What does HPP stand for?
HPP stands for High Pressure Pasteurization. This process goes by a few different names:
Hydrostatic High Pressurization (HHP)
High Hydrostatic Pressure Pasteurization (HHPP)
Ultra High Pressure Processing (UHP)
How high is this pressure?
Higher than being crushed in the deepest part of the ocean. Over 8 tons per square inch!
What does HPP do to packaged raw foods?
Basically wipes out bacteria using an extreme amount of pressure after the food has been packaged. If there were any bacteria in that packaged raw food when it went into this high pressure environment, they wouldn’t make it. Their cell walls would cave in.
That’s good though, right? Killing bacteria like salmonella?
Well, the outcome of all this pressure on the food is not entirely a good thing. Sure, the bacteria got wiped out but so did other things that are in there like:
Enzymes, the molecules that are present in raw food and help our pets digest it are lost. Enzymes are one of the reasons raw food is so good for our pets. Lose them, and he/she will have to use their own enzyme storage to break down the food.Think of their Enzyme storage as a bank that doesn’t take deposits only withdrawals. Once they’ve “over drawn” their storage the pancreas will now have to go into overdrive in order to digest these foods.
Other proteins are denatured by this much pressure. They no longer have any resemblance to raw (prey), the food your dog/cat is genetically designed to eat!
The “good bacteria” that would help add to the defenses of your dog’s gut flora population are wiped out as well.
Reportedly flavor, texture and color are all impaired in HPP processing.
There are now bacteria who’ve survived this pressure, and they have reproduced and passed on that mutation, and just like we’ve had “super bugs” from the overuse of antibiotics, we now have strains of Salmonella that will not be killed by HPP. No, it’s not enough pressure to kill these elite strains of herculean bacteria. So, companies are now adding high heat and even irradiation to the pasteurization process, which, as you can guess, further tortures the starting material and maybe even brings the packaging plastic chemicals into the your dog’s raw food.
This all sounds like cooked for now doesn’t it?
What’s a better solution then?
DIY--Start making the meals yourself by sourcing human grade, high quality meats. This way you know what’s in it and where it came from. If you can’t DIY due to time or just the worry of not balancing properly, then research what companies don’t use this process of HPP on their products.
Practice safe and sufficient hygiene.
Keep the work spaces chilled. The warmer the space the more bacteria will grow.
Keep everything clean and disinfected.
All of this is much better than feeding food that has been subjected to vastly unnatural amounts of pressure (and heat and irradiation) in the name of “no bacteria!”
What companies use HPP on their food?
In the U.S.:
Stella and Chewy’s
Nature's Variety Instinct
Blue Ridge Beef
We Feed Raw
Steve's Real Food
Stella and Chewy’s
In the U.K.:
None found that uses HPP. Go U.K.!!
In the end,
Buying pre-made raw foods is a great way to save time and not having to worry about balance as it’s done for you. Just don’t let fears of bacteria scare you away from feeding the right raw foods from the right raw companies. Thousands if not millions of pets have been and are eating this way with no ill effect on a daily basis. Dogs just like wolves have a digestive system capable of dealing with those nasties. If they eat some, they’ll pass it in their poop. Odds are high that the dogs consuming salmonella are resistant to the sickness it can bring us humans. Their highly acidic stomach pH, short digestive tract that moves all that right on through, absorbs the good stuff and sends the rest out the poop chute! Salmonella just gets digested or moves on through too. It doesn’t make the average dog sick.
Our final recommendation,
Avoid the HPP foods. Research the right companies if going the pre-made route. Practice safe and efficient hygiene. Easy Peasy!
Source material: Vital Animal Pack's Special Report by Dr. William Falconer. 'Is your raw food really raw?'