Lincoln, NE – With demands for safer pet food on the rise, Universal Cold Storage has introduced a new effective process for making it safer – applying 87,000 pounds of pressure to it.
Research conducted at the High Pressure Processing Laboratory at Virginia Tech University, found that applying extreme pressure to food products was an effective means of pasteurizing them f0r safe consumption. “We find that it has been really very useful and it has such great potential in terms of pasteurizing without heat processing,” said Laura Douglas, a research associate and lab manager.
The high pressure disrupts bacteria such as E. coli, listeria and salmonella on a cellular level, leaving the food pathogen-free. Since it is a natural process the government does not require labeling to state that is pasteurized, which appeals to natural and organic pet food makers.
Companies like Universal have begun adding High Pressure Processing to their food processing systems to reduce food recalls and safety concerns. The research has found that not only does the pressure processing extend the shelf life beyond current heat pasteurization limits, but it also has no effect on taste like heat pasteurization does. Other than the cost of the equipment to get started, estimated at $2.5 million, there is no downside for food makers to consider adding it across the board.
Nature’s Valley is an early-adopter of the process, and they have contracted with Universal to provide the service to their products. More pet food makers are expected to follow, as are other companies looking to become a partner to food producers not eager to make the investment, or who lack the space in their facilities.