Sugar, with water, is one of the main raw materials in the beverage industry.
Sugar, especially cane sugar, may be of different quality depending on the type of refining process to which it was subjected.
In some cases the sugar available cannot be used as it is because it does not meet the quality standards and requirements of beverage bottlers.
In this case the sugar syrup may be subjected to the following treatments: filtering (to eliminate suspended solids), clarification and decolorization (to reduce turbidity and colour) and deodorization (to eliminate any unpleasant odours and/or flavours).
The technology most widely used to decolorize sugar syrup is represented by activated carbon treatment followed by kieselguhr filtering.
Activated carbon is an adsorbent, i.e. it has the capacity to attract and fix certain compounds to its surface with which it comes into contact and it is therefore able to remove from the sugar syrup any impurities it contains, amongst which undesired substances that are responsible for colour and odor.
Its special feature derives from the extremely large activated surface which is the result of a very fine and developed porosity.
Parameters that can influence the decolorization treatment are:
► the quantity of carbon used, which increases as the impurities to remove increase;
► the treatment temperature. As the temperature increases, the viscosity of the sugar solution decreases which improves the access of impurities to the activated carbon porosities and therefore their removal;
► the contact time necessary to guarantee the access of impurities to the activated carbon porosities. Generally speaking optimal contact time is 30 minutes.
► the pH that may result in the dissolution of inorganic ash or adsorb preferably an acid or basic constituent of the solution.
Sugar syrup can also be decolorized through one or more columns of ion-exchange resins with subsequent deodorization treatment on a GAC column (granular activated carbon).
If necessary, again with ion-exchange resins, it is also possible to demineralize the sugar solution (salt reduction).
Equipment to filter sugar solutions containing suspended solids and where powdered activated carbon is used as a decolorant. Built in conformity with 97/23/CE (PED) regulations.
It is used on sugar solutions with concentrations of up to 65°Brix and with working temperatures of up to 85°C. The system is also used for polishing and finishing or pre-bottling safety filtering.
These filters require minimum maintenance intervention times and therefore offer obvious advantages in operating economy.
All of the filter components are built in stainless steel AISI 304, whereas the reducers and electric motors are protected by an acid-resistant epoxy paint.
These are the classic single-bag filters built according to automated methodologies to achieve substantial savings, high quality and executive reproducibility.
Main advantages: ► standard construction in stainless steel AISI 316 L, ► no space between the jacket and inner ring (risk of contamination), ► minimum internal volume to reduce the loss of product, ► cover closing with clamps to allow the use of PTFE O-Rings, ► filter support in AISI 316 welded head to head without overlapping of the parts.
It is possible to supply the pharmaceutical version with the Tri-Clover connections.
These are suitable for fine and ultrafine applications, namely with low levels of substances to be removed or with final finishing filters.
PMain advantages: ► easy access for the replacement of filtering elements, quick housing closing, ► better cleaning by the exclusive filtering element anchoring, ► internal volume reduced to a minimum to avoid the loss of product.
Pasteurization is a targeted heat treatment, aimed at preventing the onset of deteriorating processes caused by pathogenic microorganisms and enzymes, while preserving the chemical-physical and organoleptic characteristics of the product itself.
This goal is normally achieved by subjecting the product to a heat treatment at high temperatures for a short period of time and then cooling it quickly.
In line flash pasteurization of the neutral syrup allows considerable energy saving, with a recovery index of up to 90%, and it completely eliminates problems of syrup browning and caramelization.
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