Dynamic market rich in opportunities

Proteins from peas, rice, beans, nuts, and grains can be used for a wide range of food products, drinks, and powder ingredients. The popularity of oat milk, coconut water, soy products and plant-based alternatives to yoghurt and cheese, testifies to a booming market.

In New Foods, microorganisms like fungi, mycelia, yeast and algae are created using filtration-supported fermentation processes. When cultured, they can create alternative proteins and other key ingredients.

Other New Food segments include insect-based products and synthetic biology sources based on self-producing animal cells. Here, membrane filtration has a key role to play in concentration, separation and protein fractionation. 

Benefits

Reach new consumers

Reach new consumers

Proteins from multiple plant and new-food sources can be used for many food products, drinks and powder ingredients. Membrane filtration can tap the potential of this growing market.

Achieve higher product yield

Achieve higher product yield

The gentle filtration process is ideal for concentrating plant-based proteins. Calibrating membrane pore size to each product enables precise concentration, maximizing product yield.

Deliver products with perfect taste

Deliver products with perfect taste

Membrane filtration is highly effective at removing bacteria, spores and bitterness from plant and new-food proteins, increasing food quality and enhancing taste.

Innovate with the filtration leader

Innovate with the filtration leader

As the global leader in membrane filtration, we can help you develop new products to broaden your portfolio and expand your market. Our global test centre network includes the Tetra Pak Filtration Solutions’ test facility in Aarhus, Denmark.

Uses

Green peas and powder

Plant and new protein production

A New Food generation

Membrane filtration is integral to producing protein products from plant-based and novel food sources. Microfiltration and ultrafiltration are the favoured technologies for isolating and concentrating plant proteins efficiently. Their membranes selectively separate proteins based on size and molecular weight, enabling the extraction of specific protein fractions with desired functionalities. This fractionation crucial for creating high-quality plant-based protein ingredients used in various food applications, such as meat substitutes, dairy alternatives and protein-enriched products.
Plant-based drink with pink background

New-food fermentation

A key process enabler

Precision fermentation plays a valuable role in processing new food sources. The process involves microfiltration for microorganism purification and harvesting, followed by nanofiltration to concentrate the product prior to downstream processing. The secret is to use membranes with the appropriate pore size for each specific product. Using microfiltration and nanofiltration also ensures higher product yield compared to alternative technologies.
Plant-based drinks on blue background

Bacterial removal

Product quality at the forefront

Microfiltration and ultrafiltration are the two membrane filtration technologies for removing undesired microorganisms from food process flows. Bacteria, spores and bitterness can all be removed from plant and new-food proteins to safeguard the product’s quality and enhance its taste. Depending on the membrane pore size, microfiltration and ultrafiltration can remove a higher fraction of microorganisms than alternative technologies.
Pistacchionuts and drinsk on green background

Plant-based drinks clarification

The right appearance and mouthfeel

Clarification of juice and plant-based beverages is a processing step closely linked to product quality, appearance and mouthfeel. A wide range of plant-based drinks can be clarified using microfiltration or ultrafiltration – from orange and other fruit juices to vegetable juices and coconut water. The gentle filtration process removes impurities and suspended solids without impacting prime raw ingredients.
Tofu on wooden board

Tofu and plant-based yoghurt

Ensuring good taste and product quality

Today, proteins from grains, nuts and many other sources are used in the production of a wide range of plant-based food products, including yoghurt and tofu. The non-invasive filtration process, using microfiltration or nanofiltration, is effective at concentrating plant-based proteins and preserving the desired original taste of the raw materials, while removing bacteria, spores and ingredient bitterness. These same filtration technologies can be used to produce tofu. The method typically involves extracting soy base from soybeans and then treating it with nanofiltration or ultrafiltration to concentrate the protein content and increase total solids.
Splashing ornage juice

Solids concentration

Better flavour, longer shelf life

Reverse osmosis and nanofiltration are valuable tools for concentrating and standardizing plant-based solids. A reverse osmosis membrane allows water molecules to pass through while blocking larger molecules and ions. This concentrates the water content of products such as fruit juices and increases the concentration of solids. The process enhances flavours, reduces transport costs and extends product shelf life.
Cup half tea and half coffee

Sugar standardization

Effective water removal

Reverse osmosis and nanofiltration two technologies that are used to standardize sugar content and concentrate tea and coffee extracts. By removing water from sugar solutions, reverse osmosis plays a useful role in the production of concentrated fruit juices, syrups and liquid sweeteners. Reverse osmosis is commonly used to remove water from brewed tea and coffee to yield a more concentrated liquid that can be further processed into instant tea or coffee products. Nanofiltration can be employed to standardize sugar content in a similar manner to reverse osmosis, allowing for precise control over sugar concentration in a solution. It can also concentrate tea and coffee solutions, allowing the final product to tailored to specific flavour and concentration requirements.

