HPP Validation Center

The Cornell High Pressure Processing (HPP) Validation Center supports beginning and established food entrepreneurs while promoting sustainable economical development. It is the first commercial scale validation facility installed within a Biohazard Level 2 Facility. The HPP Validation Center is in Geneva, NY on the Cornell AgriTech Campus and collaborates closely the Cornell Microbial Food Extension Lab, the Cornell Food Venture Center, Pilot Plant, the Vinification & Brewing Laboratory and more. 

High pressure processing (HPP) is a non-thermal alternative to heat pasteurization. It is popular due to consumers increasing demands for product freshness, clean label and longer shelf life.  HPP is applied to products in their final package, is used as a terminal process safety and shelf life extension. HPP can be applied to juices, fruits and vegetables purees, meat products and ready-to-eat (RTE) meals, dips, baby food, pet foods etc.

*Pricing scheme available upon request.

HPP Safety Validation Services

Food manufacturer that plans to choose HPP technology must show the effectiveness of that processing methods in controlling the biological hazards in the food product. Client must contact the HPP Validation Center and submit food for validation study.

  • The food product is inoculated with at least five strains of each pathogen (ex: Listeria monocytogenesE. coli O157:H7, and Salmonella spp.)
  • Inoculated sample is treated under desired conditions previously established for that product or varying pressures (max. 87,000 psi) for varying times (up to 10 min).
  • The food sample is analyzed for surviving pathogens using standardized FDA Bacteriological Analytical Methodology.
  • Target pathogen inactivation: greater than 5.00-log CFU (99.999% reduction). A final report will be issued for the client to meet the regulatory requirements for pathogen inactivation.

HPP is known to increase shelf life in food product. Food manufacturers can submit food samples to HPP Validation Center for a shelf life study. No pathogens will be inoculated into the food samples.

  • Food product is held at a determined pressure (max. 87,000 psi) for specific times (up to 10 min), or the pressure/time combination predetermined by food manufacturers showing a 5-log reduction of pathogens for that product.
  • Treated sample is evaluated for total plate count, yeast and molds, while held under refrigerated temperatures. Samples can also be tested for pH, soluble solids content, turbidity, viscosity, color, texture, and product quality aspects specific for the product, if requested. Accelerated shelf- life study is also available upon request.
  • The length of study and testing frequency vary on holding temperature and client preference. Study will be terminated, and sample discarded if there are visible sign of spoilage.
  • NO consumption of product will be permitted, and the samples must be retained in the Biosafety Level 2 facility until disposal.

    To submit a sample: please email gah78 [at] cornell.edu (Andy Humiston )

For shelf life studies, food processing validation, challenge study and special projects, please visit Microbial Food Extension Lab.

Frequently Asked Questions

High pressure processing (HPP) is a cold pasteurization method that ensures the food products safety and stability. It is popular due to consumers increasing demands for product freshness, clean label, and longer shelf life.

HPP is applied to products in their final package such as juice, fruits and vegetables purees, meat products and ready-to-eat (RTE) meals, dips, baby food, pet foods etc.

HPP is known to increase shelf life of food and beverage products. Because each recipe is different, we recommend that you conduct a microbial study on the product after HPP to determine the shelf life.

In a pathogen validation study, the food or beverage is inoculated with a cocktail of E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella spp., L. monocytogenes. The product is placed in the HPP machine under the conditions discussed with the client to achieve a greater than 5 log reductions. The microbial counts are monitored before and after HPP, during the shelf life of the product.

The pathogen validation study evaluates the safety of the product whereas the shelf life study evaluates the quality of the product.

The study takes the length of the shelf life of the product plus 50%. For example, if we receive a request for HPP validation study for a salsa with estimated shelf life of 100 days; the length of the validation study would be 100 days + 50 days = 150 days.

A standard pathogen challenge study starts at 5500 per product. We offer at 10% discount if we receive 3 samples or more together for validation.

If the study fails before the end of the study, someone from our team will contact you and you will receive an invoice for services completed not for the full length of the study.

We usually ran the samples at 86,000 psi for 3 min for pathogen validation. However, we can adjust the settings per the client’s request.

The Cornell HPP Validation Center is a Biosafety Level 2 facility. Therefore, we work with pathogen (dangerous) bacteria. Once the food enters our facility, we cannot return it back to you. However, we can perform physiochemical tests on the products like texture analysis, color analysis, pH, Brix, Aw etc.

We do not do umbrella studies. Every product needs their own validation. This is why it is important that you have the product formulation completed before doing a validation or shelf life study.

Yes, we collaborate with other universities, government agencies and private companies on research project. Please email Ann Charles Vegdahl to inquire acv45 [at] cornell.edu

Contact Us

If you have any questions for us about High Pressure Processing (HPP) safety validation studies, microbiological shelf-life studies, physicochemical evaluations or any of our other value added services, please reach us through the contact information listed below.

Randy Worobo, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Food Science, Cornell University
665 West North Street, Geneva, NY 14456
Phone number: 315-787-2255
e-mail: rww8 [at] cornell.edu (rww8[at]cornell[dot]edu)

Ann Charles Vegdahl, Ph.D.

Extension Associate, Department of Food Science, Cornell University
665 West North Street, Geneva, NY 14456
Phone number: 315-787-2258
e-mail: acv45 [at] cornell.edu (acv45[at]cornell[dot]edu)

Andy Humiston

Extension Support Specialist II
HPP Validation Center
665 W North Street, Geneva, NY 14456
Phone number: 315-787-2256
e-mail: gah78 [at] cornell.edu (gah78)sjl38 [at] cornell.edu (@cornell.edu)