High-pressure Processing: Kinetic Models for Microbial and Enzyme Inactivation
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High-pressure processing (HPP) has become the most widely accepted nonthermal food preservation technology. The pressure range for commercial processes is typically around 100-600 MPa, whereas moderate temperature (up to 65 °C) may be used to increase microbial and enzymatic inactivation levels. However, these industrial processing conditions are insufficient to achieve sterilization since much higher pressure levels (>1,000 MPa) would be required to inactivate bacterial endospores and enzymes of importance in food preservation. The next generation of commercial pressure processing units will operate at about 90-120 °C and 600-800 MPa for treatments defined as pressure-assisted thermal processing or pressure-assisted thermal sterilization if the commercial food sterilization level required is achieved. Most published HPP kinetic studies have focused only on pressure effects on the microbial load and enzyme activity in foods and model systems. Published work on primary and secondary models to predict simultaneously the effect of pressure and temperature on microbial and enzymatic inactivation kinetics is still incomplete. Moreover, few references provide a detailed and complete analysis of the theoretical, empirical, and semiempirical kinetic models proposed to predict the level of microbial and enzyme inactivation achieved. This review organizes these published kinetic models according to the approach used and then presents an in-depth and critical revision to define the modeling research needed to provide commercial users with the computational tools needed to develop and optimize pasteurization and sterilization pressure treatments. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York.