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Tag Archive: Dairy Processing

  1. How shell and tube heat exchangers benefit the agriculture industry

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    Agriculture is an ever-important industry in the U.S. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, this sector and others related to it contributed $835 billion to the nation’s economy in 2014. Farms alone contributed $177.2 billion.

    The U.S. is home to more than 300 million people, according to the Census Bureau. For the average household, 12.6 percent of their monthly budget is dedicated to food. But agriculture is more than just our nation’s produce, meat and dairy. Agriculture also lends a hand to adjacent industries like textiles, forestry, food services and drinking places, among many others. In 2014, the agriculture industry offered 17.3 million jobs, accounting for about 9.3 percent of all employment.

    Beneficial research and development

    Though this industry holds great importance to the nation, there are many obstacles it faces. Margaret M. Zeigler, the executive director of Global Harvest Initiative explained in an article for The Hill that there are numerous challenges to the industry, including:

    • Persistent drought in agriculture-focused states like California
    • Health- and nutrition-related issues
    • Diseases that can affect livestock, poultry and crops
    • Fewer people opting to study agricultural sciences
    “Shell and tube heat exchangers ensure agricultural products are safe.”

    However, she also pointed out increased research and development can lead to a more productive industry that is able to overcome these obstacles. Zeigler noted that it was research and development efforts that grew the agricultural industry’s productivity to the point it is now. From individual farmers seeking better ways to be more productive to large-scale efforts to find solutions that can accommodate a wide range of people in agriculture, research and development has been key in pushing the industry further and making it as productive as possible.

    Shell and tube heat exchangers are critical to the ways the agriculture industry ensures its many goods are produced safely and quickly. They are heavily relied upon in the dairy industry, as well as the food, beverage and biodiesel industries.

    Dairy, food and beverages

    Generally, milks, cheeses, yogurts and other dairy products need to be pasteurized before they are available for purchase.

    Raw milk has a reputation for spreading disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unpasteurized milk is 150 times more likely to cause an outbreak of disease than its pasteurized counterpart.

    Like dairy products, juices and ciders need to be pasteurized to ensure they are free of harmful bacteria and safe for consumption. Again, these foods are at risk of carrying bacteria that can lead to foodborne illness. To address this risk, the Food and Drug Administration published a rule in 2001 that required businesses to create and implement Juice Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point systems. These systems follow specific rules about how to pasteurize various types of juices and purees made from fruits and vegetables.

    Pasteurization, for any of these products, entails heating up the product to a high enough temperature that will kill off any harmful bacteria. For juices and purees, this temperature is between 160 and 180 degrees, depending on how long the pasteurization process lasts, according to Pennsylvania State University. The quicker the process, the higher the temperature needs to be. For instance, if a processor decides to heat the juice to 160 degrees, it would take at least six seconds for pasteurization, but only 0.3 seconds at 180 degrees.

    Dairy products take much longer to pasteurize. According to Milk Facts, a batch of milk is usually heated to 145 degrees for 30 minutes, though depending on the dairy product and the length of time of pasteurization, the temperature varies.


    Beyond producing food and beverages, the agriculture industry is also key in creating biofuels to use as alternative fuel options. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, biofuels are primarily made of either biodiesel or ethanol.

    “Shell and tube heat exchangers are used in the distillation of biofuels.”

    Ethanol is made in a fermentation process using starches and sugars. However, industry professionals are working to find ways to use cellulose and hemicellulose in its production. Most plant matter is made of these fibrous materials. Biodiesel is made of a combination of methanol and a fat, like cooking grease or vegetable oil. Biodiesel is sometimes used to reduce vehicle emissions.

    Shell and tube heat exchangers can be used in the distillation of these biofuels. According to Biodiesel Magazine, biofuels can be distilled to remove high sulfur content or to change the color of the product.

    Research and development brought the agriculture industry these advancements and will bring many more. For information about how a shell and tube heat exchanger can better your business, contact the experts at Enerquip today.

