The Truth About HPP Juice

The Truth About HPP Juice

The Truth About HPP Juice

If you have purchased a major brand of cold-pressed juice lately, chances are it has undergone the process of HPP (High Pressure Processing). Since there is some confusion about the technology I want to describe the process of HPP,  dispel a few myths, and finally discuss why HPP is important and how it has helped our industry.

The Process of HPP

HPP is a processing step that extends shelf life and kills at least 99.999% of the microorganisms in juice. This is referred to as a “5 log reduction”. Here is the process:

  1. Raw juice is made on a juice press or other type of juicer, then bottled in plastic bottles. (HPP is not the process of making juice itself, but rather a secondary processing step).
  2. The plastic bottles of juice are loaded into a giant chamber that fills with water and pressurizes the bottles up to 85,000 PSI. To put this pressure in perspective, if you were to tie a rock to a bottle of juice and sink it to the deepest part of the ocean, the Mariana Trench, you would only achieve 1/5th of the pressure created in an HPP machine.
  3. The pressure maintains between one minute and several minutes depending on settings, then de-pressurizes.
  4. When the bottles come out the other end, they now contain almost no living microbial content, and now have a shelf life of about 30-45 days, instead of raw juice which is normally 3-5 days.  The two major benefits are a safer juice product, and that retail stores can keep the juice on their shelf for much longer without it going to waste. Beyond these benefits, it is actually FDA law that juice must undergo a process like HPP or heat pasteurization in order to be distributed wholesale to re-sellers. If the maker is selling direct to consumer, this process is not required.

The 4 Myths:

Myth 1: Companies must put HPP on the label if it has been used to process the juice.

HPP, heat pasteurization, and other preservation methods are not required to go on the juice label in the US [EDIT: There is an exception for pasteurized orange juice]. Most juice companies choose to put it on the label so consumers know that what they are buying has been processed to make it safer than raw juice. There are many beverage companies who do not put HPP on the label, and some which refer to it under other names such as “Cold-Pressured” or “Pascalization.”

There were some lawsuits made public a few years ago when some cold-pressed juice companies were labeling the product as “100% Raw” and “Unpasteurized” even though it had been through HPP. Although it wasn’t against the law to label the product as raw, the plaintiffs claimed that the juice companies were deceiving their customers.

If you are unsure if juice is raw, look for this warning, as it is required by law to put on the label for raw juice:

“WARNING: This product has not been pasteurized and, therefore, may contain harmful bacteria that can cause serious illness in children, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems.”

Myth 2: HPP does not heat the juice.

When juice or any other liquid is pressurized, there is heat created. This type of heating is called “adiabatic heating.” According to the FDA, “HPP treatment will increase the temperature of foods through adiabatic heating approximately 3 °C per 100 MPa.” Juice is pressurized up to 600 MPa, which means that the juice is heated by up to 18 °C (32 °F) from its starting temperature.

Once the juice is depressurized, it immediately comes back down to it’s starting temperature (adiabatic cooling). For example, if the juice goes into the chamber at 45 °F than it can reach 77 °F for a few minutes while under pressure. This is still much less heat than thermal pasteurization temperatures, which are over 160 °F, although only for about 15 seconds.

Myth 3: HPP doesn’t affect nutritional or enzyme content.

According to some studies, HPP has at least a minor affect on nutrient content, with “remaining contents in the range of 87% to 100%.” Enzyme residual activity varies depending on the enzyme being tested and the settings of the HPP process, with majority of residual activity levels “lying in the 20%-60% range.”

It should also be noted that these tests were done immediately after the HPP process, and whether these numbers hold up several weeks later is questionable. Nutrients in raw juice begin to break down in a matter of days, so I assume this is the same with HPP juice, however I cannot find any data on this so it is only my opinion.

Myth 4: HPP juice is always cold-pressed.

As I stated above, HPP is not the process of actually making the juice, but rather a secondary processing step. Just because juice has gone through HPP does not mean it has been cold-pressed. In fact, many HPP “juices” contain purees, smoothies, powders, or other ingredients which are not cold-pressed at all.

Adding to this confusion is the new term “Cold-Pressured.” Within the last couple of years this term has been showing up on beverage products to refer to HPP.  “Cold-Pressured” looks so similar to “Cold-Pressed” that I believe this is confusing consumers, and in my opinion should not be used to refer to HPP.

Whether or not I agree with the terms being used, I do think HPP is an important technology and has helped grow the cold-pressed juice industry in the US first, and now world-wide.

Why HPP is Important:

1. HPP makes cold-pressed juice more accessible.

Prior to the use of HPP in the juice industry, it was a mission to find cold pressed juice in most parts of the country, excluding the coastal cities. You had to either hunt down a specialty shop, or be satisfied with juice in the grocery store that had been heat pasteurized. HPP has allowed cold-pressed juice companies to distribute their juice to every part of the country without sacrificing too much of the desired qualities of the juice. The taste, color, texture, and nutrient content of the juice are generally better than heat pasteurized juice, while still extending shelf life substantially (although not as long as heat pasteurization).

