High Pressure Processing (HPP) has been around 30 years but has become mainstream in the last few years, and will disrupt the juice industry, according to Botanica managing director, Richard Magney.
HPP is a cold pasteurisation technique used to eliminate vegetable flora. Utilising 6000 bar of pressure (there is 37 bar of pressure in your car tyre), it destructs the DNA of vegetable flora, so they no longer survive or multiply.
Due to an absence of heat treatment, enzymes, nutrients and key minerals are not affected, and flavour is amplified.
“In the world of orange juice, it is the closest thing to eating an orange,” Magney said.
“Five years ago, Botanica fell into HPP by default. We’d been trading for 12 months as a small juice company in Bondi, and the Neil Perry culinary team asked us to supply QANTAS first and business class with fresh juice, but he had a very specific brief; no preservatives and maximum vitamin retention.
“We were challenged with a difficult task – fresh juice without compromising flavour. No heat treatment but safe to drink. We were turning over $100,000 at the time, supplying cafes and small markets.”
They googled and found HPP technology, which he says is considered one of the world’s fastest growing food and processing disruption aids.
“Disruption can only truly occur when both the product is superior to other products in the market and economies of scale allows for both domestic and international distribution.
“The juice world we lived in 20 years ago isn’t the juice world we live in today, and the juice world we live in today won’t be the juice world we live in in another 20 years.
“There is a generational shift occurring. It won’t be the ability to change the fruit, but the availability to change the technology that will be the catalyst for the shift.
“There are companies around the world right now with dedicated scientists and engineers working to crack the code for an inline automated juicing and HPP process, which will allow juice companies to reengineer their entire outlook on what they perceive is fresh juice, and more importantly, what consumers perceive fresh juice to really be.
“It takes the inertia of two forces to create seismic change, and this is coming in the form of consumer demand and technological innovation.
“The single goal for HPP technology manufacturers is to democratise fresh. Today, fresh is expensive. The chilled category is pricey, the ambient aisle is cheap.”
Magney said HPP technology manufacturers know that if they are to remain relevant, they need to design tech that allows fresh to be affordable and accessible to all consumers no matter what their socio-economic status.
“Billions of dollars of public and private capital around the world are being poured into this generational shift of redefining the word fresh. If we stare into the crystal ball, we’ll see a global movement into greater wellbeing.
“Millennials are smart, and so is the wave of Gen A behind them, and Gen B behind them. If I was a betting man, I’d double down on HPP as most desired form of juice and viscous food in 10 years.”
Magney said in the last five years, more companies around the world have invested in HPP technology, including Coke, Pepsi, Starbucks and Hain Celestial. Coke invested in HPP in Australia in Oct, 2018.
“Today’s millennials that are spending more money on wellness and reading packaging word for word, will be the buyers, category managers, and executives of Woolworths, Coles, Aldi and Costco in the future. Understanding today’s market is critical, but understanding the future market is power.”