Saturday, September 12, 2009
Product enters and leaves the pasteurizer from a single end, requiring no additional conveyor to add the machine to an existing packaging line. This presents a not-to-be-underestimated savings in conveyor cost, which rise significantly when they have to run around a pasteurizer. Additionally, the 'single end' feature allows product to "run by" the pasteurizer - A unique feature for beer with live yeast or other products which don't require treatment.
(reference related article on why this provides an important savings).
Per the manufacturer, the pasteurizer comes only in two sizes - 100 and 200, which are loosely matched to 100 and 200 Bottle Per Minute capacity.The pasteurization capacity can vary depending on the amount of pasteurization required.
Per the manufacturer the pasteurizer / cooler / warmer can be purchased for a price 'only slightly higher' than the price of new beverage warmer or cooler of the same size. It has a PLC based control system and small HMI, and can be outfitted with PC based process monitoring. The machines aesthetics are suitable for tour quality brewery lines. Few microbreweries pasteurize, but as the craft brewery market grows and distribution lines continue to stretch, tunnel pasteurization is imminent in the craft market.
Krones / Sander Hansen Shield Pasteurizer Copies Industry Front Runner Barry-Wehmiller Model H Pasteurizer
Monday, August 10, 2009
Attempting to bring back the Sander-Hansen name and giving credit to Sander-Hansen's Replacement in the market - Barry-Wehmiller. Krones has recently unveiled it's new design of pasteurizer; First the Sander-Hansen Channel, Krones - Shark, now the Sander Hansen Shield.
For nearly 100 years, Barry-Wehmiller has never separated from it's core beliefs of a heavily built structure and ease of maintenance access, and a consistent process in the PU control. Evidence of the Barry-Wehmiller design are evident throughout the new machine:
- External Regenerative Piping giving access to all three sides of the machine
- Open Architecture Infeed and Discharge Conveyors with adjustable Widths
- Full Height Access Doors
The Deck Heights are still much higher than required which in many cases costs additional dollars in conveyor and conveyor control to get into and out of the pasteurizer. The marathon belt is still to be proven in the long run, and the machines control is still in a costly PC based based system that requires factory intervention to modify. The machine is a step in the right direction following the Shark pasteurizer and Sander-Hansen Channel Pasteurizer, both machines were arguably light-weighted to the point where many customers complained of machine life issues. While still not as cutting edge as the competition, the machine is a sign that Krones is responding to the loss of many major North American Brewery customers.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Pasteurization values can vary depending on points of measurement in the package and if the PU's are considered to begin accumulation at 120 or 125 degrees F. Under pasteurizing fails to neutralize yeast and flavor changing enzymes, over pasteurizing tends to degrade flavor and nutrients in the product.
All forms of pasteurization are considered compromise between "boiling" (considered sterilization) and no treatment. In addition to pasteurization consideration should be given to the discharge temperature of the package when considering a new or used pasteurizer.
UltraLight Lagers are considered to have been filtered to below the 2 micron level which removes larger particles (including yeast) from the product.
Pasteurizers should achieve three main objectives:
- The process of pasteurization
- Achieve a discharge temperature suitable for downstream operations
- Provide a consistent treatment to all products such that equal flavor properties are achieved across all production
Thursday, July 9, 2009
We have all heard that flash pasteurization treats the product but not the package. Flash pasteurization is not always what it's sold to be, and in many cases only half the facts are considered.
A flash pasteurizer generally needs to start and stop during production. Even if the flash unit has a downstream buffer tank, it will fill periodically during which time the flash pasteurizer needs to stop. In order for the flash unit to "cease production" there are only two options:
1. The flash unit will recirculate product
2. The product is chased out of the flash unit with water, which is recirculated
Both scenarios have effects which need to be considered. In scenario #1 when a product is recirculated through the flash pasteurizer during a stoppage, the amount of product being recirculated (generally 50 liters depending on the size of the flash unit, recirculation pipe etc) is treated and retreated over and over. This product is then generally dispatched downstream to packaging. Even if the product is then mixed in a buffer tank where it is diluted, it is still a relatively large amount of product. This takes away from the argument that flash pasteurization lessens flavor impact.
