Pure Water Equipment:Food and Beverage Industry

1. Definition of the Food and Beverage Industry

The food industry mainly includes four sub-industries namely food processing, food manufacturing, beverage manufacturing, and tobacco processing. Commonly, these industries require water treatment including the sugar industry in food processing, as well as food and beverage manufacturing.

This article provides you with a brief explanation of how the pure water treatment equipment used in the fruit and vegetable juice beverage manufacturing industry, requires a large amount of water.

Figure 1 How the pure water treatment equipment used in Food and Beverage Industry

2. Pure Water Equipment in Tea Beverage Production

Currently, there are various tea beverage production processes, and tea beverages are known as “new-era beverages” internationally. Its characteristics are natural, healthy, and thirst-quenching, which meet the psychological needs of modern consumers who pursue natural and healthy consumption. From a long-term perspective, it is a product that can compete with carbonated beverages.

Water is the main component of tea beverages, and its quality has a great impact on tea beverages. The production process of liquid tea beverages for homes and worldwide varies depending on the different products (such as pure tea beverages, fruit milk tea, tea soda, etc.) and different packaging methods. However, the preparation process of the tea extract solution using tea leaves as raw materials is basically the same. At the same time, tea beverages also have a common water characteristic.

In general, ions such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and chlorine in water can affect the color and flavor of tea, causing tea drinks to become cloudy and form tea cream. The plant tannins in tea leaves can react with various metal ions to produce various colors therefore tap water cannot be used directly to produce tea drinks. To produce high-quality tea drinks, purified water that has had ions removed is required, with a pH value between 6.7 and 7.2, iron ion content less than 2 ppm, and chemical substances that affect hardness less than 3 ppm.

Figure 2 Pure Water Equipment in Tea Beverage Production

3. Overview of Pure Water Preparation Equipment in the Food and Beverage Industry

In the food and beverage industry, in order to remove ions, microorganisms, bacteria, sediment, and other impurities in the raw water, and ensure product production hygiene, preservation, and normal fermentation, the raw water needs to be treated. Common water quality requirements include conductivity of purified water below 10μs/cm, and total hardness of softened water less than 30 mg/l (calculated as CaCO3).

Common Process Flows for Pure Water Equipment

Process flow 1: Sand filter -> Carbon filter -> Cation exchange

Process flow 2: Sand filter -> Carbon filter -> Reverse osmosis

Process flow 3: Sand filter -> Carbon filter -> Reverse osmosis -> Ozone generator -> Precision filter

(1) Water softening system: It requires appropriate treatment of the raw water in the production process due to the industry’s high requirements for the content of cations (hardness). The water hardness of the effluent from this system is below 0.3mmol/L.

Figure 3 Water softening system

(2) Reverse osmosis system: The RO system has a strong ability to remove anions, cations, bacteria, and other impurities from the raw water. The electrical conductivity of the effluent is below 10μs/cm.

Figure 4 Reverse osmosis system

(3) Production system for producing drinking purified water. In addition to the characteristics of the RO system, it also has certain inhibitory capabilities on sealed product water. In comparison, the water softening system only removes calcium and magnesium ions in the water, while the total salinity of the water remains unchanged. With a reverse osmosis system, both anions and cations are removed, at a powerful rate of over 98%.

Process selection requirements for Pure Water Equipment:

  • Raw water quality report (TDS, etc.)
  • Equipment model (water production capacity, voltage, phase, frequency).

4. Water Purification Systems Applications

Figure 6 Application Scope of Pure Water Equipment

  • Preparation of beverages and juices
  • Purified drinking water
  • Quality supply water for residential buildings
  • Water used in the preparation of flour and pastry products
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