High hydrostatic pressure processing (HPP) is a non-thermal pasteurization technology which has already been applied in the food industries. Besides maintaining the food safety and quality, HPP also has potential applications in the enhancement of the health benefits of food products. This study examines the current progress of research on the use of HPP in the development of health foods. Through HPP, the nutritional value of food products can be enhanced or retained, including promotes the biosynthesis of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the food materials, retains immunoglobulin components in dairy products, increases resistant starch content in cereals, and reduces the glycemic index of fruit and vegetable products, which facilitates better control of blood glucose levels and decreases calorie intake. HPP can also be utilized as a hurdle technology in combination with existing processing technologies for the development of low-sodium food products and the maintenance of microbial safety, thereby lowering the risk of triggering cardiovascular disease. Additionally, HPP can be used to enhance the diversity of probiotic food products. Appropriate sporogenous probiotics can be screened and added to various high-pressure processed food products as a certain bacterial count is still retained in the products after HPP. As HPP causes physical damage to the structures of food products, it can also be used as a synergistic extraction technology to enhance the extraction efficiency of functional components, thereby reducing extraction time. By applying HPP in the extraction of functional components from food waste, the production costs of such components can be effectively reduced. This study provides a summary of the mechanisms by which HPP enhances the health benefits of food products and the current progress of relevant research. HPP possesses huge potential in the development of novel health foods and may provide an abundance of benefits to human health in the future. © 2019

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