In the event that the product is chased out with water, there is product which is sent to drain each time the flash unit starts and stops. Like many situations, the overall efficiency of the downstream operation then becomes a key factor in the justificaiton of the equipment, and this product waste needs to be considered.
Particularly in the case of small packaging operations the product waste can accumulate over time and product waste is generally an unforecasted cost of flash pasteurization. This is where the "turn down" ratio of a flash unit becomes important. This feature allows the flash unit to run slower as the downstream buffer tank fills and is available only with variable speed units which come with other controls challenges to ensure that all product is proprerly pasteurized.
Reference other articles in this blog relative to energy impacts and other unforeseen costs associated with flash pasteurization.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
We receive inquiries from pregnant mothers who have written in attempting to understand if the products (mostly juices and ciders) marked "flash pasteurized" are fit for their consumption.
The difference between "Pasteurization" and "Flash Pasteurization" is straight forward and something all of us can understand. A product that is "pasteurized" has been pasteurized in the bottle after it has been filled. This indicates that both the product and the container were pasteurized together, and is the safest form of pasteurization.
"Flash Pasteurized" products were pasteurized in the pipe prior to filling. This indicates that the juice was pasteurized prior to being put into the bottle and having the cap applied. For information on pasteurization and eggs or pasteurization and raw milk - click here.
If you have a favorite juice which is "flash pasteurized" it is likely fine. You are trusting that the bottle and cap were clean and the required precautions were taken.If you are not comfortable with that answer, stick to products which are marked "Pasteurized". In particular, as we have toured the plant, Martinelli's Juice is tunnel pasteurized after filling.
If the juice is in a carton, it was likely filled aseptically (in a sterile clean environment) and the risk is relatively low that that the package was allowed to pick-up any contaminants. For other topics related to pasteurization and pregnancy, there is a link to a resource center on the FDA website below.
Link To FDA Website
Friday, July 3, 2009
Direct steam injection pasteurizers and warmers can generally be converted at a reasonable energy payback to return condensate to the boiler. What's so big about condensate?
- It's new water and effluent cost that can be avoided
- It's already been treated with boiler chemicals
- (Most importantly) it has heat.
Existing direct steam pasteurizers and warmers can generally be converted to coils, or a single heat exchanger to Hot Water with a fantastic energy savings.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
What is required by law to produce shelf stable juice or cider products? These markets are unique in the opportunity for small businesses to enter the market. Consideration must be taken to the microbial risks associated (i.e. E.Coli, etc.). Each producer needs to take into account the required mandates for production. These are covered in the FDA document: Guidance for Industry Juice HACCP Hazards and Controls Guidance First Edition.
A summary is that for each product and production facility there must be the microbe you identify as the "pertinent microorganism," which is the most resistant microorganism of public health significance that is likely to occur in the juice, e.g., E. coli O157:H7. The process used for production must consistently generate a minumum 5-log reduction of the "pertinent micro-organism."
One excerpt from the document:
4.2 Example of a Process for a Shelf Stable Juice
The National Food Processors Association states that a typical hot fill/hold process used for shelf stable juices might be to treat the juice at 90 degrees C (194 degrees F) for 2 seconds, followed by filling at 85 degrees C (185 degrees F) and holding for 1 minute at that temperature. Based upon research it conducted for E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella species (spp.) and Listeria monocytogenes in fruit juices, NFPA calculated that this typical process used for shelf stable juices would achieve a 50,000 log reduction for these pathogens without taking into account the cumulative lethality during the cool down period. (See reference to publication by Mazzotta in section V. C. 5.0).
A Second Example of a Process for a Shelf Stable Juice
If for reasons of carbonation or other considerations, the product were to be cold filled, juice or cider in glass jars could be treated with a fully regenerative tunnel pasteurizer. Temperatures of 162 degrees F for 30 minutes would be the recommended start point to be confirmed with laboratory tests focused on the "pertinent microorganism".
