GEA has a long tradition in supplying highly efficient and very reliable milk separators to dairies throughout the world. Following the markets requests for complete system solutions we have developed a range of pre-assembled and pre-tested compact milk pasteurizer units with integrated skimming separator for capacities of 2000 l/h up to 35,000 l/h.
Besides the heat exchanger, a main component of the pasteurizer is the skimming separator which splits the milk into cream and skim milk and eliminates at the same time non-milk particles.
Our pasteurizers are used to produce a wide range of dairy products such as liquid milk (whole / standardized / skim), Rjashenka (high heated milk), cheese milk, yogurt milk, kefir milk, fresh cheese milk, whipping cream, coffee cream, cream for smetana, crème fraiche, butter making cream and others.
The basic design of the milk pasteurizer unit provides a short term heating process with integrated milk cleaning and skimming. Cold raw milk arriving from a storage tank is led into a balance tank and pumped into the first heating section.
At a temperature of approx. 55 °C the milk is fed into the separator where it is separated into skim milk and cream. The cream concentration is adjustable from 28 to 45 percent.
In the separator the milk is cleaned from non milk particles by centrifugal force. The GEA ecocream is self-cleaning and features automatic periodic discharge of the separated solids.
Cream is delivered at approx. 55 °C to a cooler or to intermediate storage. Prior to further use, the cream has to be pasteurized separately.
After this the skim milk is heated further up to 74 °C and maintained at this temperature for 15 s in a holding tube. The pasteurizing temperature is continuously monitored and recorded. An automatic change over valve at the end of the holding tube returns insufficiently pasteurized milk to the balance tank in case the temperature falls below the limit.
Subsequently the milk is fed to the regenerative cooling sections to heat the incoming raw milk. The recovery of 92 percent of the thermal energy reduces the energy demand of the unit to a minimum. Finally the milk is cooled down to a storage temperature of 4 °C – 8 °C by ice water.
Milk Pasteurizer Options
Depending on the individual production requirements, a wide range of options can be added to the basic process unit.
To reduce heat resistant spores, which can be vital in the pasteurized milk, a bacteria clarifier can be integrated. This is recommended for the production of low nitrate cheese.
Frequently, instead of full skimming, the adjustment of a defined fat content below the raw milk fat content is required. This is achieved by a partial returning of cream into the skim milk. Optionally manual standardizing equipment or the well-proven fully automatic GEA standomat are available.
In some cases a deaerator is required to deodorize the milk.
A high pressure homogenizer provides a size reduction and an even distribution of fat globules as well as added powder particles in order to prevent sedimentation or creaming during storage.
Depending on the customer’s production philosophy the bacteriological status of the pasteurized milk can be improved by increasing the pasteurization temperature. This is one of several measures to increase the shelf life of the final product.
An additional effect of the same kind is obtained by extending the holding time. Also some products require this strong heating to achieve a modification of the chemical structures of the milk. Mostly this is used for the processing of yoghurt milk.
The European dairy legislation requires a safety feature against a possible contamination of pasteurized by unpasteurized milk in case of a plate crack in the heat exchanger. This can be ensured by maintaining a higher pressure on the pasteurized milk side by means of a booster pump and a constant pressure valve.
If the pasteurized milk is further processed by fermentation, an increased outlet temperature of 27 °C – 40 °C may be required. In this case, the ice water cooling section may alternatively be used for cooling or for heating. This option is suggested for the production of cheese, yoghurt, kefir or fresh cheese.
The semi automatic control included in the basic version can be upgraded to fully automatic control. In an automatic environment a signal exchange via digital I/Os or via Profibus is possible.
Cream is discharged from the separator at approx. 55 °C. For a longer storage it should be cooled down to 8 °C – 12 °C.
The cream discharged from the separator is not pasteurized and has to be considered as raw cream. Depending on the further processing it has to be pasteurized which is done usually at 95 °C for 15 s. The cream pasteurizer can be placed on one skid together with the milk pasteurizer.
You know how tedious the process of manually cleaning a centrifuges disk stack is. Sometimes eight hours or even more is lost along with precious labor time. Plus the added risk of disk damage due to improper cleaning procedures.
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