Reverse Osmosis Systems in Food and Beverage Factories

1. Background

With the increasing global pollution and people’s urgent pursuit of health, more stringent requirements have been put forward for the food and beverage industry. Ordinary municipal tap water or deep underground well water has been very difficult to meet people’s needs. China currently has a food hygiene and safety licensing system (QS certification) in place for many foods and all beverage industries, which requires that the process and finished water used to be purified. Reverse osmosis systems can be made larger than a certain osmotic pressure of the solution according to the different osmotic pressures of different substances. This results in the separation, extraction, purification, and concentration of the solution.

With the increasing maturity of reverse osmosis technology, its economic and environmental advantages are more prominent, and therefore it is widely used in food, beverage, wine, and water as well as seawater desalination.

Figure 1 Beverage processing plant

2. Food and Beverage Water Standards

International health standards for drinking water commonly used for food and beverages are as follows.

a.Free from physical, chemical, and biological contamination that is harmful to human health;

b.It contains the right amount of minerals that are beneficial to human health and in an ionic state (potassium, magnesium, calcium, etc. in 100mg/L);

c.Water has small molecular groups and strong solvency and permeability;

d.It should be weakly alkaline (PH value of 8-9);

e.The water contains dissolved oxygen (about 6mg/L) and carbonate ions;

f.It can quickly and effectively remove acidic metabolites and various harmful substances from the body;

g.The water hardness is moderate, between 50 and 200mg/L (in terms of calcium carbonate).

Some companies in the food and beverage industry have very high water quality requirements. NEWater RO systems can be combined with pre-treatment, deionization systems, ion exchange systems, EDI systems, UV water sterilizers, etc. to meet different water quality requirements, which is an economic and ideal water treatment method.

3. What is Reverse Osmosis Treatment?

The principle of reverse osmosis water production is that the raw water is filtered under pressure through the reverse osmosis membrane with a diameter of only 0.0001 microns to obtain pure water, while ions, organic matter, bacteria, viruses, etc. are retained on the inlet side of the membrane to achieve the purpose of separation and purification.

The production process of reverse osmosis water is low in energy consumption, fast in water production, safe, and a purely physical process without chemical reactions. This economical, practical, safe, and efficient way of water production has been adopted by more and more food and beverage plants.

Figure 2 Reverse osmosis water treatment principle

4. Composition of NEWater Reverse Osmosis System in Food and Beverage Factories

NEWater’s reverse osmosis treatment equipment is designed for food and beverage processing plants in various industries, which can effectively remove minerals, organic components, harmful impurities, and microorganisms in water, without any additives (except ozone) water that can be directly consumed, and produce high-quality water, without interruption of water production, which can be automatically controlled, pollution-free, safe, economic and efficient.

The pretreatment of reverse osmosis pure water equipment: consists of an automatic sand filter, automatically activated carbon filter and automatic water softener.

1. Automatic sand filter: It is composed of an automatic control valve, a glass steel tank, and quartz sand of different grade ratios. It can effectively remove the suspended matter and some colloidal substances in the raw water, reduce the turbidity of the raw water, and can automatically backwash. Quartz sand filtration is the preliminary treatment in advance before the water refining treatment, so as to achieve good results in the water refining treatment and improve water quality.

2. Automatically activated carbon filter: Activated carbon filter is composed of an automatic control valve, high-quality glass jar, and different water purification grade activated carbon. It can effectively adsorb heavy metals, free chlorine, chloroform, and other harmful substances in the raw water and remove the odor and taste in the water. Activated carbon can generally remove more than 99% of the residual chlorine in tap water by adsorption. In addition, the use of activated carbon can also remove 63%-86 colloidal substances, about 50 iron, and 47%-60% of organic matter.

3. Food-grade water softener: It is composed of an automatic control valve, a high-quality glass steel tank, and food-grade resin. Through the food-grade water softener, it can effectively remove the calcium and magnesium ions in the water. So that the operation of reverse osmosis equipment will not affect the service life of the reverse osmosis membrane due to scaling. This system adopts fully automatic control, no manual operation is needed, and the water quality of the output is stable.

Figure 3 Pretreatment system

4. Security filter: The security filter is the last protection before the raw water enters the membrane. It can effectively remove substances larger than 5u m from the pre-treatment leak. The main purpose is to prevent suspended particles from entering the reverse osmosis membrane element and contaminating the membrane element by depositing it on the membrane surface.

Figure 4 Security Filters

5. Ozone: It is a broad-spectrum efficient and fast sterilizing agent, which can completely kill the bacteria and viruses in the finished water.

6. Reverse osmosis deviceIt is mainly composed of a high-pressure pump, RO membrane, and control part. The high-pressure pump pressurizes the raw water, and the reverse osmosis unit is the core part of the system. The water treated by reverse osmosis can remove most of the inorganic salts, organic matter, microorganisms, etc.

NEWater’s most advanced ultra-low-pressure composite membrane, with a single desalination rate of 99.8%, is directly related to the investment cost of the project, the economic efficiency of the entire system operation, service life, and the reliability and simplicity of operation. Recovery rate:50-75%, desalination rate:98%.

