Coldpress sees HPP potential in dairy and ‘dairy alternative’ drinks

Glass of chocolate milk (USDA/Flickr)

The MD of pioneering HPP juice brand Coldpress says he sees potential for dairy and dairy alternative drinks manufactured using the technology.

Andrew Gibb of Coldpress Foods, was asked during last week’s Beverage & Dairy Treatment Technology 2015 event – organized with our sister site, you can still access the content for free here – whether HPP had ever been tried with dairy products.

“Because of the protein content of dairy, with regard to the shelf life that you get from HPP by processing fresh milk, you don’t get the same extended shelf life,” he replied.

“That said, probably the favorite product I’ve ever made, in my early days [prior to Coldpress Gibb founded Donny Boy Fresh Food, now Preshafood, in Australia, using HPP technology] was some flavored milk – with fresh milk and added iced coffee.

“Because we’re not pasteurizing it the flavor intensity of the products with dairy and HPP is terrific.”

'Terrific' flavor intensity

However, from a cost-benefit standpoint – mainly due to its shelf life, there hadn’t been much pursuit of dairy products with HPP to date, Gibb added, noting how widely the technology is now used to extend the shelf life of juice.

Asked by Rachel Arthur from if he saw dairy as something Coldpress might focus on in the future, Gibb – you can still register for free to view his presentation slot here – replied in the affirmative.

“Absolutely, and also the dairy alternatives such as soy almond milk, rice milk – mixing them with fruit. They’re some of the products we’re looking to get on the agenda under the Coldpress name that we’re actually got under development at the moment,” he said.

“So yeah – there’s a lot of potential. It’s not just fruit that we can apply the technology to.”

That said, Gibb explained that the big downside of HPP versus normal pasteurization – is the fact that it is a batch process, i.e. you can’t fill bottles using continuous filling line – bottles are first filled with unpasteurized juice, then loaded into a pressure vessel filled with potable water. Further water is pumped into the vessel to increase the pressure (to up to a maximum of 87,000 psi), which is transferred through the water into the food for a specific 'hold time', typically 1-2 minutes for juices.

Coldpress drives down cost in HPP

“You can’t run a single line processing hundreds of thousands of bottles per hour, because it’s a batch process – it all depends on how efficient your manufacturing process is,” Gibb said.

“At Coldpress we’ve been obsessed – whether it’s bottle design (an efficiently shaped hexagonal bottle to maximize capacity) or the machines we use, or how we cut up our manufacturing lines – we’re obsessed at getting the products out as cheaply as possible,” he added.

“Interestingly though, the amount of energy that a HPP uses is comparable to a gas-fired boiler from a pasteurization point of view. When you consider that a lot of juices have multiple pasteurization – HPP uses a lot less energy, but obviously the equipment is a lot more expensive in the first place.”

“If you’ve got a good high pressure machine that’s scalable is £2m [$3.04m], so you want to make sure that you work that kit as hard as possible – because you can be running it for up to 20 hours a day.”

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