Quality Changes in Tomato Sauce Treated with High Pressure Technology

Greg Howard
7th July, 2024

Quality Changes in Tomato Sauce Treated with High Pressure Technology

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers at Middle East Technical University found that high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) treatment at 500 MPa and 50°C significantly increased the total phenolic and lycopene content in tomato sauce
  • The HHP-treated tomato sauce showed a 6.7% to 7.5% improvement in antioxidant content compared to conventionally treated samples
  • The study demonstrated that HHP treatment maintained the structural integrity and texture of the tomato sauce while achieving microbial safety equivalent to traditional thermal methods
The food industry is increasingly exploring innovative methods to enhance the nutritional quality and safety of food products. One such method is high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) treatment, which is gaining popularity as an alternative to conventional thermal treatments. A recent study conducted by researchers at Middle East Technical University[1] evaluated the changes in quality parameters for HHP-treated enriched tomato sauce, aiming to assess its viability as a substitute for traditional thermal processing methods. The study found that HHP treatments at 500 MPa and temperatures of 30°C and 50°C significantly increased the total phenolic and lycopene content of the tomato sauce samples. Specifically, there were improvements of 6.7% and 7.5% over conventionally treated samples, respectively. Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes, is known for its health benefits, including reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. The increase in total phenolic content also contributes to the sauce's antioxidant capacity, which was found to be equal to or better than that of conventionally treated samples. Moreover, the study utilized T2 relaxation time analysis to evaluate the structural integrity of water molecules in the tomato sauce. This method revealed that the pressure-temperature processing treatments were effective in maintaining the structural integrity, which is crucial for preserving the texture and overall quality of the sauce. Microbiological analyses were also performed, showing that the 500 MPa/50°C treatment for 5 minutes could achieve an 8-log reduction in colony formation, effectively matching the microbial reduction results of conventional thermal treatments. This finding is significant as it demonstrates that HHP can ensure the microbial safety of food products while potentially offering better nutritional quality. Previous studies have also shown the benefits of HHP in food processing. For instance, research on hydroponically cultivated beef tomato juice indicated that HHP treatment at 600 MPa for 15 minutes resulted in superior quality, with high retention of polyphenols and antioxidant capacity even after 14 days of storage[2]. This aligns with the current study's findings that HHP treatment enhances the nutritional quality of tomato-based products. Additionally, the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fruits, vegetables, and olive oil, has been shown to have numerous health benefits due to its high content of mono-unsaturated fatty acids, tocopherols, and polyphenols[3]. The enhanced phenolic content in HHP-treated tomato sauce could make it a valuable addition to such diets, further promoting health and well-being. In another related study, the use of high pressure on isolated pea protein showed significant improvements in antioxidant properties compared to high-temperature treatments[4]. This supports the notion that HHP can be a superior method for enhancing the functional properties of food products without compromising their nutritional quality. Overall, the study from Middle East Technical University demonstrates that combined pressure-temperature treatments, specifically at 500 MPa/50°C, can significantly improve the quality parameters of enriched tomato sauce while ensuring microbial safety. This method offers a promising alternative to conventional thermal treatments, potentially leading to the development of higher-quality, nutritionally enhanced food products.



Main Study

1) Quality changes in high hydrostatic pressure treated enriched tomato sauce.

Published 5th July, 2024


Related Studies

2) Quality Parameters of Juice Obtained from Hydroponically Grown Tomato Processed with High Hydrostatic Pressure or Heat Pasteurization.


3) The Secrets of the Mediterranean Diet. Does [Only] Olive Oil Matter?


4) Enzymatic protein hydrolysates from high pressure-pretreated isolated pea proteins have better antioxidant properties than similar hydrolysates produced from heat pretreatment.


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