When deciding between tunnel and flash pasteurization, reference the other pertinent articles on this blog. As juice is a product with a large "kids" market, the ability to put "pasteurized" on the package, and state that the product was pasteurized "in the package" has been known to add commercial value.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Used Pasteurizer: Tunnel
• Look for a unit made completely of stainless steel. Older carbon steel tunnel pasteurizers, and yes even flash units with carbon frames suffer from erosion.
• Consider the machines method of heating. The capital cost savings can be quickly paid back in steam, water, and electrical usage. Avoid units that are non-regenerative, coil driven, or direct steam injected. Remember that there is a significant value to condensate recovery!
• A poorly controlled or incorrectly sized pasteurizer will fight itself by adding cool water and steam, often times simultaneously.
• Machine size and zoning must be right for the machine to accomplish the process. This is not only the length, and width of the machine, but the speed of the belt, the flow rate of the water, and the heating characteristics of the product. Get professional confirmation that the sizing and zoning will match your production.
• How the machine is removed is a key factor in the re-assembly. If the machine has not been removed, consider being there or taking owenership of the removal process. This could mean the difference between your getting what’s in the picture above or the difference between a machine that leaks or doesn’t. It’s also an excellent way to begin to get to know the equipment and will make the re-assembly more straightforward.
• Take a hard look at the controls package. Remember, the shelf life stability of the product will be controlled by the machine. Ensure that there are clear electrical drawings. If there are not, or you’re confidence is not high enough comfortable, consider trashing the electrical panel and having another one designed and program built from scratch. Chart recorders are no match for todays technology.
For the areas where engineering support is needed… whether in the utility consumption, machine sizing, or electrical controls, call a competent new machinery manufacturer and ask for their help in engineering support. They will be glad to help. Contract them for the “hard parts” of the project. They will be glad to work with you in return for the ability to provide service to the machine, which may be something that needed to be considered anyway.
Feel free to write in for a list of available resources.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Why Pasteurize? Once the bottle is closed pasteurization will kill the microogranisms (including yeast) in the beer, cider, or wine. Microorganisms and yeast all have a "kill point" which is a product of temperature and time. Once those organisms stop "feeding" on the carbohydrates the product is "Stable" and thus its flavor is stable. Does the pasteurization process itself change the flavor? Experts say "Yes, but not dramatically". Seems natural if any process affects the product it affects the flavor.
This is what is called "vat pasteurization" or "immersion pasteurization". Turn your hot water heater to high for this, and find a sink, cooler, or tub that will hold the product desired. Pasteurization requires that an elevated temperature be held for a duration of time. So in this excercise, hot water must continually run into the "tank" at the same rate it is allowed to "leak". A home hotwater source is generally about 165F.
Put the product in the tub, sink, or cooler. Fill it with hot water (assumed to be 150F-160F). Once full, create a slight draining effect and continue to fill with hot water. For 12 oz bottles, keep the bottle in this state for approximately 45 minutes for 750 ml bottles keep the bottles in this state for approximately 60 minutes. A floating thermometer is always a good idea and confirming that the vessel is above 145F is a good idea.
Once the time has elapsed, remove the product from water and move directly into refrigeration for rapid cooling (i.e. remove all heat from the product).
Home pasteurizing in this way does not kill every flavor changing microorganism but kills most. At this point most products should maintain their flavor for roughly 8-12 months in an unrefrigerated environment. The "comeback rate" is a function of the temperature the product is stored at (i.e. growback rate at room temperature is higher than refrigerated). This process will consume roughly an hour to execute and will provide up to 12 months of flavor stability.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Note; the following article is an excerpt from a (now) more complete article here.
