A review article published on October 28, 2018, in the peer-reviewed journal Food Research International, by Luis Marangoni Junior and Carlos Alberto Rodrigues Anjos from the Department of Food Technology, School of Food Engineering, University of Campinas, Sao Paolo, Brazil, focused on the “effects of high-pressure processing on characteristics of flexible packaging for foods and beverages.”
The authors explain that high-pressure processing is “an emerging food preservation technology that causes minimal product quality loss.” This technique allows extending the shelf life of packaged foods while keeping most of their nutritional qualities unaffected. However, it is “extremely important” to select suitable packaging materials, the authors caution, because such processing “can cause changes in the visual aspects and in the physicochemical and mechanical properties of the materials, compromising the shelf life and safety of high-pressure processed foods.” In particular, there could be “relevant effects on the mechanical, barrier, and thermal properties and the migration and diffusion potential of intentional[ly] and non-intentional[ly added] substances.”
The authors reviewed literature published on the topic and observed that “some information is already consolidated, such as the requirements that the packaging must present to package [high-pressure] processed foods,” which include “flexibility, robustness, head space reduction, head seal integrity and dimensional stability.” However, with regard to the effects “on the morphology, functional properties, and migration potential of flexible packaging” subjected to high-pressure processing, “studies are still limited and the results are not homogeneous.” Therefore, there is a need for a “greater scientific advance along with the industry to obtain a deeper understanding of the real effects that this technology can cause to packaging.”
Among the packaging structures that can be “significantly affected” by high-pressure processing, the authors highlighted “organic coatings such as metallization and structure laminated with aluminum foil.”
Marangoni Junior, L., and Anjos, C. (2018). “Effect of high-pressure processing on characteristics of flexible packaging for foods and beverages.” Food Research International (published October 28, 2018).