Membrane Filtration for Precise Processing of Nutritional Formulas

Nutritional formulae are manufactured to retain precise nutritional composition and powder attributes, and processing the highest quality nutritional formulas depends on top quality liquid and ingredients handling and processing platforms, including membrane filtration technologies. GEA offers a configurable portfolio of state-of-the-art reverse osmosis, microfiltration, ultrafiltration and nanofiltration systems and solutions that can be tailored to meet the requirements of new and existing nutritional formula plants. Our customers rely on GEA’s industry, technology and engineering expertise to help optimize nutritional formula quality, processing and plant operation, while increasing efficiency, reducing energy and water consumption, and minimizing waste and emissions.

From removal of microorganisms to pre-concentration

GEA microfiltration technologies can help producers to ensure the bacteriological end quality of their nutritional formulae. Microfiltration physically removes micro-organisms, cells, spores and impurities from milk, without requiring high temperatures that can change the chemical composition of skim milk and skim milk powder used for nutritional formulas. The permeate recovered through ultrafiltration milk can also be used for milk standardization, to optimize the milk protein content for producing nutritional formulae that that retain the exact composition required.

Recovering water and detergents

GEA filtration technologies can also help to maximize operating and processing efficiency and save costs. Installing a GEA reverse osmosis system upstream from an existing or new evaporation plant can result in significant cost savings in nutritional formula manufacture, by removing water from milk or whey prior to evaporation. This approach can dramatically increase the capacity of some evaporator systems. 

Reverse osmosis and nanofiltration systems filter out liquid that is primarily water. Purifying this recovered water by passing this recovered water through another GEA reverse osmosis system allows it to be used either for plant cleaning or, if the water is also heat- or UV-treated, directly as process water. 

And to cut plant and equipment cleaning costs, nanofiltration systems for can be installed to filter the cleaning solutions used by cleaning-in-place systems. Installing nanofiltration systems for this purpose can recover significant quantities of valuable detergents and cleaning agents such as sodium hydroxide or nitric acid.