2. HPP juice is safer than raw juice.

As discussed in the beginning of this article, HPP successfully achieves a 5 log reduction of microorganism in juice. These potentially harmful bacteria include E. Coli, salmonella, and other bad things. If harmful bacteria does exist in the raw juice, HPP can usually make it safe.

HPP Industry Links

Hiperbaric – HPP equipment manufacturer
Hiperbaric tolling centers – These facilities can HPP your products for a fee.
Avure – HPP Equipment Manufacturer
Avure tolling centers – These facilities can HPP your products for a fee.
Joyce Longfield – HPP industry expert and food regulation consultant. If you are looking for information on where and how to access HPP for your products, Joyce is the best resource I know of. – HPP trade organization

Agree or disagree with anything I’ve said here? Please comment below and join the discussion!

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About The Author

I’ve been around juicing all my life. My Dad built his first hydraulic juice press in 1976 and founded the company Goodnature Products, Inc. I have incredible memories of having “cider parties” when we would invite all the people in our rural neighborhood over to make apple juice. To this day, when I taste apple juice made on a Goodnature press, a rush of nostalgia runs through my body.

I pride myself on guiding our clients into the world of cold-pressed juice and showing them how much fun this industry can be. I love talking business, technology, and marketing.

Follow me on twitter @cwjuice

43 Responses

  1. Myth #1 is not a myth per CFR 21 all juices that are pasteurized or treated must state that on the label. In fact the process must be no smaller than 1/2 the size of the word juice on the front panel.


    1. Matt, are you referring to this section?

      From what I can tell, that is only specific to pasteurized orange juice. Can you point to other information?

      Thank you for the feedback.


  2. Hi Charlie. Great article! A couple of things to keep in mind: 18° C = 64° F.

    If HPP kills 99.9% of the bacteria, it is killing all the ‘good’ bacteria from fresh produce along with the bad. So if HPP juice is your only choice, then yes, it is better than a Gatorade. But it is still much less beneficial than a non-HPP, cold-pressed juice. Cheers!


    1. Barth, yes you’re right 18 C is 64 F, but an increase of 18 C is not an increase of 64 F. Calculating an increase in temperature is different than converting temperature.

      I agree that raw juice is the way to go if available!


  3. Hi Charlie! Very informative article. Is there another process that you would recommend in killing the bacteria without killing the live enzymes, HPP testing prices have gone up significantly. –best, amanda


    1. Thanks Amanda, the only other technology I know of is UV filtering. I believe the results are slightly better, but I haven’t done extensive research on it. Here is an article


  4. Sorry Charlie I disagree with you stating that HPP treated juice has the same nutritional qualities as does raw untreated juice. The fact that the shelf life is extended by weeks, even 6 weeks is tribute to the fact that the juice is not longer alive, and filled with life. The organisms in the juice, except for those that morph into e coli or… are for the most part beneficial for the human body.

    It is sad for me to see a trend to long shelf life of juice for the sake of a bottom line. The idea of fresh pressed (call it cold press or not) is to provide a rich source of dense nutrition that is instantly assimilated by the health or less healthy. The produce that were grown and reduced to juice should be honored to accomplish the maximum benefit.

    It is like you saying homogenized and pasteurized milk is a superior product to raw milk. In both cases the raw juice or milk must be consumed while fresh.

    Norman Walker who’s juicer good nature designed there’s from intended juice to be for its nutritional value…Not a commodity. Let the others do that. Pressed juice is a medicine and should be treated as so.




    1. Alfred, thank you for your response.

      I actually don’t believe that HPP juice has the same nutritional qualities as raw juice, and in fact I wrote the opposite in the article. And I wrote under myth #3 “It should also be noted that these tests were done immediately after the HPP process, and whether these numbers hold up several weeks later is questionable.” So, in short we are in agreement on both points.

      I don’t believe that there is an overall trend to longer shelf life. In fact, it’s the opposite. More grocery stores than ever are now making raw juice in-store, instead of selling pasteurized juice that has a 6 month shelf life or more. There are many juice companies moving from raw to HPP, but there are 10X more juice companies popping up every month that are 100% raw and local.

      I appreciate your reference to Norman Walker as was a pioneer in the industry, however Goodnature machines were designed around the traditional rack-and-cloth type press, not the Norwalk.

      Let me just say that I totally respect what you’re doing at Ascending Health and love the fact that you are sticking to raw, unprocessed juice. I would love to come visit sometime!

      thanks again


      1. You are so welcome Charlie. And Thank You!

        We purchased an X-1 in 2009 and it still presses, like day one. To be sure Good Nature rocks…

        We would love to have you visit Charlie. Pete W. came by before the café was opened. I enjoyed catching up with him and about all the plans that were in the works for GN. Now I see the success-good on you.

