With consumers placing a healthy emphasis on clean eating, manufacturers are looking at ways to extend the shelf life of fresh or minimally processed food and beverages while maintaining taste and texture.

Clean labels have grown in importance as consumers carefully eye ingredient lists to find the fewest or safest-sounding ingredients and the least amount of “processing.” One of the most difficult challenges in that regard is finding natural ways to extend shelf life while maintaining food safety.

In the past, the most common way to safely increase shelf life was through preservatives, additives or heat processing. But now, with the growth of High Pressure Processing (HPP), food manufacturers can deliver a fresh product with reduced or no chemical preservatives – as well as without the sodium these additives may contain.

Although not new — HPP transitioned from the lab to the production floor almost 20 years ago — this post-packaging technology is gaining greater recognition among consumer packaged goods companies as a cost-effective method for processors to safely extend shelf-life and maintain taste, texture and nutrition. All while satisfying the consumer desire for clean label.

With the growth of HPP, the Cold Pressure Council (CP Council) was recently formed to assist in advancing this technology. Convened by PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, the CP Council will address questions about the technology while developing and formalizing industry best practices. The new council will also promote networking among professionals using this technology.

To learn more about how HPP and packaging can work together to safely extend the shelf life of food and beverages without impacting taste or texture, be sure to attend PACK EXPO Las Vegas (Sept. 25-27; Las Vegas Convention Center). Co-located with Healthcare Packaging EXPO, the show will bring together top consumer packaged goods companies from around the world to explore state-of-the-art packaging technologies, equipment and materials, as well as exchange ideas with peers and build professional relationships. The event boasts an expected 30,000 attendees, including 5,000 international visitors from more than 125 countries, combined with 2,000-plus exhibitors spanning 800,000 square feet of a nearly sold-out show floor.

Beyond the technologies displayed on the show floor, attendees will find tremendous educational opportunities on the Innovation Stage, where suppliers present free 30-minute seminars on breakthrough technologies, such as HPP.

Registration, which includes access to both PACK EXPO Las Vegas and Healthcare Packaging EXPO, is $30 until Sept. 1 when the price increases to $100. For more information and to register online, visit packexpolasvegas.com.