Successful trials facilitate scale-up

European dessert manufacturer tests new heat treatment technology before investing

Sometimes, the purpose of trials at our Product Development Centres is to give our customers a chance to familiarise themselves with a new technology and test its efficacy on existing products. Here, we describe how trying out a new type of heat treatment technology enabled one European dessert manufacturer to make a confident investment decision, leading to the installation of a new line and successful scale-up to commercial production.

Two women eating dessert, chocolate and vanilla pudding

From chocolate mousse to oat porridge

Eurodesserts is one of three companies belonging to the family-owned business, The Dairy Food Group. Operating both as a brand-owner and co-packer, they produce SKUs as diverse and delicious as chocolate mousse, vanilla custard, apple purée and rice porridge.

Choosing a third production line

When Eurodesserts first contacted Tetra Pak, they needed two production lines with two different heat treatment technologies to make their full range of products. In response to growing demand, they later decided to purchase a third line; one capable of accurately reproducing its existing products with regard to flavour, consistency and mouthfeel. The question was ‘which line?’ and, more specifically, ‘which type of heat treatment should it employ?

Heat treatment equipmet for desserts, Tetra Pak Indirect UHT unit PFF

Benefits of a new heat treatment technology

After in-depth discussions, we recommended the implementation of a processing line based on coil heat exchanger (CHE) technology, since this would bring three main benefits:

  1. Higher capacity, since the pressure rating in the coil would enable a doubling of output per hour.
  2. An up to 30% reduction in operational costs, since the product losses and maintenance cost of CHEs is lower than that of other heat treatment technologies.
  3. Increased flexibility, since CHEs can handle a full range of different viscosities. This meant Eurodesserts would be able to manufacture its entire product range on a single line, with the exception of its rice pudding which is manufactured in another factory.

Says Curd Bulcaen, Account Manager for Eurodesserts at Tetra Pak, “We were confident that the new line would meet the customers’ needs, but not only that. We also saw that it would give them a competitive advantage in the industry.”

“We knew the new line would meet the customers’ needs, but not only that. We also saw that it would give them a competitive advantage in the industry.”

Curd Bulcaen, Account Manager for Eurodesserts at Tetra Pak

Vanilla pudding in glass jars

Trials gave customer confidence

Although Eurodesserts was open to the idea of employing a new coil heat exchanger line, they first wanted to try it out at our Product Development Centre in Lund, Sweden. In order to replicate local production conditions as precisely as possible, Eurodesserts sent all the necessary raw ingredients from Belgium. “Two separate trials were conducted,” explains trial leader, Helena Arph. “In the first, we tried out production of all the company’s different desserts to ensure the right product quality. In the second, we ran a longer test on Eurodesserts’ custard to validate the equipment’s running time.”

On completion of these trials, the team was satisfied the new line and processing design would work for its entire product range. Says Eurodesserts’ Project Manager André Lemmens.

“The trials really clinched it for us. It would have been much harder to make this investment decision without the proof provided by Tetra Pak’s Product Development Centre."

Project Manager André Lemmens, Eurodesserts

Performance meets expectations

As time would show, the new solution not only delivered on Eurodesserts’ main objectives; it also brought a series of knock-on benefits. “For example,” explains Curd, “It has been easy for operators to learn to use the new solution; it is very stable and the processing parameters are easy to change when necessary. Longer running times mean the equipment needs less frequent cleaning and product losses are reduced.”

Eurodesserts has now been producing desserts on the new line for three years, and they feel that it is living up to Tetra Pak’s promises on capacity, cost and flexibility, as well as meeting the high taste and quality expectations of our European consumers. “They say, ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’. In our case, ‘the proof of the line is in the running’!”

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