CTI’s patent-pending HPP-indicator technology is delivered via an ink that can be printed on the exterior of most packages for the marketplace. The ink is clear when printed and then increases in color as it’s exposed to the very high isostatic pressures found in the HPP process. The first generation of technology can differentiate between pressure exposure <20,000 psi, 20,000 psi, 30,000 psi and >40,000 psi.
The CTI technology is applied like all conventional inks in packaging, and is currently available in water-based and ultraviolet (UV) cured inks. Solvent-based inks will be available in the future if the demand justifies the development expense.
Also known as High Pressure Processing, HPP treatment is used within the food and beverage industries. The HPP machines are specially designed to inactivate pathogenic bacteria and thereby extend shelf-life. Conventional pasteurization uses high temperatures, which degrade the taste and nutritional value of foods and beverages.
One of HPP’s great advantages is that the product subjected to HPP looks identical to products that have not undergone HPP treatment. This is also one of its great weaknesses: it is impossible to know by visual inspection whether or not a product has been HPP-treated. This creates a challenge for everyone in the supply-chain. CTI has developed a technology to address this challenge.
HPP is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). HPP eliminates bacteria through high pressure, and it can be used for both organic and natural foods. Additionally, HPP can be conducted at refrigerated temperatures. As such, HPP does not alter heat-sensitive foods such as meats, fruits and vegetables. While the benefits of HPP include a lengthy history, modern advances have shown that, in addition to the health benefits, the HPP process allows a product to be shipped/stored refrigerated rather than frozen, providing considerable economic and time savings. The CTI technology for HPP is also applicable to pharmaceutical products.
CTI is fulfilling immediate demand from food service companies that are receiving shipments of HPP foods, such as meat, seafood, cheese, juice and vegetables, and need to give their restaurants or grocery stores a quick visual indicator on whether they should accept delivery of food products.
“If you’re the vice president of food safety at a large restaurant or grocery franchise with a national supply chain, you are managing a significant risk profile of millions of units of food packaging being delivered to your business under the assumption it has been processed through HPP,” says Patrick Edson, chief marketing officer of CTI. “Customers tell us, ‘We only need one package to bypass the HPP machine and show up at a restaurant, and we have a huge problem. A quick visual inspection at our restaurants to see that the food has been subjected to high-pressure mitigates substantial risk. It also provides regulatory agencies with the ability to confirm that the foods have undergone HPP.”