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Nectar and tropical juice processing

07 February 2018
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Nectar and tropical juice processing

by Michael Trommer


FRUIT BEVERAGES

Juice is a non-fermented, non-concentrated, undiluted beverage, intended for consumption and obtained from ripe and sound fruits. It cannot contain foreign material or other parts of the plant.

Nectar is a non-fermented beverage obtained from the dilution of the edible part of the vegetable, or its extract, in drinkable water, with added sugar, intended for direct consumption.

Tropical juice is a non-fermented beverage obtained from the dilution of the edible part of the vegetable, or its extract, with drinkable water, and addition of sugar, intended for direct consumption.

The fruit pulp content used in the production of tropical juices must be above that determined for the nectar of the respective fruit. In the case of cashew, passion fruit, and pineapple, such content must be obtained without dilution with water.

Fruit or vegetable still drink is a non-fermented beverage obtained from the dilution of the juice, pulp, or extract with drinkable water, with or without addition of sugar.

Pulp

Agitation tank

Homogenization

Deaeration

Thermal treatment
(Tetra Brik)

Aseptic filling

PROCESSING

After being received and inspected by quality control, the pulp is sent to a formulation tank equipped with an agitator, in which beverage processing begins.

Following formulation, the liquid is then pumped to a homogenizer. In the homogenization step, particles are reduced to a uniform size, with the purpose of providing adequate physical stability to the product. The most commonly used homogenizers are piston-type and disc-type.

After the product is homogenized, it goes to deaeration, in which most of the air is eliminated. Deaeration equipment operates under high vacuum (25 in.-Hg). It is recommended to pre-heat the product to around 50°C before it enters the vacuum chamber.

Once part of the air is removed, the product is submitted to thermal treatment in order to extend shelf life, especially targeting fungi and yeasts, the main deteriorating agents of fruit pulp and fruit pulp derivatives. In order to extend shelf life, the product must be treated at the temperature of 90°C for 20 seconds. It is recommended not to go beyond that time limit, as doing so could cause premature aging of the product ready for consumption.

Conversely, if the pulp was not submitted to enzymatic inactivation, and with possible occurrences of yeast, the thermal treatment must be carried out at temperatures between 90 and 95°C, for 30 seconds.

TETRA BRIK FILLING

The packaging material is fitted to the machine rollers to be filled with the product and then closed in the shape of a prism, in a continuous process starting from the coil roll. After going through disinfection and sterilization, the packaging forms a tube.

The thermally treated juice enters the packaging tube already sealed lengthwise. Shortly after that, the tube is sealed crosswise (top and bottom) with a liquid, producing an airtight prism-shaped package, without empty space in it. This package is later given a rectangular shape, by folding and gluing the ends.

At the beginning, the coil goes through rollers that mold the package into the final desired shape. The package on the top of the filling machine is given a bath with a solution of Sufal combined with a wetting agent, in order to ensure uniform distribution. A pair of pressure rollers removes the Sufal excess.

The laminated packaging material can be heated up to 110°C through electrical resistance, therefore evaporating any remaining Sufal residue.

Shortly before the lengthwise sealing of the laminated, the product enters the aseptic filling area through a concentric tube. Crosswise sealing is performed using two jaws that hold the tube and weld the polyethylene on the internal surface.

When using Tetra-Brik packaging, a 200-ml package represents 2.5% of the juice weight.

 

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Michael Trommer

Michael Trommer, descendente de pais alemães que vieram para colonização do norte do Paraná e posteriormente migraram para São Paulo.

Com 28 anos de experiência profissional na área de bebidas (cervejas e sucos). Contudo, sua maior atuação foi na indústria cervejeira, onde atuou na área de produção, laboratório, desenvolvimento de produtos maltados e não maltados, padronização de processos (sistema da qualidade) e implantação de manutenção preventiva e preditiva. Presta serviços para empresas de pequeno, médio e grande porte do segmento de bebidas.

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