        I continue to be excited and grateful to be a part of the movement of ascending health for all.


        1. Thanks Alfred, I will be in touch


  5. Great article Charlie. Loving all the informative blog posts. Keep ’em coming!


    1. Thanks Bev!


  6. Thanks Charlie and Alfred, I do agree that ‘cold pressed”in which both are on the same page in regards to the intended nutrition value for the beneficial of its intended purpose with it’s duration when served straight away as intended.

    Cool and informative .



  7. Very good Article Charlie!

    In fact HPP juice is not raw anymore, but as close as possible. And the extended shelf life and safety is a good compromise for people who don’t have immediate access to juice bars.

    As a matter of fairness you should mention the third big HPP Equiment manufacturer thyssenkrupp-Uhde. You can find more information on


    1. Thanks Phillip!


  8. hello
    hpp seems to be very expensive for a starting business in juicing , is there any machine doing the same process and what’s the price of the cheapest hpp machine


    1. Yes, HPP machines are very large and expensive. That’s why most juice companies don’t purchase the machines themselves, but rather pay an HPP tolling facility to process it for them, at a per-bottle rate.


  9. HPP don´t work against spores… only low% of micro.. Shelf life were limited and cost are high por companies..


  10. With HPP if 99.999% of microorganisms in juice is killed / eliminated, then why the self life is shorter then normal hot pasteurisation method which also eliminates 99.999% of microorganisms, but the shelf life a very long. if the juice is in sterile state then there would be no bacterial activities for the product to spoil.


    1. 5 log reduction is the minimum that needs to be achieved. Heat pasteurization can achieve a much greater log reduction, even making juice shelf stable without refrigeration. HPP can also achieve greater than 5 log reduction, but I don’t believe it an make juice shelf stable. It might be possible though.


  11. Hi Charlie, as you responded: “Nutrients in raw juice begin to break down in a matter of days, so I assume this is the same with HPP juice, however I cannot find any data on this so it is only my opinion.” Is there any chance you could do a test with nutrients on coldpressed HPP and see what the numbers would be after a longer time, 3 weeks or so.?
    Regards Toril Merete from Norway


    1. Guelph institute in Canada is working on this now. hopefully will have some data in a couple of months…


      1. Great, thats so interesting. Looking forward to this information.


      2. Hi Charlie, did you get any results from the testing?
        And what is your opinion, or are there some facts on HPP vs UV filtration?


        1. No more results to report yet. Regarding HPP vs UV, I haven’t really looked into the differences, as UV isn’t used very much at all in the green juice industry. I will happily report on this once I look into it more.


  12. Thank you for being a transparent company helping to educate those of us in this cold pressed juice industry! Joyce Longfield aka JLo is also an amazing resource and has helped me so much!


  13. Hi Charlie,
    Thanks for all the info.
    So if I understand correctly, you can’t sell raw juice in a supermarket without HPP or similar process since the supermarket is a reseller.
    So when you say companies are going raw, how are they selling it? Online? Brick and mortar? Is there another option?


    1. Yes, you’re correct. Under FDA regulations you can sell raw juice direct to consumer, whether it by brick and mortar, delivery, at a farmer’s market, etc. If you own a juice factory and a bunch of stores, you can manufacture the juice in your factory, transport it to your stores, and sell it from there, since technically you’re still selling direct to consumer as your company both makes the juice and sells it, even though it’s out of different brick and mortar locations. If you want to sell wholesale you will need to look into a preservation method like HPP or pasteurization.


  14. Great article! Very informative. I also would love to see a study done to test the nutriends on cold-pressed HPP after 3 weeks. Proof is in the pudding as they say! 🙂


  15. Oops Nutrients not nutriends!


  16. Great article, Charlie! Could you please confirm the HPP process is only possible with plastic bottles? Would glass bottles work too? Thanks.


    1. Thanks Victor! HPP doesn’t work with glass bottles because the pressure would break them.


  17. Hi Charlie,

    Why are so many companies in the coldpress industry are using puree instead of real fruits?

    I often see on the labels that they use berry-puree instead of real berries, and this trend also applies to other fruits. Is it just because of cost savings? If yes, how much do they are able to save by using purees instead of real fruits? Or is there any other explanation behind this trend?

    Rgds Sebastian


    1. Sebastien, purees offer substantial cost savings, because they are including the whole fruit in the product instead of just the juice. When you press juice, you get about 65%-75% yield, but when you use puree it is 100% yield. So you can see that they are saving as much as 35% food cost.


      1. Hi Charlie,

        Thanks for your response. In terms of nutritional value, how much worse is puree compared to pressing the juice with fresh fruits?
        Isnt a coldpress purree juice a rip-off ?
        And why is puree cheaper than the actual fruits?