Considering the variation of raw water quality and the service life of the membranes, the NEWater water treatment system uses polyamide composite RO membranes, installed in stainless steel pressure vessels. Generally, after the first level reverse osmosis water purification equipment system, the conductivity of the produced water is <10 u S/cm, and the conductivity of the produced water is <2u Slim or even lower after the second level reverse osmosis system. 

5. NEWater Reverse Osmosis Equipment in the Food Industry

(1) Reverse osmosis equipment for the food industry

With the progress and development of society, people are more and more concerned about food hygiene. In food processing, the raw material water needs to be filtered to ensure the quality of the food produced. At present, the market sales of water treatment devices in a variety of forms and varieties, their structure is not reasonable to design, install and disassemble are not convenient to use, resulting in low efficiency and poor filtration of raw water. This requires multiple cycles of filtration of raw material water, which makes many companies fall into the problem of time-consuming filtration processes, energy consumption, and other problems, and it is difficult to achieve efficient and stable filtration of raw material water for food processing needs.

NEWater adopts the primary reverse osmosis process to prepare high-quality water for food process production without chemical reagents and additives, the product is not contaminated by the outside world, and the separation device is simple to operate and easy to control. Its technical characteristics are as follows:

a.The operation process is carried out at room temperature without temperature change.

b.The product quality and economic benefits are better.

c.Low energy consumption, only 1/2~1/3 of traditional evaporation concentration and freezing concentration methods.

The operation flow of this reverse osmosis system is as follows:

Raw water tank → Booster pump → Multi-media filter → Activated carbon filter → Security filter → High-pressure pump → Primary reverse osmosis → Pure water tank.

Figure 5 Operational flow of reverse osmosis system

The water treated by the equipment can go to most of the inorganic salts, organic matter, microorganisms, etc., in order to meet the water requirements of the food industry.

Figure 6 NEWater Reverse Osmosis Plant

(2) NEWater RO equipment for the preparation of purified water

NEWater mainly uses a two-stage reverse osmosis process to prepare pure water. Two-stage reverse osmosis pure water equipment is the first stage of reverse osmosis through the water after adjusting the PH value, and then by the second stage of the high-pressure pump into the second stage of reverse osmosis system processing, so as to obtain pure water process.

Generally, after the first stage reverse osmosis system, the conductivity of the produced water is <10u S/cm, and after the second stage reverse osmosis system, the conductivity of the produced water is <5u S/cm or even lower. This effectively removes organic salts, heavy metals, organic substances, carcinogens, bacteria, viruses, and other toxic and harmful substances that are harmful to human health, ensuring the purity and safety of mineral water.

Figure 7 Reverse osmosis equipment for the preparation of mineral water

The process is as follows: The process is as follows: raw water tank → booster pump → multi-media filter → activated carbon filter → security filter → high-pressure pump → primary reverse osmosis → high-pressure pump → secondary reverse osmosis → pure water tank → ozone sterilization → finished water tank → pure water pump → microporous filter → filling.

Figure 8 Process flow diagram

NEWater pure water plants can prepare ultra-pure water after the reverse osmosis system using ion exchange system or EDI equipment to achieve a lower resistivity, which results in good water quality and meets the actual needs of companies with higher water quality requirements. We also provide customized services according to the different water needs of the plant.

NEWater’s reverse osmosis equipment can be widely used in the following fields: pure water for producing various fruit juices and tea beverages, pure water for the beer brewing process, water for dairy process, vegetable processing, pure water for milk production, water purification equipment for various food production, pure water equipment for liquor blending beer production, pure water equipment for food and beverage production, pure water in barrels, mineral water, etc.

6. Features of NEWater Reverse Osmosis Equipment in the Food and Beverage Industry

  • Original imported RO reverse osmosis membrane, to ensure the stability of pure water quality and extend the life of the post-stage purification column and ultra purification column.
  • NEWaterreverse osmosis aquatic pure water quality conductivity ≤ 5 μS/cm, organic matter retention rate > 99%, when MV> 200 Daltons, ion retention rate up to 97-99%, particle and bacteria retention rate > 99%, fully meet the requirements of laboratory pure water.
  • Built-in RO membrane anti-scaling timer automatic flushing function, effectively extending the service life of RO membrane.
  • The water intake of ultrapure water adopts an imported terminal capsule microfilter with 0.22um pore size, which effectively ensures the water quality of the output.
  • RO membrane, purification column, polished ultra-purification column, silent booster pump, UV sterilizer, ultra-filtration membrane,  solenoid valve, and joints,  are all imported with pure originality. Product performance is guaranteed to the maximum.
  • The equipment has simple and easy operation and control, no installation cost, a compact structure, and a small footprint.
  • Reverse osmosis pure water treatment equipment with fault monitoring indication function can automatically detect and repair the host microcomputer control system of each error program, failure will automatically shut down, with no supervision, and reduce labor costs.

Figure 9 NEWater Reverse Osmosis Plant


NEWater’s core business is water treatment and offers a wide range of products for the food and beverage industry. Our products are designed to help consistently address a variety of water treatment needs for the food and beverage industry by reducing overall capital costs. Improving the efficiency of food processing plants through best-in-class pretreatment filtration, reverse osmosis, softener systems, and electro-deionization systems. We offer a wide range of solutions for the various water sources and different types of contaminants associated with the system, feel free to contact us.

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