Filling Lines for Milk and Milk-Based Drinks

Overview of milk filling lines

GEA is a global specialist in filling technology and offers complete filling lines for milk and milk based products in PET and HDPE bottles from raw material to packaged products.

Superior filling of sensitive beverages

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Milk and milk based products are highly sensitive beverages that, depending on the requested shelf life, require container decontamination before filling. 

Shelf life differs  among products depending on  their  pH. Products  with pH higher that 4,5, such as pasteurized milk,  can last up to  14 days without any container decontamination; between 21 and 30 days in case of ESL (extended shelf life) products  with low container decontamination  and up to 9 months  in case of UHT products  with strong container decontamination
Shelf life for drinkable yogurt and probiotics  with pH<4.5 has a range between 7 and 30 days for pasteurized products and no container decontamination is required, while between 40 and 60 days in case of ESL products  with low container decontamination . Shelf life for UHT products is obtained up to 9 months through strong container decontamination.

GEA portfolio comprises compete  filling lines for pasteurized, ESL and UHT milk and milk based drinks. Pasteurized milk distributed via cold chain can be filled with traditional filling technology and does not require container treatment. ESL products can be filled using ABF 4C or Whitebloc ESL. Both system s are H2O2 based. ABF4C is a Blow-fill bloc with DRY preform/cap decontamination technology (only for PET bottles)  while Whitebloc ESL  is a Bloc with DRY bottle/cap decontamination technology for either HDPE and PET. Whitebloc  is available with neck or base handling. For both systems filling is performed within a clean box : an overpressure flow with sterile air (from HEPA filter) surrounds the filling area in order to prevent contamination. The filling valve is controlled via electronic flow meter.

UHT milk and milk based drinks require aseptic filling. They can be filled  in aseptic conditions with the utmost in reliability and performance from GEA: ABF which sterilizes preforms and after sterilization, the preforms are blown with sterile air in a sterile environment; this sterility is maintained throughout the filling and capping process. This minimizes the use of chemicals, requires no bottle rinsing, enables a simpler and smaller layout and reduces energy consumption. Other  available aseptic solutions are Whitebloc  Aseptic for PET and HDPE  bottles and Wet sterilization systems  such as Ecospin and Modulbloc.

For milk based products containing fruit of cereal solid pieces with dimensions up to 10x10x10mm the Dual fill  aseptic  filling line is the right and  effective way. The unique aspect of the Dual Filling system is that the line is composed by two different fillers: the Aseptic piston doser PX for solid particles and the volumetric electronic filler.

We supply the total solution; from design and development, engineering, and technology to delivery, installation, and commissioning of the complete filling line.