UHT pasteurization processes sterilize liquid foods and other consumable products by heating them to very high temperatures. Today’s advanced pasteurization processes allow consumer goods to be safely packaged and stored for longer periods of time before spoilage while still preserving the flavor, look, and texture of the original product. UHT pasteurization setups typically have four main components:
- A heat exchanger with either a plate-type heat exchanger (PHE) or tube-type heat exchanger (THE), depending on the viscosity composition of the product
- A holding tube that contains the liquid food for the duration of the treatment
- An Aseptic surge tank
- A control and monitoring system
UHT pasteurization is most commonly used in dairy production, but it can also be used for plant based beverages, fruit juices, soups, sauces, desserts, and other foods.
Design & Capabilities of UHT Pasteurization Systems
There are four key types of UHT pasteurization systems:
Direct Heating Via Injection
This direct heating method involves injecting steam directly into the product being pasteurized. This is immediately followed by flash cooling processes so the heat has limited opportunity to alter the composition of the product. Injection methods work best with products that have low to medium viscosities.
Direct Heating Via Infusion
In infusion processes, the product is pumped into a chamber of high-pressure steam. This method allows for instantaneous heating and is suitable for most products.
Indirect Heating Via Tube Heat Exchangers (THE)
Rather than directly heating the product, indirect methods transfer heat energy to the product through a tubular heat exchanger. These come in a variety of designs from double-tube, triple-tube, multi-tube and a coiled tube. A lot of the heat energy can be recaptured after pasteurization, making this type of process more cost-effective.
Indirect Heating Via Plate Heat Exchangers (PHE)
This is similar to indirect heating via THE, except the heat exchanger is shaped like a plate. This allows for the quick treatment of low viscosity products, including juices and coffee. Plate systems are cost-effective and easy to maintain.
At Highland Equipment, Inc. we provide fabrication and installation services for indirect UHT units that are highly efficient and provide continuous ultra-high temperature treatment of dairy products. These units feature an aseptic design as well as a plate or tubular heat exchanger for indirect heating.
UHT Treatment for Food & Dairy
UHT pasteurization is critical throughout the food and dairy industry. It offers superior capabilities for destroying hazardous microorganisms and other organic contaminants while minimizing changes to the chemical makeup of the product. This ensures that the product retains its desirable characteristics, including taste, smell, texture, and color. UHT pasteurization also extends the shelf life of products, which reduces overall product waste.
Highland Equipment Fabrication & Installation Services
At Highland Equipment, Inc., we provide in-house fabrication services for tanks, pressure vessels, piping, and equipment. We control the process from design to completion to ensure optimal quality sanitary stainless steel products. Our expert welders and fabricators are proficient in a variety of welding techniques and are certified per ASME Section IX. Along with fabrication, we also offer complete installation services for your UHT pasteurization process systems, paying close attention to your facility’s requirements to ensure your new equipment will fit.
To learn more about our design, fabrication, and installation services for UHT pasteurization process systems, request a quote today.