Double the shelf life of traditional fresh burgers, enhanced food safety without compromising quality are the benefits claimed for a new high-pressure processing technique for fresh ground beef patties from food giant Cargill.
Fressure ground beef patties are produced using a patent-pending process which the company describes as natural.
Brent Wolke, vice president for Cargill's Wichita, Kansas-based foodservice meat business said: "The process enabling Cargill to produce Fressure patties is a technological break-through that allows us to provide our customers, as well as consumers, with a premium ground beef option that is superior, in a number of ways, to any in the marketplace today."
According to a company statement: “It is an entirely natural process that does not use high temperatures, chemicals or irradiation, while retaining the nutrient value and freshness of the ground beef.”
Cargill’s website states: “The Fressure beef patties retain their freshness due to a natural pressure treating process on the outside of the package to protect the product on the inside which leads to a longer shelf life than standard fresh patties.”
There are no negative consumer perceptions associated with this technology, it pointed out.
Professor Michael Doyle, Center for Food Safety, University of Georgia, said: "High pressure processing of foods is a well-established treatment to mitigate contamination by harmful microbes such as Salmonella, E.coli O157: H7 and Listeria, without adversely affecting the product's taste and quality."
The new process allows the patties’ shelf life to be increased from 21 to 42 days while preserving the product’s flavour, nutritional qualities, colour or other quality aspects. “With the patent-pending high-pressure process, no other fresh ground beef provider can offer the same level of quality and consistency of Fressure burgers along with the enhanced food safety for raw ground beef,” said the company.
The high-pressure process is said to be similar to the type that revolutionized the avocado’s industry’s fresh guacamole business.
Compared with using frozen burgers, the new beef patties allow caterers to offer fresh beef burgers that can command a premium price. As burgers become more popular, restaurants will need to highlight distinguishing features such as freshness, advises Mintel’s report Building-a-Better-Burger, June 2010.
Using “fresh” as a burger claim climbed by 18 per cent from 2007 to 2010, said Mintel.
The Fressure ground beef patties are produced at Cargill's Columbus, Nebraska, meat processing facility.