All three options are capable to produce good biological stability for the Light Lager line
May encounter technical difficulties with the Malta Beer production in Sterile Filtration and Flash Pasteurization
Slow filtration throughput due to High viscosity (sugar concentration) – multiple stages of filtration needed
High sugar/protein concentrations require high PU, and the flash pasteurizer plates may be scorched/baked, reduce pasteurization capacity and allow contamination point – high maintenance cost and potential damage to the flash pasteurizer
Minimum changes required for Tunnel Pasteurization
Sterile Filtration and Flash Pasteurization both require a “Clean room” and Aseptic Filler
Positive pressurized (HEPA filter)
Sterile bottles and crowns
Additional QA personnel required
The whole product (beer, crown, bottle) are pasteurized
No new issues to consider
Sterile Filtration and Flash pasteurization
Clean room needed – maintenance required
- Clean room sanitation and biological sampling
- Aseptic filler sanitation and biological sampling
Biological stability control of the product
- Frequent bottled sample plating
(especially important for the Malta Beer)
Whenever there are changes in process, changes in flavor should be considered / controlled
Sterile Filtration may strip flavors
May be lesser an issue for the Light Lager line
May severely affect the flavor profile of the Malta Beer
Potential minor flavor change for the Light Larger line
May induce burning flavor into the Malta Beer
Sensory tests need to be conducted
Part III - Operating Cost Analysis Packaging - Tunnel Pasteurization Vs. Flash Pasteurization Case Study
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Note; the following article is an excerpt from a (now) more complete article here.
The continued look at flash vs. Tunnel and filtration in terms of operating costs once again shows some eye opening data. If a warmer is needed the energy savings of the flash pasteurizer is not fully realized. The "shocker" in this study is the comparison with filtration. According to this case study the cost of filters was higher than anticipated, indicating that sterile filtration would be the highest of all the options.
If you read the initial post the case study is for a brewery in the Carribean. The view on affluent is that it was (in this case) "free". The students at the brewing academy calculated that the flushing of the filters would send more water to drain than the tunnel, and the warmer would send water to drain even when the packaging line was under continuos running conditions.
The reality is that a cooling tower (to cool and re-use water and avoid effluent) was left out of all three studies but would only serve useful purpose in the tunnel and flash pasateurization scenarios.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
For more information on the scenario under which this case study of Tunnel Vs. Flash Pasteurization is investigating, reference last weeks article.
Let's assume the numbers stated above are considered representative. In this scenario, from a capital perspective, Tunnel came out as the winner. Scenarios will change with particular applications, however what can be concluded is that the analysis is more complex (particularly for an existing packaging line) than the cost of a tunnel unit vs. a flash unit. The "equating" of the two (i.e. a tunnel costs $5X and a flash costs $X) is an incomplete outlook.
In the end an operation faced with the decision of Tunnel or Flash would need to consider:
- Are you cold filling? If so, do you need to bring the product temperature after filling up for packaging? If so, a warmer is required in the operation. This is a significant point in both capital and operating cost. The warmer represents the "non regenerative" (most expensive) portion of the tunnel pasteurizer. The need for a warmer significantly tips the scale on if there will be "savings" on Capital, Operating Costs (including utilities) and Floorspace in the comparison of the two technologies.
- QA & QC Analysis must be part of the plan. In the Flash scenario we need to ensure and confirm that the filling equipment, containers, and closures will reach and maintain the same state as the pasteurized product arriving to the filler. If the filling operation is not Aseptic (and most are not) there must be a "sanitation" program at the filler in the flash program. This could have different impacts depending on the product and operation, but needs to be in the numbers. In the scenario above a new "aseptic" filler was budgeted.
- The budget for the flash pasteurizer included a machine which had "Advanced Alarming and Controls", as well as a sterile buffer tank.
- The cost of installation for a tunnel warmer and a tunnel pasteurizer would not be far off in this case. Assuming the same utility connections, both are single deck and the "scenario" was considering this as a replacement project. In this light the cost of installing either is approximately the same, therefore, the flash unit, sterile buffer tank, and filler all create additional installation costs. If an existing tunnel pasteurizer were to be replaced, it would also require conveyor and controls to close the gap in the line in order that a smaller footprint warmer would fit.
- A cooling tower was not considered for the warmer scenario, as treated in the assumptions that it already existed for the tunnel pasteurizer. Bear in mind if this were not a machine replacement scenario, this could bring an extra expense into a "flash + warmer" line.
In any study of pasteurization, there must be some confirmation that the process is working to kill undesirable organisms from the product.
