Recovery solutions for resource optimization

Food companies are faced with increasing demands to reduce their environmental footprint. Tetra Pak can help optimize the use of resources in your production and minimize the waste, benefitting both the environment and your bottom line.

Water – a scarce resource

In many countries around the world, clean drinking water is a scarce resource. By implementing sustainable solutions in food processing, water consumption and effluent volumes can be reduced significantly.

Process water recovery

In several food processing applications, e.g. concentration of products, there is often a surplus of water which is led to drain. By treating this excess water, it can be used once again in the production. The water can come from a wide range of processes and products such as concentration of milk for milk powder or concentration of  fruits for various foods and beverages.

Using membrane filtration, the excess water can be treated to a quality that allows it to be used in food processes where it is in direct contact with the product itself. For some locations treated process water can obtain such high quality that it is even better than the available drinking water.

Standardization of water as an ingredient

By means of membrane filtration water can be standardized to a specific quality and composition. Beverage manufacturers have specifications for the quality of the water in the finished product, e.g. for the level of minerals. Through our in-depth knowledge of filtration, we help manufacturers control the water quality.

Reduce loss of valuable products and resources

Product recovery

Minimizing loss of valuable products is of high importance in any food production. During CIP/cleaning, the processed product is typically flushed out with water before commencing the CIP procedure. In many cases, both product and flush water can be recovered to minimize production waste.

An example is white water, which is the first flush water during cleaning of processing equipment. It contains approximately one third of product and two thirds of water. By means of filtration, valuable milk solids from this flush water can be recovered and treated for further use.

Depending on local legislation, the milk solids can be used for: ​​

  • Yogurt
  • Ice cream
  • Cheese
  • Fermented products​.

CIP chemical recovery

Food companies use large amounts of chemicals/lye to clean production facilities. After being neutralized with acid, the spent lye is most often discharged as wastewater.

By filtering the lye, up to 90% can be reused, so that only the remaining 10% which contains organic material is discharged. The discharge of salts is also reduced.

In addition to saving money on discharge, and saving the environment from it also, water and heat are also saved by reusing the lye. Lye is heated before it can be used. By reusing hot lye, less energy needs to be added to reach the operating temperature.

Also, the lye contains added water, which is recycled in the process.

Resource optimization assessment

Tetra Pak offers an assessment to help you become more sustainable. The assessment comprises of:

  • A feasibility study to evaluate potential improvements
  • An assessment of existing practices and production setup on site
  • Support on alignment with local legislation
  • Suggestions for improvements
  • Reporting

Food safety and local legislation

One crucial aspect of recovering, reusing, and recycling resources in food processing is food safety, and several countries have strict requirements in this regard. With our expertise Tetra Pak delivers sustainable and profitable process solutions which walk hand in hand with our brand promise: ‘Protects What’s Good’.

Reusable water

View video Reusable water - Saving water in dairy processing

Reusable water

View video Reusable water - Saving water in dairy processing