An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Inactivation of Viruses by Pressure in ready-to-eat food products

Hoover, Dallas
University of Delaware
Start date
End date
The laboratory research goal of this project is to study the responses of hepatitis A, feline calicivirus (as surrogate for norovirus) and bacteriophage (as surrogates for human viruses) for HPP comparison studies in tissue culture media and model foods. Experimental variables for study will include pressure magnitude, treatment time and temperature, and different foods.
More information
1. Determine the response of hepatitis A, feline calicivirus (as surrogate for norovirus) and bacteriophage to a range of pressures, times, and treatment temperatures in a tissue culture medium. 2. Evaluate the HPP treatment parameters as determined in culture media to viruses inoculated into three model foods. 3. Evaluate wholesome HPP-treated RTE products using consumer taste panel for difference testing. 4. Develop and implement on-line consumer survey to assess attitudes, knowledge base, and willingness to pay for HPP-processed products. 5. Develop and implement pertinent outreach activities for consumers and processors that integrate the research and survey results.

Commercial use of high pressure processing (HPP) in the production of minimally processed foods is expanding. Additional information is necessary related to the effectiveness of HPP for the inactivation of foodborne viruses. Dissemination of this information to the public in an effective manner will ensure a better understanding of the value of HPP by the consumer. The purpose of this project is to examine the inactivation of problematic viruses by HPP in foods and transfer this information to the consumer in an effective manner to increase understanding of this valuable processing technology for the safety of minimally processed foods.

In virus inactivation studies, seafood salad, salsa containing scallions, and raw oyster homogenate will be tested; for sensory evaluation and taste panels seafood salad and salsa will be used, but the homogenate will be replaced with HPP-treated shellstock and whole shucked oysters. Wholesome HPP-treated RTE foods will be evaluated using consumer taste panels for difference testing. Information from this research will be integrated into an outreach program that will both educate consumers on foodborne viruses and also on the potential the application of HPP has on food safety and product preservation. Online surveys and an onsite workshop will be developed in this effort.

Currently, we are still in the initial stages of setting up the cell lines, learning/developing necessary techniques by project personnel, meeting to develop the surveys we will use and select recipes, as well as outlining experiments to conduct into the year and gather necessary preliminary data.

The impact of our completed project will contribute pressure inactivation data of key infectious human viruses (or their surrogates) in foods that can be applied towards the body of food safety work involving elimination of viruses from contaminated food by high pressure processing. Identification of a reliable bacteriophage surrogate will also assist in validation of food processes that incorporate pressure processing and are at risk to potential fecal contamination. The work will also assist in the education of the public about intervention strategies that rely on novel nonthermal processing technologies such as high pressure. Data from processed products should aid expansion of pressure processing for other ready-to-eat types of foods and overall add an additional measure of safety to these products in the future.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
Accession number
Education and Training
Bacterial Pathogens
Natural Toxins
Viruses and Prions
Chemical Contaminants