New CFAES technology offers healthier beverage processing

Food processing companies looking for innovative new ways to preserve clean-label liquid foods without artificial preservatives have a new option thanks to technology developed at CFAES. 

Researchers in the CFAES departments of Food Science and Technology, as well as Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering have installed and commissioned new manufacturing technology that preserves foods and beverages using wholesome, recognizable ingredients; no artificial preservatives; and reduced heat. They’re seeking food and beverage companies to join a Food Industry Consortium to begin using the technology.

Called BaroShear MAX ultra-shear technology (UST), this method of high-pressure-based shear technology allows beverage companies to manufacture healthier beverages by reducing thermal exposure through the combined application of elevated pressure, shear technology, and controlled times and temperatures.

The result? “Healthier beverages that consumers want that aren’t preserved using chemical additives and preservatives with names they can’t pronounce,” said V.M. “Bala” Balasubramaniam, a CFAES professor of food engineering. is laboratory—including microbiologists, chemists, and nutritionists—investigates food manufacturing technologies and works with industry to implement them.

And it’s not just drinks that could be preserved healthier. UST can be used by food manufacturers for processing sauces, condiments, and other liquid foods, including nutritional drinks, ice cream mixes, juices, and food emulsions.

“UST enables liquid food and beverage producers to meet the changing dietary desires of health-conscious consumers interested in minimally processed liquid foods and beverages that quench thirst and satisfy their healthy lifestyle,” he said. UST also satisfies liquid food manufacturers’ interest in developing a continuous 
high-pressure processing method. That’s significant, considering that the batch 
high-pressure processing industry is now estimated to be a $15 billion per year market. Balasubramaniam partnered with Pressure BioSciences Inc., a Massachusetts-based manufacturer of high-pressure-based equipment and laboratory instrumentation, on the project. They plan to create a consortium of interested food processors on industrially relevant questions before scaling up the UST into industrial practice.

Food processors can learn about UST through a pilot-scale system at Ohio State’s Center for Clean Food Process Technology Development. Consortium members will also have first rights to nonexclusively license all new applications for commercial utilization in their own products, worldwide. To learn more about this initiative, contact Balasubramaniam at 614-292-1732 or