The market for high-pressure processed food is expected to hit $18bn by 2018; an expert from HPP provider Hiperbaric shares some of the strongest factors behind the technology’s global growth.
Intelligence firm Markets and Markets reports sales of HPP equipment will reach $600m and sales of HPP-produced product will climb to $12bn by 2018. Pancho Purroy, Hiperbaric’s technical sales manager for Europe and Asia-Pacific, spoke with FoodProductionDaily about the factors behind the surge in HPP’s popularity, and where the greatest opportunities lie.
What are some of the key factors behind the growth in HPP?
The food industry is increasingly moving toward new product development and innovative propositions. HPP is a natural, environmentally friendly process that respects the ingredient and helps maintain the fresh food characteristics like flavor and nutrients.
Natural products that have not been overheated retain their organoleptic properties and appearance—quite demanded nowadays that there’s less time for cooking due to life’s high speed; quality and good price also are demanded. Also, the distribution chain for “clean label” products has been improved, allowing companies to reach new markets.
HPP is a real alternative to traditional thermal and chemical treatments. It controls microbial safety in already packaged products, and shelf life is multiplied by up to five times, while maintaining all the freshness of natural flavoring ingredients and homemade taste.
The technology also has evolved greatly in the last decade; HPP industrial systems now are much more productive, much more reliable and available, easier to integrate into the production lines, and cheaper to run and to maintain.
What markets and parts of the world have seen the strongest growth?
The growth still is mainly seen in the “traditional” markets for HPP: North America and Europe. America is the strongest market, with 56% of industrial HPP machines installed, followed by Europe with 24%. However, increased interest is being observed elsewhere, and there are plenty of Hiperbaric HPP machines now too in Japan and Korea, in Australia and New Zealand; we also are starting to penetrate in South America, China, and ASEAN.
Regarding HPP applications for food products, most are HPP meat products, followed by vegetable products, such as guacamole, salsas, dips. The juice and beverage sector is becoming more popular; in the last two years, the strongest growth has been observed in the premium, cold-pressed juice category.
Which markets and regions have untapped potential in HPP?
The Asian continent is a market of great potential, and we are starting to tackle it. In the last two years, the first HPP industrial machines have been sold in China, Thailand, and Russia.
In the same way, South America is waking up to the use of HPP technologies and now we have installations in Peru, Chile, and Brazil. From both emerging regions we see increased interest and a growing number of enquiries and projects.
Are there any obstacles that remain to growth in HPP?
On the technology/machinery side, one of the historical barriers has been that the technology requires significant investment. That barrier is being put down by the fact that now there is plenty of option to toll process—use someone else’s capacity rather than investing directly in your own HPP system.
How do things look from Hiperbaric’s point of view—are you seeing a surge in sales?
Looking back at our evolution and progress in the past 10 years of Hiperbaric’s history, we really cannot complain. We have been growing over 20% every year since 2005; the outlook is promising and continued organic growth is expected.
Any news you can share?
We have sold our second Hiperbaric 525 system, the largest and most productive machine in the world; fully integrated, with no external modules or cabinets, easy to install and commission and occupying a reduced footprint in the factories.