Pressure BioSciences Inc (OTCMKTS:PBIO) said Wednesday that it achieved its first major milestone while working with Ohio State University researchers on developing a potential breakthrough processing method for keeping foods and beverages shelf-stable.
The partnership with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), at Ohio State University, is aimed at commercializing a continuous-flow manufacturing process to keep food and beverages shelf stable without refrigeration or chemical additives.
The South Easton, Massachusetts, company believes it can achieve this by scaling up its patented Ultra Shear Technology, which applies high-pressure levels greater than 20,000 pounds per square inch.
READ: Ohio State scientists to use Pressure BioSciences's Ultra Shear Technology to sterilize 'clean label' food and drinks
The technology could allow beverage makers to offer healthier drinks and juices by reducing heat exposure in the preservation process through a combined application of elevated pressure, intense shear forces and controlled times and temperatures.
A four-year, $891,000 grant awarded to scientists at CFAES by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is supporting the collaborative program.
Pressure Bio was granted a $318,000 sub-contract to build a working benchtop instrument and a pilot plant floor model, both based on the company's patented UST platform. The delivery of the working benchtop instrument was the first major milestone identified by the collaborators.
First major milestone
"We are very excited to have met this first major milestone. We believe our proprietary UST platform can be used to make the higher quality, more nutritious, longer-lasting foods that consumers now demand,” said Edmund Ting, senior vice president at Pressure BioSciences.
Ting, who is a co-inventor of Ultra Shear Technology, said the UST bench-top instrument with the larger floor model used at the lab in Ohio will be used to generate food science safety data that will aid process adoption by the industry and acceptance by regulators.
Ultra Shear Technology has wide applications
VM Balasubramaniam, professor of food engineering at Ohio State, who leads the research project, said that the high-pressure-based Ultra Shear Technology can be used by food manufacturers in the healthier processing of beverages, sauces and condiments.
"Today's consumers demand food that is nutritious, minimally processed, and pathogen safe,” said Dr Balasubramaniam. “They also want food that tastes and looks good, while being free of synthetic ingredients. We believe the UST platform has the potential to offer food manufacturers the ability to process safe wholesome beverages, nutritional drinks, sauces, condiments and pumpable liquid foods."
Pressure Bio's Ultra Shear Technology will play a significant role in the preservation of "clean label" foods and beverages.
According to GoCleanLabel.com, "clean label" foods contain "natural, familiar, simple ingredients that are easy to recognize, understand, and pronounce" with no artificial ingredients or synthetic chemicals. The "clean label" food market has been estimated at approximately US$62bn in the US and US$165bn worldwide.
"Food processors have been seeking new minimal heat processing technologies that can provide extended shelf-life, while meeting clean label requirements that can also satisfy consumer expectations,” said Pressure BioScinces CEO Richard T Schumacher. “Commercializing a minimal heat processing technology that can produce shelf-stable foods such as coffee, tea, broth, condiments, sauces, dairy products would be a breakthrough. This is the primary goal of the project, which we believe can be attained through scale-up of our innovative UST platform."
The company said the research team will be advised by an industry advisory board representing food processors and regulatory agencies.
Contact Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]
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