Tunnel or Flash Pasteurizer?

pasteurizersPasteurization is a widely practiced process of heating beverages and food in order to kill potentially harmful microorganisms. In fact, pasteurization is one of the best known methods when it comes to treating beverages, especially for a large scale production. If you consider starting a manufacturing company up, pasteurizer might be a necessary equipment. Tunnel or flash pasteurizer, that’s the question? And, as you assumed, the answer is not really easy to give.

But, let’s summarize what we already know about these pasteurization appliances.

  • In most applications, both methods are effective.
  • Flash pasteurization treat only the product, while tunnel pasteurization treats both the product and the package.
  • The technology which should be applied for an operation is not as simple as “one appliance vs. another”. If you to make the right decision, there are many factors to be weighed, for example confidence in operational disciplines of certain organization.
  • If a “shelf stable” products is in question, sometimes the journey from a plant to consumers will affect a product more than either technology.

If you ask a flash pasteurization equipment supplier, you’ll get the impression that tunnel pasteurization is not even an option. Yes, flash pasteurization is the newest technology, consuming less floorspace and it’s cheaper to install. The truth is, however, both technologies have their place.

Let’s compare the capital costs of both technologies. It’s important to consider whether a warmer is necessary after filling. This equipment is sometimes required in order to bring the product up to labeling and packaging temperature.

The cost elements of tunnel pasteurizer system

  • the tunnel pasteurizer
  • discharge conveyors
  • cooling tower loop* – optional
  • installation

The cost elements of flash pasteurizer system

  • flash pasteurizer
  • buffer tank
  • “Cleaning In Place” skid
  • tunnel warmer
  • equipment for sterile filling
  • cooling tower loop* – optional

Besides these cost elements, when deciding which one is better, take floorspace and operating costs (including product waste and utilities) into account. Finally, what ever you choose, you should understand that pasteurization is very important, sometimes essential for producing high-quality and delicious food and beverages. It preserves nutrients in products, as well as color and flavor, while killing unwanted microorganisms.

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