Fruit juices and/or finished drinks can be submitted to a suitable thermal treatment as chemical-physical and microbiological stabilization. Pasteurization consists in the microbiological stabilization of the product through a dedicated heat treatment. A correct pasteurization ensures the product shelf-life.
The microbial content of the fruit-based drinks depends on the raw materials. The main contaminating microorganisms of these bevereges are yeasts, molds and, sometimes, bacteria. When pH is below 4.5, spores can rarely develop in juices and soft drinks.
The pasteurizing lines can be plate, free flow plae or tubular type.
UHT processing treatment can also be:
- UHT processing with aseptic filling
- Hot Filling
In line with heat treatment it can be foreseen:
Deaeration that represents the removal of the oxygen, responsible of damaging oxidation. As for the fruit juices, deaeration improves taste, appearance and product shelf-life: the oxygen elimination prevents the vitamin C degradation, improves filling process and extend product shelf-life.
Homogenization, aiming to reduce and standardize the size of fluid products particles, making them more stable and to get a better taste and texture. Increasing the stability of the suspended solids, homogenization, prevents the separation between the liquid and the solid phase, with the consequent reduction of the use of emulsifiers and additives.