Filling Lines for Milk and Milk-Based Drinks

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.

GEA provides complete filling lines for milk and milk-based drinks in PET and HDPE

Superior filling of ‘white gold’

Milk is acknowledged as a very sensitive product because of its unique organoleptic and nutrient properties. Its low level of acidity represents a high factor of criticality, in particular when a long shelf life is required. Thanks to latest developments in PET material formulation available on the market, it is now possible to ensure a proper light barrier for UHT milk – preserving it from degradation that leads to off-flavors and loss of nutrients – even using PET bottles, which make milk drinks just as appealing as other drinks on the retail shelves.

GEA blowing & filling technologies ensure an optimal container sterility level and perform a proper filling and capping aseptic process in order to preserve UHT milk from microbiological re-contamination thus making it safe and stable all along the required shelf-life. With more than 10 years experience in FDA validated aseptic filling lines, GEA portfolio solutions can perform the container sterilization process with vapor hydrogen peroxide to treat HDPE/PET bottles (GEA Whitebloc Filling System Aseptic), PET preforms (GEA ABF) and plastic caps (Sterilcap VHP R and Sterilcap VHP L) or with peracetic acid suitable for HDPE/PET containers (ECOSpin2 and Modulbloc) and plastic caps (Sterilcap IM).

GEA blowing & filling technologies are aimed primarily at food safety through best practices in all phases of the process. All critical points, as well as the sterilization parameters, are automatically managed and monitored: this allows operators to identify and intervene on parameter fluctuations to prevent any process deviation, and ensures the maximum decontamination efficacy, high efficiency, reliability and perfect system management - which is a key ingredient in increased productivity and cost savings.

Flexible solutions for ESL application

GEA’s extensive experience in aseptic filling inspired the design of dedicated filling systems for ESL premium products, including pasteurized milk, flavored dairy beverages, drinkable yoghurts, probiotics and milk-based beverages enriched with added ingredients to attain a specific health function. They’re typically distributed in a cold chain environment and feature a shelf-life of several weeks (30–90 days, depending on the process used and the product’s acidity).

The GEA Whitebloc Aero is an efficient, water rinse-free, low TCO solution that combines a reliable hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-based decontamination process for plastic bottles and caps with great operational flexibility. Featuring a hygienic cabin with overpressure sterile air — a barrier between the ultraclean environment, where the filling and capping processes take place and the outside — the “Aero” configuration ensures a competitive ratio between container decontamination level and cost of operation.

As part of the Aero platform, GEA has also developed the Aerobloc Fresh for liquid dairy products with a short shelf-life that don't require any container decontamination: by simply adding a variety of accessories — such as a stretch blow molding machine or an air rinser depending on the project specifications— its versatile, modular design results in different configurations depending on the specific requirements of the product and container material.

The Aero platform embeds GEA filling modules which meet stringent hygiene standards and combine excellent performance in terms of speed, accuracy and flexibility. The filling valves can be equipped with a load cell (weight filling) or flow meter (volumetric filling) to meet the various requirements of the liquid dairy product market. Plus, thanks to the product recovery system, product waste is reduced to zero during the start-up cycle, at end of production and during changeovers.

Customers can benefit from GEA’s global service support and strong local technical team, that offers continuous monitoring of all GEA filling lines to help ensure their continued business success.

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