Technologies

Ultrafiltration unit from Tetra Pak

Separation and concentration combined

Ultrafiltration

Ultrafiltration plays a key role in production of plant-based and New Foods. Ultrafiltration membranes’ open structure is ideal for separation and concentration. The membranes selectively allow salts, sugars, organic acids and smaller peptides to pass through, and the pressure applied is relatively low.
Microfiltration unit from Tetra Pak

Bacteria and spore removal

Microfiltration

Microfiltration membranes have the most open pore size of the main dairy filtration technologies. In plant-based and new food production, they allow most dissolved substances to pass through while rejecting bacteria and fat globules, which remain in the retentate.
Reverse Osmosis unit from Tetra Pak

Useful concentration step

Reverse osmosis

Reverse osmosis is often used to concentrate plant-based solids, tea and coffee extracts and novel food products. The process enhances flavours, reduces transportation costs and extends product shelf life. A reverse osmosis membrane selectively allows water molecules to pass through while blocking larger molecules and ions. The technology can also standardize sugar content by selectively removing water from sugar solutions. This is useful in the production of concentrated fruit juices, syrups and liquid sweeteners.
Nanofiltration unit from Tetra Pak

Precise control

Nanofiltration

Nanofiltration is a versatile tool in the production of plant-based foods, offering precise control over the composition, concentration and quality of various plant-derived components. Often used in fruit and vegetable juice processing, nanofiltration selectively removes water to intensify flavours and natural sugars. It contributes to colour enhancement and debittering in extracts, ensuring a palatable taste. In protein isolation, nanofiltration fractionates plant proteins for specific functionalities in plant-based dairy alternatives. It also aids in waste reduction by treating processing effluents.

Harvesting and concentration

Precision fermentation

Precision fermentation is the prime process technology for new food sources. The process combines microfiltration for microorganism purification and harvesting with nanofiltration to concentrate the product prior to downstream processing. The key is to use membranes with the appropriate pore size for the specific new-food product. Filtration enables higher product yield compared to separators or decanters that use centrifugal force. Filtration also outperforms in bacterial and spore removal as it is capable of removing a higher fraction of microorganisms than a centrifugal bactofuge.

Purification by flushing

Diafiltration

A type of membrane filtration known as diafiltration can be used to purify new-food proteins. Diafiltration adds water to the product during filtration to flush out undesired components and increase protein content in the remaining dry matter.

Relevant equipment

Membrane types

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Membrane types and applications​

The heart in any membrane filtration process is the membrane itself, and choosing the best membrane for a given process is often a complex task.

Man using membrane installation tool

Membrane tools

We offer a number of handy and easy-to-use systems and tools for installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of your filtration system.

Multi pilot plant spiral wound 60 bar

Rental pilot plants

We offer different types of easy-to-use pilot plants for rental. All the various dairy filtration pro­cesses can be tested by means of our different types.

Insights

Explore more solutions

Laboratory woman and oat fields

Plant-based

Plant-based

We have the solutions, services, and processing equipment to support you in everything related to plant-based production. Discover our unique end-to-end offer.

Plant-based food in bowl, noodles and vegetables

New Food

New Food

We’re collaborating with partners worldwide to solve tomorrow’s food challenges with solutions for biomass and precision fermentation, and meat cultivation.

Ice cream lines

Plant-based lines

Plant-based lines

Is your future plant-based? The world is thirsty for plant-based beverages. We help you make an impact in this fast-growing category.

processing equipment

Processing equipment

Processing equipment

We provide complete solutions and equipment for dairy, cheese, ice cream, JNSD and other beverages, powder, plant-based, food and New Food.

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