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High pressure processing site set to open in April in northwest Ohio

Hydrofresh HPP, an affiliate of Keller Logistics Group, is constructing a $10 million pasteurization plant slated for opening in April 2018 at 1571 Gressel Dr., Delphos that uses innovative high-pressure processing (HPP) technology.

Unlike the traditional pasteurization method, which uses heat prior to packaging to eliminate micro bacteria that are present in food, Hydrofresh HPP will use a natural, cold pasteurization technique by which products already sealed in their final packaging are placed in a vessel and subjected to a high level of isostatic water pressure, up to 87,000 psi. This process produces a 5-log reduction in salmonella, E. coli, and listeria (bacteria that causes foodborne illness) while preserving the color, texture, nutrients, and flavor of the product.

Because the food is treated in its final packaging, the chance for recontamination is virtually non-existent. Shelf life is also extended because the bacteria that cause spoilage is destroyed, all without the need for adding preservatives. Products that use this technology include refrigerated dips, natural lunch meats, cold pressed juices, deli salads, and various other natural products.

“This is exciting, state-of-the-art technology that will aid in the growth of locally-produced natural and organic products,” said Don Klausing, Hydrofresh HPP president. “HPP is a value-added service that ensures food safety, extends shelf life, preserves the food’s nutritional value, reduces the amount of preservatives needed, and reduces waste. This will be the only HPP tolling facility in this part of the country and we are already experiencing tremendous demand for our services.”

HPP equipment is currently being installed in the 36,000-square foot refrigerated warehouse for storage and production. Primarily serving the needs of two prominent food processors, the plant will initially run one shift with one machine and approximately 12 employees. Hydrofresh HPP has plans to expand to meet the growing demand, and to become the Midwest’s HPP source for all food manufacturers. As business increases, the company will add additional machines and shifts to employ up to 55 employees. Upon completion, the plant will be able to process 60 million pounds of product per year.

The Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) has been involved with showcasing HPP technology to food processors, and laying the groundwork from which to build this offering.

“It has been exciting to see a concept evolve into an example of the dynamic approaches to food production and the overall impact on the industry,” said Rebecca Singer, president and CEO, CIFT.

Keller Logistics Group, a member of CIFT, understood the positive impacts associated with HPP and the lack of a facility to process for companies. It was recognized that working with CIFT could elevate the potential for Ohio food processors.

“We have many third party logistics customers in the food and beverage industry, and CIFT has been a big asset,” said Bryan Keller, president and CEO, Keller Logistics Group. “Adding HPP to our suite of services will help our customers, and future customers, meet the growing demand of providing products with small, natural ingredient decks. With the additional square footage available at the Hydrofresh HPP site, we will be able to give our customers flexibility in storing their product pre- and-post HPP processing, along with providing a temperature-controlled storage facility for our food customers. Hydrofresh HPP will be the first HPP toll service provider to offer its customers a complete HPP solution — from managing their inbound transportation, HPP product processing, value-added packaging, through cold storage, and distribution.”

Hydrofresh HPP received assistance from the City of Delphos and the state of Ohio in the form of a Community Development Block Grant and road improvements.

“We are very excited to have Hydrofresh HPP choose Delphos as their home,” said Mayor of Delphos, Josh Gillespie. “Hydrofresh HPP will bring a lot of positive things to the community, including jobs and economic development. After meeting with the owners, it is obvious that the company will bring a specialized, in-demand process to their industry, and the City of Delphos looks forward to a long partnership with them.”

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