A revolutionary UHT milk processing system by Tetra Pak slashes production time by up to 90%, cuts operating costs in half and reduces capital outlay by almost a third compared to conventional equipment, according to DairyReporter.com.
The processing and packaging company described its OneStep aseptic technology “as a revolution when it comes to efficiency of processing UHT milk”. The single and high-throughput process eliminates the need for pasteurisation, pre-treatment and intermediate storage, Bengt Eliasson, Tetra Pak dairy aseptic solutions manager told FoodProductionDaily.com.
The truncated process requires less equipment which means capital costs could be reduced by as much as 30% compared to a conventional UHT milk processing line, with similar reductions in product losses also possible.
The system has been developed for high capacity processors but would be suitable for medium-sized UHT operators particularly in new line installations.
Raw milk is preheated, clarified, separated, standardised and homogenised in “one unbroken step”. The liquid then undergoes UHT treatment and regenerative cooling before being transferred to two aseptic buffering tanks, according to the report.
The new system reduces processing times by 90% from two days to just a few hours, and cuts operating costs by up to 50% compared to conventional equipment.
The core of the innovation – three years in development – lies in combining the heat treatment, separation and standardisation stages into a single step, thereby “significantly simplifying and accelerating” the production process, the report added.
A further advance is that the equipment incorporates aseptic buffering. This ensures a UHT operation that is “completely automated and continuous ….with fewer process steps and smaller hold-up volumes in the line”.
The OneStep system can cut energy and water consumption by up to 35%. Waste and effluent load could be slashed by as much as 60% thanks to the equipment’s increased accuracy of chemical use during cleaning-in-place (CIP) procedures and the fact that no CIP of the pasteuriser and intermediate storage tanks is needed.
Such economies are estimated to result in carbon footprint reduction of around 40 %, according to the company.
The method also streamlines product loss by up to 30 % compared to conventional systems due to fewer process steps and smaller hold-up volumes in the line.
The system is flexible and has the ability to change the fat content of milk products without stopping production – and can run milk with different fat contents at the same time. It promotes efficient production planning and high utilisation of filling machines – with up to 100% availability, the report said.