It’s not easy getting into high-pressure processing. You might even say there’s a lot of…pressure.
As a novel and unique processing method that requires specialized equipment, high pressure processing is daunting for beginners. That includes contract manufacturers as well as end users. A processor who wants to use HPP but doesn’t want to buy an expensive machine (or doesn’t have anywhere to put it) needs to enlist a third party. That will almost certainly be a “toll processor,” as HPP people call them – a contractor who does HPP exclusively.
“The main advantage of using a toller is accessing the technology without worrying if you have enough volume to fill the unit’s capacity,” says Joe Swanson, vice president of operations at West Liberty Foods, a contract manufacturer with HPP tolling capacity.
“Also, using a toller allows customers to introduce new products that may have an uncertain future, avoiding the capital equipment expense,” he continues. “Tollers also can provide technical knowledge to customers who are new to the industry.” West Liberty Foods uses HPP equipment from Hiperbaric.
Using a toll processor is still a big commitment, especially for processors who have decided on HPP treatment for most or all of their output. Because of the nature of HPP processing and the kind of food it’s intended for, the toller has to be able to handle all customers according to a strict schedule, with the logistics buttoned down.
HPP is used to extend the shelf life of refrigerated foods and beverages. When dealing with products whose shelf life is measured in days, getting them where they’re going quickly is a top priority. That means proximity will always be one of the biggest factors in choosing a toller
Read more: How To Choose an HPP Toller