Under Pressure

March 12/Pharma Law Weekly -- According to a study from Cesena, Italy, "High pressure homogenization (HPH) is one of the most promising alternatives to traditional thermal treatment for food preservation and diversification. In order to evaluate its potential for the production of fermented milks carrying probiotic bacteria, four types of fermented milks were manufactured from HPH treated and heat treated (HT) milk with and without added probiotics."

"Microbiological, physicochemical and organoleptic analyses were carried out during the refrigerated period (35 days at 4 degrees C). HPH application to milk did not modify the viability of the probiotic cultures but did increase the cell loads of the starter cultures (ca. 1 log order) compared with traditional products. The coagula from HPH-milk was significantly more compacted (p <0.05) (higher firmness) than that obtained with HT-milk, and it had the highest values of consistency, cohesiveness and viscosity indexes compared with fermented milks produced without HPH treatment. All the samples received high sensory analysis scores for each descriptor considered," wrote F. Patrignani and colleagues, University of Bologna.

The researchers concluded, "HPH treatment of milk can potentially diversify the market for probiotic fermented milks, especially in terms of texture parameters."

Patrignani and colleagues published the results of their research in the Journal of Dairy Research ("Suitability of high pressure-homogenized milk for the production of probiotic fermented milk containing Lactobacillus paracasei and Lactobacillus acidophilus." Journal of Dairy Research, 2009;76(1):74-82).

For additional information, contact F. Patrignani, University of Bologna, Dipartimento di Scienze degli Alimenti, pzza Goidanich 60, 47023, Cesena, Italy.

From the March 30, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition