Tetra Pak introduces low energy processing line for juice, nectar and still drinks

SWITZERLAND – Tetra Pak has launched a new, first-of-its-kind low-energy processing line for juice, nectar and still drinks (JNSD), which the food and beverage processing solutions provider said will take beverage processing to a new level of efficiency.

Tetra Pak noted that the new processing line comes as a revolutionised process that treats beverages in two separate streams using a combination of pasteurization, filtration, and ultraviolet (UV) technology – which are aseptically blended together into the final beverage.

Instead of pasteurizing the whole volume of the product, Tetra Pak explained that the new production line separates out water and pasteurizes only the concentrate: water is treated separately with Filtration and UV Light which requires a lot less energy.

The company highlighted that the new JNSD line enables processors to reduce energy consumption up to 67% while water consumption used for cleaning-in-place, sterilisation and product change-over is cut up to 50%.

The processing solutions provider noted that a pilot test on the new line found that the new line decreased water consumption by 50%, surpassing an internal target set at 25%. It also reduced water used in cleaning in place (CIP) and sterilization in place (SIP) by about 50%.

Using a concentrate-to-water ratio of 1:4, Tetra Pak says that processors can cut energy use by 67% or more. “Assuming a system with 32,000 litres/hour capacity, steam €30 per tonne, with electricity costing 15 cents per kW/h, the annual operating costs are approximately €138,000,” the company illustrates.

“Water treatment with filtration and UV estimated at €12,000, heat treatment of concentrate at €34,000: annual operating cost approx. €46,000. Therefore, energy consumption is reduced by 67%, giving an annual saving of €92,000.”

Tetra Pak’s new line for JNSD with aseptic blending

Additionally, Tetra Pak noted that the system volume in the new JNSD line is half that of the current solution. The new line can reduce the amount of water required for product changes, cleaning in place, and sterilization in place by 50%.

“We realised that we needed to rethink JNSD processing and find a more sustainable solution, that at the same time still provides a high level of food safety & quality assurance for our customers,” says Maria Norlin, Subcategory Manager JNSD & Other Beverages at Tetra Pak.

“The launch of our new low-energy JNSD processing line, ‘Best Practice Line for JNSD with Aseptic Blending’, illustrates how we are innovating with traditional processing methods in pursuit of more sustainable and efficient solutions.”

Norlin further noted that Tetra Pak’s decision to split the existing JNSD line into two separate processing streams for treatment allows the company to offer processing options that can help processors achieve their climate goals, and enables the industry to contribute towards global sustainability efforts.

“After many years of low growth, we see new opportunities for our customers on the horizon, as people increasingly search for ways to lead a healthier lifestyle, and this trend has accelerated during the spread of Covid-19,” added Norlin.

“We hope this new production line can help customers capture the growth opportunities in a more cost-efficient way.”

Tetra Pak food and drink scientists and processing engineers set ambitious goals for rethinking and redesigning the JNSD processing line and in 2019 the company released a white paper outlining the production concept.

The company said that the innovation will contribute to the its overall commitments to minimise environmental impact across the value chain. Notably, forty percent of Tetrs Pak’s total climate impact comes from equipment used by customers.

“We are constantly striving to improve energy efficiency, reduce food waste and minimise the impact on resources such as land and water,” the processing solutions innovator said.

Tetra Pak has committed to reducing operational GHG emissions by at least 40% by 2030 and 58% by 2040, from a 2015 baseline, working with the Science Based Targets (SBT)​ initiative.

In May this year, the company also launched its first complete processing line for feta type white cheese products, with a fully automated and integrated solution – a feature that the company says ensures the highest standard of food safety and speed to market.

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