  2. Why heat is vital to the dairy pasteurization process

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    Pasteurization is a necessary part of handling most dairy products and processing facilities depend on the highest quality equipment to help eliminate harmful organisms. According to Cream of Creams, heat temperatures have to be applied to products just below the boiling point to get rid of certain bacteria and organisms. This also helps products keep their shape and taste.

    Each dairy product requires a different heating temperature when pasteurized by the shell and tube heat exchanger. Specific heating equipment provides different temperature variations, and it’s necessary to know what heat exchanger is needed for each dairy product.

    As for pasteurization, there are two main reasons behind the process, which include making products that can be consumed by humans and to increase the quality of milk products. Certain products can spoil easier than others and shelf life can be as limited as seven days.

    Critical heat treatment methods

    Heat treatment is needed for a dairy product before it reaches the final container to be shipped to consumers. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, heat treatment is needed for most products that are either refrigerated or frozen.

    While the heat treatment process reduces bacterial pathogens from the product, it also significantly limits the total spoilage bacteria that exist in pasteurized items, the source reported. Bacteria can continue to grow after the product has already been pasteurized to make the product edible. Mold and other bacteria will eventually grow on dairy products after their shelf life is over.

    Certain products are pasteurized and immediately filled in their packaging to reduce oxygen around the product until it is opened. This also helps reduce the amount of harmful bacteria entering the food product, the source reported.

    However, most pasteurization processes heat the product and then immediately cool it to a certain temperature. Michele Jay-Russell, a food safety specialist for the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security at University of California, Davis, explained that vat pasteurization heats milk to 63 Celsius for 30 minutes, but most pasteurization processes last around 15 seconds at 72 degrees Celsius, Food Safety News reported.

    Flash pasteurization or high-temperature short-time (HTST) is the quick process that many food processing facilities use. Jay-Russell added that certain products are not as prone to contamination, but dairy items can be a hotbed for bacteria growth.

  3. Dairy manufacturer recalls yogurt after pasteurization malfunction

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    Pasteurization is an absolutely critical stage for yogurt, milk, cheese and other dairy products so they can be sold, shipped and consumed. The process needs to heat up the dairy products at the correct temperature with shell and tube heat exchangers. One problem that many dairy and beverage processing facilities have is out-of-date heat exchangers.

    This equipment is one of the most essential parts to successfully pasteurize yogurt and other dairy products. However, many people do not know that certain heat exchangers have to be used on specific products. There’s simply not a one-size-fits-all solution to heat exchangers and talking to a professional could get a food or beverage processing facility on track to ensure safe products.

    Malfunction in pasteurization process and equipment

    A major recall occurred recently after a Washington state creamery performed poor pasteurization processes that eventually led to a voluntary recall on one lot ofits whole milk yogurt, Food Safety News reported.

    Flying Cow Creamery explained in a press release that the pasteurization process requires an adequate heat for milk products to eliminate harmful bacteria like Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella.

    “The process of making yogurt at Flying Cow Creamery takes the milk beyond the required pasteurization time,” Flying Cow Creamery stated. “However, during the production of Batch 70, the time and temperature recorder malfunctioned leaving no record that the yogurt was properly pasteurized. As a precaution, Flying Cow Creamery is voluntarily recalling one batch of yogurt. They are not aware of any illness or complaints associated with the recalled yogurt.”

    The products are commonly known to be in 32-ounce glass jars with a white lid with a white lid, Food Poisoning Bulletin reported. The “best before date” reads Dec. 3 on all the potentially affected products.

    Some of the areas the yogurt was sold were in retail locations such as: Chehalis, Federal Way, Olympia, Rochester, Seattle and Tacoma. According to Food Safety News, the dairy company contacted all the retailers and informed them to remove the items from their shelves.

    As of right now, there are no reports of sick consumers, but the company wants to get the information out as fast as possible and take all precautions, the source reported.

    “If you have this product, you are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund or replacement,” Flying Cow Creamery said. “Consumers with questions may contact the company.”