How to achieve high-quality tea through separation

Ready-to-drink tea is a fast-growing global market. Producing the high-clarity tea that consumers demand requires a highly efficient clarifying process.

Green tea in Tetra Brik Aseptic carton package

After water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. Fifty billion litres of ready-to-drink tea are sold worldwide every year – and the global market is growing at more than 7% per year.

Without clarification, packaged liquid tea will contain small aggregates that can cause cloudiness or sediment at the bottom of the pack. Avoiding these unwanted side-effects means deploying a separation process that enables effective removal of the aggregates from the tea prior to packaging.

The first step is to use separators that treat the tea gently. Gentle treatment is important because it keeps the aggregates as large as possible during the clarification process, facilitating their removal. Closed – or airtight – separators are the ideal choice because they exclude air from the process, says Dabin Xie, Sales & Application Support Engineer at Tetra Pak.

Extra air entering the tea during processing causes aggregates to break into smaller sizes, making them harder to remove. “It’s important to agitate the tea very slowly in the tank and separate it very gently otherwise we will disrupt the aggregates and then they are more difficult to separate,” Dabin Xie says.

As well as being air-free, Tetra Pak centrifugal separators have a hollow spindle design that makes the tea accelerate more smoothly into the clarifier than conventional alternatives.

The airtight environment and hollow spindle thus combine to deliver a gentle treatment that maximizes clarification process efficiency and achieves the ultimate goal of zero cloudiness or sediment in the tea.

The closed design of Tetra Pak centrifugal separators also prevents tea oxidation and makes it possible to produce premium ready-to-drink tea.

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Cup of tea

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