Blaise Pascal joins Louis Pasteur among the ranks of creation scientists who have improved the safety and nutrition of our food. We all know about pasteurization, the process of eliminating germs by gentle heating, but have you heard of pascalization? It’s “a century-old food preservation technology, finding a new life amid 21st century concerns about food safety and nutrition,” reported Science Daily. The process “more than doubles the levels of certain healthful natural antioxidants in fruit.” Pascalization will give new meaning to the term “fresh squeezed”.
Pascal was an early pioneer of the effects of pressure on liquids. Pneumatic pumps, used widely in modern machinery, come from his work. The pascalization technique (also called high-pressure processing, or HPP) involves “subjecting food to 40,000-80,000 pounds of pressure per square inch for about 15 minutes,” Science Daily said. “That’s about five times the pressure that an African elephant would exert if it stood on a postage stamp.” It causes no harm to the fruit, though, because the pressure is distributed evenly—just as pressure in the deep sea causes no harm to fish.
Carmen Hernandez-Brenes, Ph.D., reported to the American Chemical Society results of her experiments with HPP on fruit. “HHP processing increased the concentration of total carotenoids in avocado and papaya by more than 50 percent,” the article said. “Individual members of this healthful family of chemicals increased by up to 513 percent,” although “For reasons not yet clear, no increases occurred in the mango.”….
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