The partnership will allow APC to provide faster high-pressure processing services to its customers, including product development, shelf-life testing and taste panels.
High-pressure processing extends the shelf-life of foods without preservatives, and has been popular in recent years because of the popularity of fresh, natural food products, said APC CEO Justin Segel.
While APC performs high-pressure processing for its customers, the company doesn’t want to bring high doses of pathogens into its plant for testing the process on foods. Since HPP technology is fairly new, there are only a few research facilities who have the equipment needed to do the required testing.
“Anybody that intends to use HPP to enhance their product really needs to do the scientific testing,” Segel said. “It’s a huge impediment to getting people started with HPP.”
The National Food Lab plans to grow in the area of HPP testing, which is why APC partnered with the firm and helped purchase additional equipment to complete scientific testing in California.
“By virtue of this alliance and having a test machine … we believe we can provide a full solution to our customers or potential customers and we can do so in an expedited fashion which will get them from the research stage and into the door as customers,” Segel said.
APC plans to continue growing by adding new locations around the country in the next few years, he said.