New solutions for the preservation of seaweed?

Pascalisation or High-Pressure Processing (HPP): a new solution to preserve seaweed?

Pascalisation is a technique that subjects food products to very high pressures, around 6000 bars, in order to improve the quality of their preservation.

The advantages of this process include the decrease in bacterial flora, unchanged levels of vitamins and hardly any change in colour and taste.

It could therefore constitute an alternative to thermal pasteurization processing.

This technology is being increasingly developed and its applications are diversifying, particularly for seafood. However, it had never yet been tested on fresh seaweed.

As part of the Sensalg collaborative project, HPP treatment trials were carried out on various seaweed and halophyte plants, with encouraging results.

For these tests, the seaweed to which acidic or neutral saline brine was added, were packaged in vacuum-sealed bags and two time-pressure scales were tested.

The first observation focused on the impact of brine on the colour of the seaweed following the treatment. Unlike salted brine, acidic brine allowed Saccharina latissima and Palmaria palmata to retain their natural colour. Conversely, for Himanthalia elongata, its natural colour was maintained with salt brine.

Regarding texture, this process was less denaturing than thermal pasteurization processing since it allowed for a certain firmness to be sustained, even for Salicornia.

As for the quality of the preservation, bacteriological analyses that were carried out 1 month after the beginning of storage confirmed the stability of the products treated with HPP in acid brine.

These data originate from a collaborative project involving different partners of Sensalg: CEVA, ADRIA, IDmer, the Contemporary Culinary Centre and Vegenov.

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