The effects of combined high-pressure thermal treatments on consistency, viscosity, colour, lycopene content, enzyme activity and micro-organisms were determined, and compared to conventional pasteurisation and sterilisation processes of tomato puree. High-pressure processing at ambient temperature (HPP) improved the colour and viscosity compared to heat pasteurisation, while the water binding capacity and lycopene content were unaffected by HPP. Products treated at 700 MPa, 20 °C resulted in inactivation of the natural flora to a level below the detection limit. After pressure treatment and during chilled storage a increase in viscosity was observed. HPP caused partial inactivation of polygalacturonase (70¿ but activation of pectin methylesterase. After high-pressure sterilisation treatments combined with elevated starting temperatures (80 °C, HPS, one or two pulses) an ambient stable product was obtained. HPS (one pulse, 700 MPa, 30 s, 90 °C) reduced B. stearothermophilus spore contamination level in inoculated meatballs in tomato puree with at least 4.5 log units. HPS resulted in more than 99 nactivation of polygalacturonase and pectin methylesterase. HPS resulted in a lower viscosity compared to conventional sterilised samples, whereas the water binding capacity was improved. Colour appreciation was improved and lycopene content was retained compared to a 40 oss after conventional sterilisation.