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Company leverages innovative process to keep food fresher for longer without preservatives: 'We're ahead of the curve'

"The back of the label is much shorter because it's all natural ingredients. And you're still getting a fresh product."

"The back of the label is much shorter because it's all natural ingredients. And you’re still getting a fresh product."

Photo Credit: iStock

Food waste is a real problem in the United States. According to Feeding America, 80 million tons of food is wasted every year, accounting for 38% of all food and an estimated $444 billion worth of produce. 

One Ohio company is looking to reduce those figures using an innovative method to ensure that food stays in top condition longer. 

As detailed by WOSU, Hydro Pressure + Pack takes advantage of high-pressure processing to seal foods and help keep them fresh and flavorful. 

The company was formed off the back of Innovation Food Services, which is well-versed in the need to preserve food as a provider of meals to schools and elderly care sites. 

Freezing is a good way to make food last, but the company was concerned that the process impacted taste. So, it was necessary to uncover a way to bring fresh food to the kitchen to be turned into tasty meals, and multiple tests revealed high-pressure packaging was the most effective solution. 

As Troy Hall, vice president of operations for Innovation Food, described it to WOSU, "high-pressure processing applies extreme water pressure, eliminating pathogenic bacteria without compromising meal quality."

"First and foremost, you're not adding preservatives [with this system]," Hall said. "The back of the label is much shorter because it's all natural ingredients. And you're still getting a fresh product when it comes out on the other end."

Indeed, the lack of preservatives is a boost, as some can be harmful to health, such as monosodium glutamate, aka MSG; sodium nitrite; and high-fructose corn syrup. 

Meanwhile, long-lasting food means significantly less wastage, and Innovation Food Services can reach customers nationwide with freshness ensured despite long-distance travel.

"Lots of folks have eaten something that has run through the HPP process," Hall said. "We're seeing grocery chains wanting to push their partners in utilizing this process so products have a longer shelf life. We're ahead of the curve, and we expect this technology to take off."

Making food last longer at home doesn't necessarily require state-of-the-art technology, though. For example, freezing leftover pasta sauce is a great way to stop it from going bad, while buying the right containers for fruits and vegetables improves their shelf lives. 

Furthermore, planning your meals in advance can stop you from buying unnecessary products that might rot or pass their use-by dates, and it will help reduce the cost of a weekly grocery shop. 

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