- In the Tunnel Scenario, it was considered to be the machines controls & alarming in conjunction with a "traveller" (passes through the machine and records the temperature profile in the bottle) which is downloadable to aPC in the quality lab.
- In the flash scenario it was assumed that the flash must have the same level of "sensing redundancy" and "PLC Control" as the tunnel pasteurizer. This indicates that several of the "entry level" / lower cost flash units would not be fail safe for the application.
- It was also assumed in the flash scenario that the packaging operation must have the ability to "SWAB" and confirm the level of sanitation at the filler and capper.
- It would also require a "hold" period following which samples could be taken of the finished product and confirmed the process was effective.As stated in a previous article, both processes are effective.
- Properly applied, the flash will pasteurize the product to perfection. Following that the plant needs to ensure that the systems are in place that the product, containers, and closures are kept in the same state.
Intro - Case Study for Comparison for Conversion of Existing Packaging Line - Tunnel Pasteurization Vs. Flash Pasteurization
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Note; the following article is an excerpt from a (now) more complete article here.
The following study was done by a group of Students at the Siebel Institute in 2007. Although the data (such as costs) are likely only representative, the findings are interesting:
The scenario is a brewery in the Caribbean contemplating the replacement of a 30 year old tunnel pasteurizer with flash pasteurization or filtration. It is based on a production level of 150 HL/ YR and a product mix which is 95% Light Lagers and 5% Malta. Options are that the existing pasteurizer could be replaced with:
1) Direct Replacement of the existing tunnel pasteurizer
2) Replaced with sterile filtration and filling
3) Flash pasteurization and sterile filling, and warming
The assumptions of the case study were:
No importation taxes onto the Island
- Capital Cost
- Operating Cost
- Shelf Life
- QC/QA Practices
- Process Changes
These will be the next 5 posts.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
As a precursor to articles forthcoming some basic statements should be made:
- Both are effective technologies in most applications.
- Tunnel pasteurization pasteurizes both the product and the package. Flash pasteurizes only the product.
- The technology which is the right decision for your operation is more complicated than "one machine vs. another". To find the right decisions a number of factors must be weighed, including your confidence in operational disciplines of your organization.
- For most products, if they are "shelf stable" whatever happens to them in the journey from your plant to the consumer will affect them more from a flavor perspective than either technology.
Consider these basic points as we look forward to further analysis in Tunnel Vs. Flash next week.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
- Capital Cost (including installation)
- Operating Cost (including utilities and product waste)
- Accomplish a "Generic" Quality Specification
There would be other measures involved, however these would surely be part of the analysis. The outcome of the analysis will not be so straightforward as the cost of one piece of equipment versus another.
Item 1. Comparison of Capital Costs
key consideration in this evaluations will include the requirement if a warmer would be necessary after the filling to bring the finished product up to temperature for packaging or labeling. Later we will look at some specific applications and associated pricing.
Tunnel Pasteurization System Cost Elements
- The Tunnel Pasteurizer
- Rework to Infeed and Discharge Conveyors
- Cooling Tower Loop (optional) (dependendent on product, line efficiency, cooling & warming on the packaging line)
- Flash Pasteurizer
- Buffer Tank (application specific)
- CIP Skid (application Specific)
- Tunnel Warmer
- Cooling Tower Loop (optional)
- Sterile Filling Equipment
- QC Laboratory Equipment
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Welcome to the information sharing site for pasteurization, pasteurizers, and full discussion on all elements of shelf life stabilty. This site has been inspired as there seems to be a fragmented base of users across sectors of packaging and products (beer, milk, juice, wine, beverage, and food) and technlogies (tunnel pasteurization, cooling, warming, hot fill, filtration,retort, flash pasteurization) and new technologies (electron beam, x-ray, gamma-ray). We beleive we have assembled a large spectrum of authors and contributors for the site in the next year who are well versed in all these topics.
This site is intended to fill the nitch of talking with the competition in the interest for group learning and furthering technlogy.
If you would like to contribute content to the site, or would like to advertise, please send e-mail to email@example.com.