Flash pasteurization: Big change in the beverage industry

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  • Flash pasteurization: Big change in the beverage industry

    In food and beverage manufacture, the method plays an integral role in the whole manufacturing process. If the technique is not a proper match for the entire production flow, the final products may not succeed.

    Today, our topic is flash pasteurization – a process that applies heat to destroy pathogens in food and beverage products. Flash pasteurization is one of the most popular processing for the dairy industry due to its incredible applications.

    Let’s take a quick look at how the flash pasteurization method work and its influence on the beverage industry.

    What is flash pasteurization?

    What is flash pasteurization?

    Flash pasteurization – a process that applies heat to destroy pathogens in beverage products

    Flash Pasteurization called a form of High Temperature, Short Time (HTST) pasteurization that has gained popularity in recent times. This method heats the milk between 72°C to 74°C for 15 to 20 seconds with targets resistant pathogenic bacterial spores (Clostridium botulinum spores)

    Flash pasteurization treats foods and liquids at high temperatures for a short period to slow microbial growth. Advances in beverage processing technology have perfected the procedure to maintain the original taste and quality of products.

    This method is named after scientist Louis Pasteur when he discovered when an alcohol manufacturer commissioned him to determine germ theory of fermentation – a fine line between wine and vinegar.

    Related post: How has cold pasteurization helped the food and drink industry?

    How flash pasteurization (HTST) works

    Flash pasteurization is a complicated process

    Flash pasteurization for each type of product has different processing. Here we provide an example of a standard milk pasteurization system as a material reference.

    • Balance the tank: maintain a constant heat for the incoming milk
    • Milk feed pump: creates suitable pressure for efficient flow.
    • Flow control system: make sure that a sufficient amount of fluid is in the conduits at any time.
    • Filters and clarifiers: remove dirty elements from the products
    • Homogenizer: reparate fat globules into micro globules to avoid fat separation in standing milk
    • PHE with recreation, heating and cooling sections: facilitates efficient pasteurization
    • Flow diversion valves: make sure that all the conditions and equipment for the pasteurization process have been met before the milk comes through.
    • Instrumentation and control equipment: raises system efficiency and reliability
    • Peripheral utilities like steam compressed air and water income: Provides the required utilities for heating, cooling, and pressurized procedure.
    • Conduits or piping system: Facilitate the flow of milk and utilities from one step to the next without the intrude of contamination.

    Advantages and disadvantages of flash pasteurization?

    Flash pasteurization is especially beneficial to maintain the natural flavor

    Benefits

    Flash pasteurization is especially beneficial to maintain the natural flavor, color and nutritional compounding of liquid products such as fruit juices and milk. This method can further expand the shelf life of products compared to the traditional pasteurization method.

    For instance, flash pasteurized milk has a refrigerated shelf life of two or three weeks. A study published in “Frontiers in Bioscience” reported that the flash pasteurization process was ideal for retaining the nutritional quality of human breast milk compared to other methods. The United States Department of Agriculture tightly regulates pasteurization methods to ensure the safety of the products being made.

    Drawbacks

    Flash pasteurization is famous for its expensive process than the traditional method because of the technology and advanced equipment involved. There is also some evidence that the high temperatures involved in the process can destroy or alter the activity of beneficial compounds in liquid products, such as certain immunoglobulins in breast milk, as reported in the “Journal of Perinatology.”

    Flash pasteurization could also kill some non-pathogenic beneficial microbes. These health problems are what have led many to consume unpasteurized products instead. However, there is a hidden danger of contamination in consuming these pasteurized products if stored for even a short amount of time.

    Distinguish Flash pasteurization with other Processings

    There are many types of processing that are popular in beverage production

    Aseptic/Extended shelf life (ESL) filling

    Similar to hot filling, aseptic filling sterilizes the liquid by heat before being filled. But the packaging is sterilized separately, allowing the liquid to be supplied at a lower temperature.  The Aseptic filling requires close coordination and complex interactions between personnel, sterilized product, filling equipment, and cleanroom practices to guarantee a sanitary product.

    Advantages

    • Many packaging styles allow for pouches and juice boxes that cannot be tunnel pasteurized or hot-filled.
    • Beverage products can potentially be labeled as “natural”, which must fulfill standard requirements.

    Disadvantages

    • The equipment and personnel require significant investment.
    • Limited packaging manufacturers have this capability.

    High-Pressure Processing

    High-Pressure Processing (HPP) does not use heat to preserve. Instead, this process applies a large amount of pressure to keep the product. The product is held in a flexible container and put into a high-pressure chamber that uses about 87,000 pounds/square inch (PSI) for 3 to 5 minutes.

    Advantages

    • Maintains original taste, color, and nutrition ingredients better than heat pasteurization methods, giving better “fresh-like” characteristics
    • It does not require heat to kill some micros.
    • Meets clean label requirements to ensure the quality control

    Disadvantages

    • We do not have many suitable packaging options.
    • Reduce the production processing time, leading to longer production times and higher costs.

    Pasteurizer equipment

    The pasteurizer is equipped with all the required equipment to complete control of the processsing

    The pasteurizer is equipped with all the required equipment to complete control of the working flows and a storage tank for the pasteurizer good, made of AISI 304 stainless steel and internally as well as externally polished.

    The stainless steel electrical panel suggests an operator panel that helps verify and set all the control machine parameters and an electronic chart recorder that stores the values of all the variables controlling the phases of pasteurization.

    The flow-fixed pasteurization unit for fruit juices from 3000 l/h is different. The pasteurizer is equipped with four tubular heat exchangers (for each specific section) with a length of 6 meters each. It’s made of stainless steel AISI 304 for the parts in contact with water and AISI 316L stainless steel for details in touch with the product.

    In conclusion

    To wrap up, pasteurization process is a optimal method to heat every particle of milk or milk product. With the purpose is extend the shelf life of beverage products and maintain the original taste, flash pasteurization is such an innovative invention in the beverage manufacturing.

    Let’s check out our discussion about the beverage industry, you may find some intereting idea for your next business!

    Lilian Nguyen
    Lilian is an expert in oem, odm, private label beverage industry with 8 years of experience. I believe that it is crucial for companies to focus on the benefits which the product provides to their target customer and what does it mean to the community. When i am not working, i run a blog on making healthy snacks & drinks and join in a hiking club. Email: lilian.nguyen@tdfood.com.vn

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