Pressureprocessed Foods In Japanese Market

On April 23, 1990, Meijiya Food Company introduced three kinds of jam (strawberries, kiwifruit and apples) made using high pressure treatment without application of heat. The products are vivid and natural in color and taste. These jams were the first pressure-processed foods in human history. Now, the company produces fruit sauces and desserts using pressure processing (8).

Two juice products (non-bitter grape-fruit juice by Pokka Co. and mandarin juice by Wakayama Co.) are in the market. In the grapefruit juice, pressure treatment was used to inhibit the development of bitter taste, and in the mandarin juice, the pressure treatment inactivates molds and yeasts after squeezing. This primary sterilization is followed by blending and the secondary heat sterilization to meet the Food Law requirements (8). Fruits with fresh flavor and taste added to sherbet and other pressure-processed foods are becoming popular among younger generations.

Recently, Japanese unrefined rice wine (nigori-sakej appeared in the market. The Industrial Research Center of Kumamoto Prefecture separated the precipitate and supernatant parts of the wine and sterilized the former by high pressure treatment. The latter part, from which microorganisms were removed by a membrane filtration technique, was remixed with the precipitate under aseptic conditions (10). The new preservable sake with white color and fresh flavor, instead of brown color and heated smell, has been brought about at a reasonable cost by the minimum use of an expensive high pressure machine for the treatment of a small amount of the precipitate.

Development of other products including hams, fish-pastes, traditional marine products and tea products continues in small- or middle-sized food companies in many parts of Japan. For traditional preservable foods containing high salt or sugar contents, pressure treatment is an effective alternative to lower their contents.

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