Industry leaders, buyers, researchers, and a leading chef were on hand Friday, October 12, to celebrate a major milestone for Nisbet Oyster Company of Bay Center, Washington: The successful installation of new Fresher Under Pressure® technology from Flow International Corporation.

Fresher Under Pressure high pressure processing technology uses ultrahigh-pressures to reduce foodborne bacteria such as Vibrio spp., and also to shuck the oyster meat from the shell.

This installation of high-pressure processing equipment makes Nisbet Oyster the first West Coast company to adopt Fresher Under Pressure technology for use with oysters. Nisbet Oyster Company is a family-owned business that supplies domestic and international retail and restaurant customers.

The afternoon celebration kicked off with a lunch of fall oysters and shellfish prepared by Chef Eric Jenkins of the Seafood Consumer Center in Astoria, Oregon. Lunch was followed by a demonstration of Nisbet Oyster Company’s new Fresher Under Pressure equipment and brief presentations by Oregon State University’s (OSU) Seafood Lab Director, Dr. Michael Morrissey, and Dr. Edmund Y. Ting, Chief Technology Officer at Flow International.

Dr. Morrissey said that the OSU Seafood Lab has spent the past four years studying high pressure processing of oysters “to improve safety and as well as to look at various quality aspects.” Speaking to the assembled guests at the celebration, Dr. Morrissey reported that high-pressure processing “is very effective in reducing Vibiro counts, a known pathogen in oysters, while maintaining the highest quality in terms of taste and texture.”

“We are excited about completing the installation of Fresher Under Pressure equipment,” said Nisbet Oyster Company President Dave Nisbet, “because we believe it not only allows us to develop new value-added products under our high quality brand, Goose Point Oysters®, but also helps rebuild U.S. consumer confidence in raw oysters.” Nisbet added that, in addition to being an effective post-harvest intervention technology, Fresher Under Pressure also increases the shelf life of the oysters and automatically shucks the meat from the shell-a “real plus for our customers.”