        I wondered how large companies were able to sell their coldpress juices in supermarkets for 1,49EUR and realized that they work with purrees instead of real fresh fruits.

        Rgds Sebastian


        1. Purees are not generally less nutritional than real fruit, except that they are usually hear pasteurized which destroys a lot of the nutritional value. Also, it depends on the quality of fruit they use. Those large companies selling juice for 1.49 generally don’t use very good fruit, they get the mass produced fruit thats grown cheaply with pesticides and may be the waste that the growers can’t sell in their normal distribution channels due to it being unripe or otherwise of poor quality.


  18. Husband and wife new (19 month old) Juicery Business owners, who purchased an X1 to get things going for us in North Alabama.

    This article was fantastic. It helped solidify and summarize some of the readings I’ve found about HPP online, but my number one concern is focused on the potential illegal marketing habits these HPP producers are using to promote to consumers that their product is “cold-pressed”. I believe words mean something and after 30-50 years of “cold-pressed” meaning to the general public, a raw, unpasteurized juice. It appears these large companies are abusing this term in order to capture a new market of consumers who just don’t understand the difference. In fact, I was already operating our business for about 6 months, and started considering a more regional distribution to Birmingham, because we already captured an audience down there who love our product. But I didn’t understand how these other “cold-pressed” juice companies were able to ship their product and maintain the lean logistical challenge of having to produce a 3-5 day shelf life product, ship it and still have it last for a consumer 3day cleanse. That’s when I first had that “ahh ha!” moment. As if I caught a criminal in the act and while in the dark, were secretly misleading consumers to buy their product, as if it really was equal value to our own non-HPP.

    My question to the author and anyone reading this blog. Is there not a petition or formal dispute we could collectively file together against the FDA and the general labelling and marketing practice of these HPP providers, so that they are restricted in calling their products “cold-pressed”?? Aside from other required HPP markings, I think the most detrimental impact that is hurting the true raw cold-pressed industry, is the fact these companies don’t have anyone stopping them from using a term, the raw cold-pressed industry has created by default pre-HPP technology, and educated the general public into knowing cold-pressed juice means something that HPP is clearly NOT.

    How do we protect ourselves from this obvious and detrimental marketing tactic from the larger companies pushing their HPP products on the shelves?

    Consider this comment the first signature for a petition for the FDA to make it illegal for HPP providers to market and label their products as cold-pressed and accept the fact the general public believes cold-pressed by default and historical reference is a raw unpasteurized juice.

    –Jacob Birmingham (Owner of The Juicery Press LLC, Huntsville, Alabama)


    1. Jacob, thank you for the comment. You may be interested in this class action lawsuit going on now:


      1. Yes thank you Charlie for that link. I’m trying to reach out and find Michael Pizzirusso, the person filing the class action suit against one of many major companies who are abusing the use of the term cold-pressed for their pasteurized HPP products.

        I started a mailing distribution list for other Juicery owners, and if you are reading this now and want to get involved. Email me at [email protected] and I’ll add you to the cause.

        Thank you.


  19. Cold Pressed/Cold Pressured – Very hard to find in the 3 or 4 grocery stores in my area.
    I hate to lose live enzymes but not getting e-coli is beneficial.
    Have any brand names you could share that we can look for in the stores, or ask our stores to carry?
    Thanks for the Great Information to add to my Juicing Education


    1. Stewart, do they make fresh foods in store? If they do, you should ask if they’ve considered making cold-pressed juice, since that’s the only way you’ll get raw juice in store. We work with a lot of grocery stores and offer near turn-key solutions.

      If they aren’t interested in that, you could request brands like forager, sol-ti, suja.


  20. Thanks Charlie for your post. It definitely seems that HPP juices are the way to go for my family based on the site you posted with research from 50 HPP studies. This quote from the summarized conclusion gives me peace of mind as the risk for encountering Cyclospora, E. coli, Hepatitis A, Listeriosis, Noroviruses, Shigellosis , and Salmonella are just not worth it for us with all the juice we drink:

    “HPP was shown to preserve physicochemical properties, vitamin content, and antioxidant activity of fruit and vegetable juices at conditions required to achieve 5-log reduction of pathogenic microorganisms.”

    I was really surprised to read this as well in the conclusion of those studies:

    “Juice antioxidants were highly conserved and often prone to enhancement, showing an average residual activity of 101.1 ± 23% following HPP treatment. Several instances of enhancement in residual content or activity following treatment were reported with all the examined vitamins and antioxidants.”


    1. John, happy you found the article useful. In regards to the nutritional content, I would say that I believe these tests were all done immediately after processing, but the juice you buy at the store may have been on the shelf for 2-3 weeks, so it might change over time. I would like to see additional studies done on juice up to 30 days after processing.


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