Supplying global plants for nutritional formulas
Every day, around the world, millions of liters of milk are processed into dried or liquid nutritional products and formulas. Each will have a precisely defined composition of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals, which can offer complete nutrition for infants, or key nutritional supplementation for children and adults who have special dietary needs.
Offering decades of experience as a technology partner to the industry, GEA is one of the world’s largest suppliers of complete, integrated plants for processing the highest quality dairy-based nutritional formula products.
Complete nutrition and dietary supplementation for every age
Our detailed know-how spans:
- Infant milk formula
Infant milk formula is fed to children from birth until the age of six months and can represent the baby’s only source of nutrition if the mother does not breastfeed. Infant milk formula recipes are developed to mimic as closely as possible the composition of human breast milk, and must meet precise specifications for chemical composition and microbiological safety. These products are typically served by volume, which means that bulk density is a critical parameter, but physical appearance is also important.
- Follow-on/follow-up formula
From the age of six months children progress to follow-on/follow-up formula. The composition of these products, for example, the percentage of fat, carbohydrate and proteins, is different to that of infant milk formulas as they no longer represent the child’s only source of nutrition.
- Growing up milk
Growing up milk is a supplementary food intended for toddlers aged 1-3 years. For this category of products the composition gradually changes to become more similar to cow milk. Some products may have specific nutritional benefits, for example, high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids. GEA can provide key dosing equipment for processing precisely defined growing up milk products.
- Dietary formula
A wide range of dietary formulas is available to meet specific nutritional needs that children and adults may have at different stages in life. These include special medical nutrition, and nutritional supplementation for individuals with a high physical activity, pregnant women or elderly people with low appetite.
From milk reception and spray drying to powder packaging
GEA is uniquely positioned to offer end-to-end process technologies and solutions for dry and liquid end products.
- Milk and ingredients reception and storage
- Handling of dry and liquid ingredients
- Membrane filtration
- Minor ingredients handling and dosing
- Mixing of dry and liquid ingredients
- Powder dosing
- Heat treatment
- Spray drying
- Powder storage, mixing and pre-gassing
- Powder handling, filling and post-gassing
- Packaging into bulk formats for powder
- Aseptic blow molding / Aseptic filling for liquid end products
Expert project management, automation and traceability
GEA technologies can be configured with full automation to ensure optimum efficiency and performance. We have also developed the GEA Cube® software modules to offer an even greater level of supervisory control of the plant. Legislators, retailers, and insurers are placing increasingly stringent demands on the traceability of nutritional formula, and the GEA Cube® software modules ensure transparency at every stage of processing. The GEA Cube® Traceability module, for example, provides full and transparent traceability of raw material and ingredients, throughout the process and into the final product. GEA Cube® software modules give our customers the assurance of increased process oversight and control, and so more effective use of resources, leading to higher product quality and lower costs.
Dedicated test centers and process expertise
New product development can be a labor-intensive, costly investment, so we have built dedicated test centers where you can access critical process technologies, including separation, formulation, mixing, evaporation, and drying. Please click on the “Test Center” tab here to find out more.
Resource-saving technologies help to meet sustainability goals
GEA’s experts design customized systems that not only meet process-critical cooling needs, but also reduce energy costs by use of heat pumps and minimize the use of natural resources.
We understand the need to focus on environmentally sound, sustainable production, and have used our expertise to identify every energy-saving and energy-management opportunity. GEA technologies are designed to reduce resource use, minimize waste, and where possible recover and recycle heat and water.
Some of the largest nutritional formula plants delivered by GEA feature processes that extract water from the milk during evaporation, and then filter and recycle the water for use elsewhere in the plant.
Hygienic plant design for product safety
GEA technologies comply with the most stringent food hygiene, quality and safety standards, while ensuring maximum plant efficiency and output. With our solutions you can be assured of complete and efficient cleaning and drainage.
We select the best equipment and components to configure reliable and durable plants that can be cleaned efficiently using CIP (clean-in-place) systems, which means maximum productivity due to reduced maintenance. Solutions tailored to meet your requirements ensure efficient commissioning, and optimize the use of water and detergents, which ultimately reduces the total cost of ownership.
Flexible service options ensure optimized plant performance
Working with GEA means partnering with a dedicated team of service experts. Our focus is to build, maintain, and improve your performance throughout the entire life cycle of the plant and its equipment.