform infrared

HDPE:

High-density polyethylene

HPP:

High-pressure processing

HP-HT:

High pressure–high temperature

HP-LT:

High pressure–low temperature

KOP:

Polyvinylidene-coated BOPP film

LCP:

Liquid crystalline polymer

LDPE:

Low-density polyethylene

LLDPE:

Linear low-density polyethylene

MRE:

Meals-ready-to-eat

METPET:

Metallized polyethylene terephthalate

P :

Pressure (MPa)

PA:

Polyamide (nylon)

PATS:

Pressure-assisted thermal sterilization

PATP:

Pressure-assisted thermal processing

PE:

Polyethylene

PET:

Polyethylene terephthalate

PHBH:

Poly 3-hydroxy butyrate co 3-hydroxy hexanoate

PP:

Polypropylene

PTFE:

Polytetrafluorethylene

PVDC:

Poly(vinylidene chloride)

PVOH:

Poly(vinyl alcohol)

SEM:

Scanning electron microscopy

SiO x :

Silicon oxide

T :

Temperature (K)

t :

Time (s)

USDA:

US Department of Agriculture

US FDA:

US Food and Drug Administration

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Acknowledgments

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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Keywords

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