Home Technology and Innovations Tetra Pak introduces pioneering solution to eliminate foaming and reduce costs from protein mixing

Tetra Pak introduces pioneering solution to eliminate foaming and reduce costs from protein mixing

by Food Drinks Innovation

Tetra Pak today announces the launch of the Tetra Pak® Industrial Protein Mixer, a groundbreaking new product designed to reduce product loss in liquid protein mixing. A direct response to the longstanding issue of foaming during the mixing phase of liquid food products, this innovative solution is set to improve food and beverage (F&B) manufacturers’ operational efficiency.

Traditional methods of mixing in liquid food production often encounter problems with air entrapment and foaming, resulting in lost product. Foaming alone is estimated to cost approximately €276,400 annually in typical food and beverage production scenarios,1 making this mixer an important technological evolution for F&B manufacturers aiming to reduce their total cost of ownership, boost margins and improve product quality.

The Tetra Pak® Industrial Protein Mixer introduces a pioneering approach to mixing protein powders, which are a high value raw material. The new mixer combats foaming through a sophisticated design and multi-step process that includes reducing air ingress and employing advanced automation to optimise the mixing procedure. The result is a mixing process that is foam-free, which both minimises product loss and streamlines downstream processes, resulting in less downtime due to cleaning and equipment maintenance.  Foaming also causes oxidation, which decreases shelf life and is often combatted by the addition of de-foaming agents like silicon oil. These additives are not needed with the Tetra Pak® Industrial Protein Mixer, leading to a product with fewer additives, reduced nutrient oxidation, and longer shelf life.

With 70% of consumers confirming that health has become more important for them over the last few years2 and the global market for active nutrition products expected to reach €80 billion by 2030,3 protein-enriched food products, including powders, represent a growing market. The Tetra Pak® Industrial Protein Mixer is poised to help F&B manufacturers make the most of this lucrative product category, catering to both current demands and emerging opportunities.

From whey powders to plant-based and fermentation-derived proteins, the mixer can be deployed across a broad spectrum of industrial applications. Furthermore, its capacity to manage production ranging from small trial batches to large-scale outputs of up to 50,000 litres per hour ensures both adaptability and efficiency.

Fiona Liebehenz, Vice President Key Components, Plant Solutions and Channel Management at Tetra Pak, comments: “This progressive new Tetra Pak® Industrial Product Mixer was the result of a customer approaching us with serious foaming issues at their factory, disrupting production and compromising product quality. After promising initial tests in mitigating this issue, our highly skilled team in Denmark continued to refine our approach through meticulous and lengthy testing. The end result is a mixer with multiple relevant new features and a five-step process that together eliminates the root causes of foaming, reduces product loss and solves the customer’s challenge. It has exceeded expectations by far, leading to an immediate order from the customer.”

She continues: “This is just one example of our commitment to taking care the immediate needs of our customers, not only solving the problem at hand but creating a solution to improve future productivity and profitability. By working in this way, we support manufacturers to capitalise on a multitude of opportunities continued growth based on exceeding expectations of their own consumers and tapping into new markets.”

1Typical production scenario based on on-site experience of customers’ protein powder processing. Assumes 300 working days per year, a 35,000kg batch size, 4 batches per day and a 6 EUR/kg DM product cost. Savings are made up of a) foam overflow in mixing phase typically costs €100,000+ per year in product losses, b) product also lost to increased burn-on during heat treatment, c) higher CIP and cleaning downtime costs and d) increased spare part and maintenance costs.
3Source: Protein Quantitative Survey 2017, Valio. 

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