August 05, 2018

06/08/2018: Busting the myths about food pasteurisation

by HRS Heat Exchangers, Hertfordshire, UK

Pasteurisation has been established as a key method of destroying pathogenic bacteria in the food and drink industry since its invention in the middle of the 19th century, although the origins of heating wine for preservation go back to China in the 1100s.

However, as food and drink processing becomes more complex and food chains longer, the importance of pasteurisation has increased.

At the same time, the technology has also improved, with developments in the equipment used for High Temperature, Short Time (HTST) and Low Temperature, Long Time (LTLT) methods. While simple plate heat exchangers may still be suitable for the pasteurisation of simple fluids such as milk and fruit juices, more textured and viscous products, such as cooking sauces, creams and curds, will require different solutions in order to maintain their quality and texture.

Here we dispel eight popular myths about food pasteurisation:

Myth 1: Pasteurisation is expensive
While the exact costs will vary with each installation, there is no doubt that there is a capital cost to pasteurisation.

However, compared with the potential losses due to food spoilage, or worse a food safety incident, these costs are insignificant. In the US, the costs of recalling food products have been shown to average US$10 million*, before accounting for brand damage. Last year alone, 24 recalls due to E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella resulted in the destruction of almost 700,000 pounds of food products.

Against these potential costs, the capital cost of a corrugated tube heat exchanger-based pasteurisation system is a sound investment. Alongside the capital costs, the running costs of a pasteurisation unit need to be considered. Heat exchangers and pasteurisation units made by HRS Heat Exchangers are designed to reduce fouling and maintenance, while their wide range of heat recovery options mean that energy costs are kept to a minimum (see below).

Myth 2: Pasteurisation is too complex
Pasteurisation itself is a relatively simple process. It requires that a material is held for a certain time at a certain temperature in order to kill micro-organisms. There is no doubt that pasteurisation adds an additional step in the overall manufacturing process, but if well designed it should not slow down throughput or place additional management burdens on the plant.

The use of continuous pasteurisation systems mean that the process is simple and the potential for product damage or change in quality is minimised.

Read more HERE.

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine Milling and Grain
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