Optimal Ultrafiltration uses for Beverage & Dairy Companies

ultrafiltration uses

When you’re sipping on a cold soda or snacking on a creamy piece of cheese, you probably don’t really think about what went into making your food or beverage. Maybe, you already know because you saw a random episode of ‘How its Made’ on TV discussing ultrafiltration uses in the beverage industry while your were channel surfing on a lazy afternoon. Either way, aside from the automated production line machines, one of the most important things that goes into the making of any soda, juice, wheel of cheese, or gallon of milk is water. Producing beverages and dairy products use substantial amounts of water in their production processes.

Dairy product production facilities use water more for cleaning purposes than as an ingredient. Sanitation is heavily important when making consummables. Dairy products in particular can be quite susceptible to certain bacteria. Water is also used for cooling purposes and steam generation.

Beverages, being liquids, contain water to some degree. Therefore water, it is likely the most important ingredient in beverage production (not counting the obvious bottled water). Water is also used in large part, to wash out the bottles that the products will be packed and transported in. A majority of the wastewater produced by beverage companies comes from bottle washing.

In this article, I will talk about ultrafiltration uses for the treatment of dairy and beverage product wastewater streams. I will also mention its use to treat process water for both beverage and dairy products.

Firstly, I will discuss the composition of the particular wastewater compositions for each industry.

Dairy wastewater composition

  • TSS

  • BOD

  • COD

  • Nitrogen

  • Phosphorous

  • Fats

  • Oils

  • Grease

Beverage wastewater composition

  • Sugars

  • Sodium hydroxide

  • Detergent

  • Chlorine

  • Sulfates

In order to keep the facility, and by proxy the products in question, safe from microbial pathogens, frequent sterilization of equipment is required. Of course, you cannot sterilize with water that has organic and inorganic particulate in it. Therefore, raw water must be properly treated before its use. Of course, after washing and sterilization of products and equipment, the wastewater that drains off can contain pollutants that are not ideal for discharging without treatment. Ultrafiltration is almost always useful for obtaining water free of microbial pathogens, but it also can be used for dealing with trace amounts of fats, oils, and grease that are in the wastewater from rinsing the products. Ultrafiltration uses can include applications such as polishing filtration for wastewater treatment and as a pretreatment filter for an RO system for sterilization water.

Beverage production needs high quality water for both production of these beverages and for bottle cleaning and sterilization. It’s obvious that this water would need to be drinking water quality for use as an ingredient. However, for bottle sterilization it would also need to be of similar quality to avoid contaminating the inside of the bottle packaging. With that in mind, ultrafiltration makes a powerful complement to a reverse osmosis system that is very popular in the production of drinking water. In fact, companies like PepsiCo and Glaceau advertise on their websites that Aquafina and Smartwater are both made using a reverse osmosis process. An RO system, best suited for treating dissolved solids, tends to require some level of pretreatment to protect its membranes from fouling. Ultrafiltration uses include, the removal of solid particulate matter and bacteria/viruses from surface water sources.

In this article, we talked about ultrafiltration uses for the treatment of raw water, ingredient water as well as the treatment of wash wastewater in the dairy and beverage industry. To recap, ultrafiltration can be an ideal sustainable treatment solution for the removal of fine suspended solids, proteins, complex sugars and microbial pathogens in both dairy and beverage applications.

Are you in the beverage or dairy industry and are looking to use ultrafiltration in your process water or wastewater treatment process? Contact the water treatment experts at Genesis Water Technologies, Inc. at 1-877-267-3699 or reach out to us via email at customersupport@genesiswatertech.com to discuss your application and how ultrafiltration can potentially meet your organizations needs.