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HIPSTER Report Summary

Project ID: 635643
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.2.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HIPSTER (Deployment of high pressure and temperature food processing for sustainable, safe and nutritious foods with fresh-like quality)

Reporting period: 2015-03-01 to 2016-02-29

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

High pressure and temperature (HPT) processing is a candidate technology to obtain food products with high quality and extended shelf life. This novel technology, which has been validated at small scale, has also shown potential to reduce energy and water consumption, operation costs and to improve the sustainability of both production process and the food chain. However, this promising technology is not currently implemented at industrial level due to several technical, legal and market barriers which have so far hindered its scale-up, mainly:
- The lack of knowledge on the inactivation mechanisms and decision making tools enabling food industry to apply and control suitable treatments. In addition, its added value (best quality product) compared to current treatments must be demonstrated
- The unavailability of suitable industrial equipment and process parameters control tools

HIPSTER addresses the main barriers preventing the first market introduction and full deployment of HPT technology. The overall objective of the project is to develop and demonstrate fit for use knowledge, tools and industrial equipments in order to effectively implement this milder processing technology in the food industry. Specific objectives are:
- Development of affordable equipment at industrial scale suitable for the implementation of high pressure-temperature (HPT) processing
- Definition of minimum process variables by means of the evaluation of microbiological risks for the main pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms of concern. A public database containing microbial kinetic parameters, determined under well defined processing conditions will be generated. The database will include new knowledge and data already available.
- Verification and validation of the solutions in an industrial environment, including compliance with legal requirements, economic feasibility, and sustainability
The project will unlock the potential of this technology paving the way for its first market application. HIPSTER will generate new business opportunities for equipment manufacturers and food producers, and will eventually support the competitiveness of the European food sector.

HIPSTER will be implemented by an industry-driven consortium comprising 5 industries (both technology providers and end users) and 4 RTD organisations.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The general objective of this activity is to define pressure-, temperature- and time-dependent (p/T/t) process windows that are suitable for the production of safe and stable food products.
Initially food products and core process windows (p/T/t) to be used for inactivation studies were defined. It was ensured that the compositions of these products can promote growth from typical food spoilage and safety-relevant bacterial spore formers.
The two RTOs, CNTA and Teagasc, focus on the inactivation of relevant strains of spore-forming spoilage organisms in the selected food products. To demonstrate the beneficial effect of HPT (high pressure thermal) treatments in comparison to thermal treatments alone, heat inactivation studies in the same temperature range as during HPT treatments are conducted.
Data on the inactivation of typical food spoilage associated spores is complemented by experiments conducted at TUM and investigating the HPT-mediated inactivation of spores of the food safety determinant C. botulinum. In addition to experiments in the selected food products, TUM focuses on the effects of food components on inactivation results by using defined food model systems with varying fat and protein contents, water activity and pH values.
Relatively low process temperatures during HPT processes are desired to limit adverse effects on food quality. However, in summary, results obtained in the first period indicate that process temperatures of or below 95 °C are insufficient to ensure safety and stability of the selected food products. Further experiments will clarify, which temperatures are required. Other significant conclusions are:
- Significant inactivation effect during pressure come-up
- A synergistic effect between pressure and temperature is observed for specifc microorganisms. Then HPT could allow reducing the time and/or the temperature of the preservation treatment.

The main objective of this activity is to design, develop and construct of a full-scale HPT processing equipments, including auxiliary units covering the steps of preheating and cooling necessary to achieve the quality and safety specifications targeted. The processing conditions will be monitored by means of suitable sensors.
In addition to the development of calculations according to the standards for the development of the vessel, the necessary elements have been developed by METRONICS in this period:
- HPT cylindrical vessel, with internal circuits, isolation shell and lids.
- Push-pull system to introduce hot baskets in and out of the vessel-
- Stainless steel baskets
- Basket manipulator from and to the hot and cold baths.
- Fast loading and downloading system.
A patent has been registered with the concept of the HPT system.
The preheating system has been explored and defined by TOP. A suitable temperature sensor has also been selected by this organization. A specific container was developed to perform the monitoring tests with this sensor.

The objective is to validate and demonstrate the previous results and developments in operational conditions in real foods:
In the first period of the project, a tool and model for simulating the heat load of typical HPT process parameters was developed by TOP. In addition, ACTALIA started the LCA analysis with the current preservation processing in order to compare its eco-efficiency with the innovative HPT solution.

The dissemination and exploitation activities of HIPSTER uses a set of communications tools to promote and inform relevant stakeholders and the general public about the project. A key part in this activity is the effective communication to stakeholders for exploitation purposes. A second, equally important element is enhancement of user acceptance of the new HPT technology.
In the first 12 months of the project, the following Dissemination and Communication tools have been developed and used to achieve the communcation and dissemination objectives:
- Production of the first Dissemination and Communication Plan.
- Creationof the HIPSTER logo.
- Creationof the HIPSTER website.
- Provision of an internal web-based communication platform for sharing documents.
- Production of a HIPSTER brochure and Poster Design.
- Production and dissemination of the first two journalistic articles on HPT.
- Production and disseminationof the first eNewsletter on HIPSTER.
- Revision of the communication and dissemination activity.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

HIPSTER will lead to benefits for food producers as they will profit from manufacturing higher quality products with an improvement in the conditions required for storage and an increase in process efficiency (less energy/water use is expected). The value-added food products to be produced will also open new markets e.g. food service and food transport sector (plane, train, boat cruises). Thereby, it will be possible to reach new markets worldwide extending the export radius. Producers of high pressure processing equipment will profit from a new business line.

The possibility of storing and displaying high quality foods at ambient temperature combined with longer shelf life will generate economic savings to food retailers by reducing the need for regular stocking. This will reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation and will ultimately reduce the cost of managing waste because of shelf-life end. Thus, benefits are expected in terms of environmental sustainability.

Consumers will benefit, not only from improved safety, but also from attractive, healthy and safe products in a more convenient format. These new types of foods cannot be produced using conventional thermal processing methods or current HPP.

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