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A Fresh Approach to Extending Shelf Life

In today’s food and beverage market, expiration dates have never mattered more. Economic challenges and busier lifestyles have consumers seeking out products that won’t spoil after a few days in the fridge. Manufacturers are responding with cost-effective industrial food equipment that quickly gets products on the shelf and keeps them there longer– a process that often results in food that contains chemical additives or preservatives.

As this trend increases, SPX is finding new ways to restore a natural balance to the process: Utilizing years of experience in pasteurization, SPX’s flow technology group, a global leader in food & beverage technology solutions and fluid handling products, is working with top producers in the beverage industry to extend the shelf life of dairy products, without the use of additives.

Evolving Sterilization, Naturally

Through the use of High Temperature Short Time (HTST) sterilization, SPX’s Ultra High Temperature (UHT) technology can eliminate bacteria growth, minimize product mixing and deliver the most natural, long-lasting product possible. UHT technology can be implemented either directly, via infusion or injection, or indirectly, through tubular, plate or scraped heat exchanger systems. It is offered as part of an easy to operate, complete sterilization solution - a continuous process for blending, heat treatment, and aseptic storage of beverage products.

Infusion UHT, the most advanced process, creates an extremely flexible product that has been successfully implemented on processing lines for dairy, coffee creamer and nutritional supplement products.

While most sterilization methods simply control the amount of bacterial growth within milk, Infusion UHT technology also minimizes any nutritional degradation, ensuring the fresh taste of the milk remains.

Eliminating Bacterial Growth Without Chemicals

This is achieved by sending raw product into an infusion chamber filled with culinary steam. While falling through the steam, the product can be quickly heated from 75°C to 143°C in less than 0.2 seconds. A cooling jacket within the infusion chamber protects the product from contact with metal, reducing fouling and foaming. Thermal treatment provides an accurate, defined holding time before a vacuum chamber instantly cools the product to below 80°C.

The result is a fresh product, produced quickly with longer run times. And the benefits don’t stop there. They have a ripple effect, cascading down through the rest of the supply chain.

Reaping the Rewards

  • Infusion UHT offers dairy manufacturers the fastest, most accurate heating times for processing a variety of products with extended shelf life. A fresher, more natural product saves distribution costs and presents customers with added value.

  • Grocery retailers receive a high-quality, in-demand product whose longer shelf life guarantees less returns and substantial cost savings.

  • Consumers enjoy a product that has been minimally compromised. It stays fresh for an extended period of time, maximizing its nutritional and economic value.

With a global population whose food and nutrition needs are growing and shifting, time to market and shelf life are king. SPX flow technology continues to pinpoint opportunities in the evolving market, implementing smart, cost-effective processing solutions that aim to maintain the nutritional integrity and delicious taste of the world’s most in-demand food products.