Highland Equipment is a premier provider of sanitary process equipment and systems. Equipped with nearly 50 years of experience, we have what it takes to provide high-quality solutions for a wide range of industries and applications. From individual units to complete turnkey process systems, we can design, fabricate, and install a stainless steel equipment solution that meets nearly any customer’s unique sanitary specifications and standards.
One of our core product offerings for the food and beverage industry is full pasteurization equipment. These units and systems are used for pasteurization, which is a process that utilizes heat to sterilize consumable liquid or semi-liquid products (e.g., milk, yogurt, and soup) to ensure consumer safety and enhance product shelf life. We offer them in a variety of designs and configurations to ensure optimal sanitation consistent with product requirements and stringent industry standards.
Whether your company makes milk and other dairy products, tea and coffee blends, or another low to medium viscosity product, our expert team of designers and fabricators have the knowledge and skills to deliver a pasteurizer that meets your exact needs. Below, we highlight the types of pasteurization systems we offer.
HTST Pasteurization Systems [High-Temperature, Short-Time]
High-temperature, short-time (HTST) pasteurization—also known as flash pasteurization—is the most commonly used pasteurization technique in the United States. It is typically utilized for dairy products, such as milk, cream, cheese milk, and yogurt, but can be employed for other low-viscosity to medium-viscosity food and beverage products, such as hot- and cold-brewed coffee, tea, juice, sports drinks, soups, and sauces.
How Do HTST Pasteurization Systems Work?
HTST pasteurization equipment uses Sanitary Plate Heat Exchangers utilizing hot water or steam to raise the temperature of products. This heating stage is then followed by a rapid cooling stage. The pasteurization temperature and time depend on the product. For example, milk must achieve a minimum of 161° F for at least 15 seconds. However, if the product’s fat content is at or above 10%, the product’s total solids content is 18% or greater, or the product contains sweeteners, the pasteurization temperature should be 5° F greater. If a product needs to be ultra-pasteurized, it must be heated to a minimum of 280° F for two seconds.
All of the products that undergo HTST pasteurization have longer shelf lives than their unpasteurized counterparts. However, they are not shelf-stable. They must be refrigerated before and after opening.
Why Are HTST Pasteurization Systems Popular?
There are many reasons why HTST pasteurizers are the most popular pasteurization method in the food and beverage industry. These include:
- HTST pasteurizers have high energy efficiency.
- HTST pasteurizers accommodate large volumes.
- HTST pasteurizers carry minimal risk of damage to the products being pasteurized.
- HTST pasteurizers are easy to clean and sterilize.
- HTST pasteurizers allow for concurrent bottling operations.
HTST Pasteurization Systems at Highland Equipment
HTST pasteurization systems from Highland Equipment use stainless steel plate heat exchangers to heat the product to the desired temperature for the correct period of time. They can have customized holding tubes that provide extended holding to denature products for various applications.
UHT Pasteurization Systems [Ultra-High Temperature]
Ultra-high temperature (UHT) pasteurization—also called ultra-high temperature sterilization, ultra-heat treatment, or aseptic processing—utilizes higher temperatures than HTST pasteurization. It is typically used for milk, cream, and other dairy products but can also be used for juices and other beverage products.
How Do UHT Pasteurization Systems Work?
UHT pasteurization equipment heats products and packages them into hermetically sealed packaging under aseptic conditions. Since UHT processing uses higher temperatures than HTST processing, it generally has a shorter processing time. For example, milk and cream products are generally heated to a minimum of 280 to 302° F for a least one to two seconds. These higher temperatures kill any pathogen that can cause consumer illness or premature spoilage.
All of the products that undergo UHT pasteurization are shelf-stable for two to three months. They do not need to be refrigerated until after they are opened.
How Does UHT Pasteurization Differ From Other Processes?
Any processing facility that performs aseptic operations must file the relevant processes with the Process Authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Since there is no set temperature or time for aseptic processing operations, the Process Authority must establish and validate the proper temperature and time for an operation based on the equipment utilized and the products being pasteurized.
UHT Pasteurization Systems at Highland Equipment
The experts at Highland Equipment offer UHT systems for the sanitation and storage of dairy and other food and beverage products. If needed, complete clean-in-place systems can be designed and built for use with these pasteurizers to ensure the maintenance of sanitary processing conditions.
DSI Pasteurization Systems [Direct Steam Injection]
Direct steam injection (DSI) pasteurization is used for a wide range of food and beverage products. In addition to dairy products (e.g., flavored milk, creamers, condensed/evaporated milk, ice cream bases), it is also employed for the pasteurization of nutritional beverages, infant formulas, fruit juice concentrates, condiments, salad dressings, and more.
How Do DSI Pasteurization Systems Work?
DSI pasteurization equipment heats process fluids by injecting culinary steam directly into them. This process design eliminates the need for indirect heating elements (e.g., heat exchangers) and makes the process 100% thermally efficient.
What Advantages Do DSI Pasteurization Systems Have Over Other Systems?
In addition to better thermal efficiency, DSI pasteurization systems offer a number of other advantages over other systems, such as:
- Faster pasteurization. Since steam is directly injected into the product, the transfer of heat is nearly instantaneous.
- Greater suitability for heat-sensitive products. Excessive or extended heat exposure can negatively affect the flavor, color, and nutrition of heat-sensitive products. Since DSI pasteurization offers faster processing times, it carries a lower risk of thermal damage.
- Higher production capacities. DSI systems have few moving parts. As a result, they can complete continuous runs for 24-hour periods with minimal risk of breaking down. This quality enables food and beverage facilities to produce more products in a day/week/month.
DSI Pasteurization Systems at Highland Equipment
DSI pasteurization systems from Highland Equipment have a multi-stream design that results in a high surface-to-volume ratio. This design enables these units to utilize lower steam temperatures than other infusion heaters. Additionally, the systems have a patented distribution plate design that ensures the multi-stream flow pattern remains consistent throughout extended operations.
High-Quality Pasteurization Systems by Highland Equipment
Need a pasteurization system for your sanitary production facility? The stainless steel equipment experts at Highland Equipment are here to help! Whether you’re looking for a high-temperature, short-time (HTST) pasteurization system, an ultra-high temperature (UHT) pasteurization system, or a direct steam injection (DS) system, we will deliver a quality equipment solution that meets your application requirements and industry standards.
To learn more about our pasteurization process system capabilities, contact us today. To discuss your equipment specifications with one of our experts, request a quote.