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ready-to-eat foods

Ready-To-Eat Foods Revolution

It’s a hectic world. It has been for a while now. And for the last 100 years or so, food producers have been coming up with ways to make food preparation a little more convenient and a lot less time-consuming. But sometimes quick and easy means loaded with extra sodium, additives and preservatives…all those things today’s consumers try to avoid.

The time is ripe for a new class of Ready-to-Eat foods.

Today the grocery store’s refrigerated section is full of healthier choices of Ready-to-Eat (RTE) meals, thanks to technology like high pressure processing (HPP). With HPP, Ready-to-Eat meals retain their natural taste and nutritional value, which can be altered by other preservation methods like heat pasteurization.

Exposing food to the ultra high pressures generated by HPP inactivates foodborne pathogens while leaving the natural qualities of food intact. Consumers to get the natural and safe meals they demand, and food producers serve up tasty, nutritional products with cleaner labels and a longer shelf life. Using HPP, shelf life can be extended to two to three times more than non-processed foods.

Many Ready-to-Eat food producers turn to HPP because the products can be processed in their final consumer packaging, eliminating the potential for recontamination. Most existing plastic food packages are already suitable for HPP, including vacuum and gas-flushed. Plus, the loading and unloading process can be fully automated, integrating with conventional equipment and HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) programs. JBT Avure’s HPP Machines, like the AV-X, facilitate rapid changeover between product line variations in food type, package size, and format to keep the production line rolling.

And many RTE foods are well suited for HPP, including everything from soups and wet salads to ready-to-eat meats. Even pastas, beans and rice are showing up in RTE meals. The new generation of RTE meals is perfect for the consumer who needs convenience but doesn’t want to sacrifice quality or nutrition.

Now who’s ready to eat?