Used for the sterilization of low acid foods, UHT treatment involves heating the product to over 135 °C. It destroys all microorganisms, making the end product suitable for ambient distribution.
UHT treatment requires both a sterilizer and an aseptic unit (for packaging the product). It is used for low acid (above pH 4.6) products such as UHT milk, UHT flavoured milk, UHT creams, soya milk and other dairy alternatives. The same process is also used to sterilize prepared food, such as soups, sauces, desserts, tomato and fruit preparations, and baby food.
The birth of high heat treatment and canning as a means of preserving food began in France in the early 1800s. By 1839, tin-coated steel containers were widely in use. In the 1960s, building on this early food conservation technology, Tetra Pak pioneered its own continuous UHT process and aseptic packaging systems, and so kick-started the growth of the UHT milk segment.
In UHT treatment, the goal is to maximise the destruction of microorganisms while minimising the chemical changes in the product. That means finding the optimal combination of temperature and processing time for different types of food.
Tetra Pak offers two alternative methods of UHT treatment: direct or indirect. In direct UHT heating, steam is briefly injected into the product, and this is rapidly followed by flash cooling. The brevity of the treatment makes it possible to achieve very high product quality.
However, the process requires relatively high energy consumption compared to indirect UHT treatment. With indirect heating, the product does not come into direct contact with the heat source, but is instead heated using heat exchangers. What makes this method so cost-effective is that most of the heat energy can be recovered.
Tetra Pak® Indirect UHT unit is a processing unit for highly efficient, continuous ultra-high temperature treatment of dairy products.
Tetra Pak® Indirect UHT unit is a processing unit offering smarter and smoother operation for ultra-high temperature treatment of dairy products.
Tetra Therm® Aseptic VTIS has long represented state-of-the-art direct UHT processing of premium quality, aseptic products from white milk to viscous ice cream mix.
Continuous aseptic processing unit for indirect UHT treatment.
Continuous, gentle indirect UHT treatment unit with scraped surface heat exchanger for viscous products, with or without particles, that keeps sensitive product in motion.
Continuous, gentle indirect UHT treatment unit with coiled heat exchanger for high viscous products, with or without particles
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About Tetra Pak
Together with our customers we make food safe and available, everywhere. Since the start in 1951 we have taken pride in providing the best possible processing and packaging solutions for food.