The goal of Ultra High Temperature or UHT treatment is to minimize the presence of microorganisms while equally minimizing the chemical changes within a product post processing. The core to effective UHT treatment is finding the balance between optimal temperature and processing time. Through careful product testing, a UHT process has the potential to extend product longevity and retain the quality taste, texture and depth of the original product.
Most commonly used in the production of milk but also fruit juices, cream, soy beverages, yogurt, sauces, desserts, wine, soups and other foods; ultra-high temperature (UHT) processing is used to kill bacteria spores to provide safe, shelf-stable products. For low acid products, it involves heating the product to over 135°C (275°F) to make products ‘commercially sterile’. While the aim is to remove as many bacteria spore as possible, the heating process also needs to minimize the impact of chemical changes to the natural product. Undesirable changes can include whey protein denaturation, Maillard browning, changes to flavor, and fat separation or sedimentation in the final product.
The best solution for your application is dependent upon factors including product specification, viscosity and heat sensitivity. Is the most important consideration processing cost? Do you want sensational, fresh tasting products? Superb shelf stability and easier, wider transportation of your products? Premium product quality? Whatever your needs, we can help you achieve your goals and choose the technology which is right for you.
Through its APV brand, SPX FLOW has provided leading UHT systems for decades with a history that places it as one of the pioneers of UHT development during the 1950s and 1960s. The design, engineering and fabrication capability provided by SPX FLOW, along with its extensive experience and in-depth application knowledge, makes it a partner of choice for all UHT applications. Furthermore, strategically located, state-of-the-art innovation centres and pilot systems offer ultimate support in system design and testing. These enable customers to move to full scale production more quickly and with confidence in meeting their product and production goals.
Whatever the requirements from a UHT process, SPX FLOW works with customers to ensure they optimize quality, efficiency and productivity by applying the best solution for a given application. Leading expertise in UHT technology, in-depth application knowledge and a continuous program of development and innovation, make SPX FLOW a partner of choice to help drive process improvements and keep modern food and dairy plants competitive.
The ranges of UHT systems SPX FLOW provides are innovative, efficient solutions that preserve food quality and characteristics. While driving for efficiency and market differentiation, customers are demanding the flexibility and product quality SPX FLOW systems produce. The in-depth understanding of underlying technologies, knowledge of the applications served and continued research and development ensure SPX FLOW UHT solutions deliver real customer benefit.
From basic needs to demanding processes, we help you meet your production goals
UHT treatment exists in two separate process methods, direct and indirect heating. Both methods affect the output of the product and differ structurally. SPX FLOW application engineers can help develop a specialized heat-treating process for a customer’s needs. Through its APV® brand, SPX® FLOW has vast experience in all these systems and is able to tailor solutions to match customers’ specific processing and operational goals.
Ultra High Temperature (UHT) direct heating systems inject or infuse steam directly into the product. They enable high temperature treatment to destroy microorganisms with a very short holding time, which minimizes chemical changes to the product.
Advantages of direct heating UHT systems:
SPX FLOW’s Infusion technology provides the highest degree of flexibility, product safety, exceptional final product quality, high bacteria spore kill rates and long product shelf lives. They produce minimal heat degradation compared with other traditional UHT systems and protect the fresh taste of products with a wide range of viscosity from milk through to custards and puddings.
The method of heating a liquid product as free falling strings by means of direct steam in an infusion chamber was introduced in the late 1950’s. Since the first infusion system was introduced, SPX FLOW’s APV brand has made a dedicated effort to develop the concept to perfection, and the present result is the unique and patented infusion system, for which the APV brand is recognized world-wide today.
A pilot UHT plant is available for use in product development trials with easy selection and switching between infusion or injection processing
Steam injection injects steam into the product to be treated and steam infusion adds the product to the steam. The steam must be high quality, culinary steam and not contain any off-flavors that could change the taste of the product. The direct steam injection system heats the product by injecting steam directly into it through a specially designed nozzle. The product is then cooled in a flash chamber. Pre-heating and final cooling often take place in a plate heat exchanger or, occasionally, a tubular heat exchanger. The system provides fast heating with efficient bacteria kill rate. As with steam infusion systems, steam injection provides quick heat treatment which produce good quality products.
Steam injection is a popular UHT solution and offers flexible processing for different products of low to medium viscosity, such as milk, flavored milk, coffee, cream, ice cream mix, custard and milk shakes. Its low fouling rate means long operating periods between CIP cycles.
Indirect heating UHT solutions uses plate or tubular heat exchangers which separate the product from direct contact with the heat source enabling excellent heat recovery within the system.
Advantages of indirect heating UHT systems:
Tubular heat exchangers are the most commonly used indirect UHT systems. They offer significant advantages including low total cost of ownership; straightforward maintenance; the option of higher pressure drops, and design flexibility. They are an economical option with modern plants providing approximately the same heat recovery and similar investment costs to plate UHT systems.
Pilot tubular models have identical design as the industrial size systems, allowing for reliable progression to commercial scale production. The standard design plant comprises 32 tubes for heating and cooling and three individual heating and cooling sections, but final design can be tailored to specific customer requirements.
Scraped Surface Heat Exchanger UHT
Scraped surface heat exchangers (SSHE) offer effective and efficient UHT processing for a wide range of viscous or high-fouling products. Whereas such products would quickly foul in standard tubular or plate UHT solutions, blades within the SSHE tube continually rotate to move product away from the heat transfer walls to reduce fouling, extend runtimes, increase heat transfer efficiency and provide homogenous mixtures for even heating.
SPX FLOW UHT SSHEs offer robust and reliable processing. They are easy to install, offer straightforward maintenance, and have flexible options to meet a wide array of application needs.
Plate Heat Exchanger UHT
SPX FLOW plate heat exchangers offer highly cost-efficient UHT processing with excellent heat regeneration. They use optimized plate designs to maximize heat transfer efficiency, reduce fouling and enhance cleanability. They offer flexible processing and have a range of features that make them easy to operate and maintain. Plate heat exchangers are ideal for UHT treatment of a wide range of low-viscosity products including milk, coffee and juices.
As a pioneer in plate heat exchanger technology, SPX FLOW continues to develop and advance its plate heat exchangers with new materials and designs to further increase heat transfer efficiency, extend run times and reduce total cost of ownership.
Our expertise and experience mean our global customers trust and rely on us to provide a system that meets their processing goals. With the support of state-of-the-art Innovation Centers and leading food experts, you can quickly trial and test processes and recipes to produce optimized results. Continuous programs of research and development lead to innovative technology that is regularly raising the benchmark for UHT systems. Innovative systems for freshest tastes, longer life and efficient production. Our process understanding means your system will not be over-engineered and offer you excellent return on investment
All systems are supported by a comprehensive support network, which will help you from project specification and design right through the life time of your process. With over 1,300 installations worldwide, you have access to vast global experience and processing knowledge