Every discussion with a supplier of flash pasteurization equipment would lead you to believe that there really is no other option. The message resounds by voice and on the internet: Flash pasteurization is the newest and greatest technology available. It uses less energy, consumes less floorspace, and costs less to install.It would leaves one asking why anyone would use a tunnel pasteurizer and you feel lucky that you are "in the know". This article is intended to be an "introduction" and what will likely be a series of articles. After having had the opportunity to look deeply into both technologies, each has its place.
Let's make an assumption that your product is one that has an option of doing tunnel and flash and you are asked to make a decision on what is best for the operation. Your decision would likely be made between tunnel and flash pasteurization based on the following elements:
- 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