Tetra Pak has launched a next generation heat exchanger that can process thick and sticky products such as puddings, purees or soups and products that contain solids such, as casseroles, baby food and ready meals.
The Tetra Vertico uses a coiled mono-tube instead of the traditional tubular and scrape heat exchangers, which gives it a higher pressure rating.
Helena Arph, product manager, Tetra Pak, told FoodProductionDaily, many food producers prefer not to use moving parts during aseptic processing and the lack of moving parts and the higher speed of the coiled mono-tube design is a major advantage of the Tetra Vertico.
Gentler treatment of products
“The challenge for the food industry has been applying either direct or indirect heat treatment at a speed and efficiency that can keep up with both modern production demands and without altering the nature of the product being treated,” she said.
According to Arph, a traditional straight tubular heat exchanger consists of three metre or six metre long pipes connected together with 180° bends.
A Tetra Vertico coiled tubular heat exchanger by contrast consists of pipes which are between 30 and 100 metres in length (depending on the duty) with two 90° bends at the inlet and the outlet of the heat exchanger.
“This results in a gentler treatment of products that contain solids and improves hygiene due to a lower number of welds and connections,” she added.
Can withstand higher pressure
“The heat exchanger is designed to withstand a higher pressure within the unit compared to a traditional heat exchanger.
“This means products can be passed through at a higher speed, leading to a fluid flow characterised by a higher Reynolds number (a measure of fluid flow pattern). As a result, the rate of heat transfer is significantly improved.
“The high pressure rating also makes it possible to run viscous products at higher capacities to meet production demands.”
SunOpta of Canada
She added it is also in contrast to a scrape surface heat exchanger, where the product is passing though the heat exchanger at very low speed.
“In a scrape surface heat exchanger the heat transfer is facilitated and fouling is avoided by constantly scraping the heated surfaces with rotating scrapes,” said Arph.
“The mechanical action of a scrape surface heat exchanger means that generally these units have a very small capacity.”
Tetra Pak confirmed SunOpta of Canada, has bought one of the machines and it decided to launch the product now in response to ‘a growing need for processing solutions that can process both thick and potentially sticky (viscous) products’.
SunOpta organic food company specializes in sourcing, processing and packaging natural and certified organic food products such as grains, fiber and fruit based food with organic ingredients, private label beverages, natural sweeteners, frozen fruits and vegetables.
Highlights of the Tetra Vertico include reduction in both system volumes and holding times by up to 20% (compared to concentric heat exchangers); reduction in product losses by up to 6% (compared to concentric heat exchangers); more gentle mechanical treatment, making it suitable for foods with big particles and it is EHEDG certified.
The unit is designed with optimized CIP (Cleaning-In-Place) and maintenance processes.