Steam injection meets demands of 'plant milk' producers

HRS Heat Exchangers Pty Ltd
Thursday, 22 February, 2024

Steam injection meets demands of 'plant milk' producers

Developed in response to the rising global demand for plant-based milk drinks and products, the HRS DSI Direct Steam Injection pasteuriser or steriliser is proving popular with manufacturers around the world.

The benefit of sterilising using direct steam injection is the speed of the process, with sterilisation temperatures of 100 to 145°C being reached in around a second, much quicker than the fastest heat exchanger systems. The faster the product is heated and cooled, the less impact the heat has on the product — so that product taste and colour are not damaged while microorganisms and spores are neutralised.

Grain-based products such as oat milk also benefit from the additional dilution with water which the steam injection provides.

The HRS DSI injects food-grade steam into liquid products, providing an instant increase in the thermal process. Cooling of the product is then carried out in a flash evaporation/condensing vessel, with the process carefully controlled to ensure the volume of water removed correlates with the amount of steam added.

The HRS DSI system includes double balance tanks, a water tank, and a dual-purpose clean-in-place (CIP) tank for batch cleaning and a second water tank which is used when water to product changeover is performed. As with all HRS Corrugated Tubular Heat Exchangers designed for use in the hygienic industries, the DSI is fully clad in stainless steel for cleanability and has the option for insulation to prevent the inefficient loss of energy.

Direct steam injection isn’t just limited to the production of plant milk. It is also suitable for a range of extended shelf life (ESL) dairy products as well as low-viscosity products with small particulates such as soups and sauces, non-dairy creams, and starch-based products.

A number of HRS DSI units are now operational around the world, and the hygienic stainless steel DSI can be supplied on its own, or with heat exchangers for pre-heating and final cooling to provide a complete UHT (ultra-heat treatment) system for plant-based products.


Located in Melbourne, HRS Heat Exchangers is part of the EIL Group (Exchanger Industries Limited) which operates at the forefront of thermal technology. HRS offers innovative heat transfer solutions worldwide across a diverse range of industries.  With more than 40 years’ experience in the food and drink sector, specialising in the design and manufacture of an extensive range of turnkey systems and components, incorporating our corrugated tubular, and scraped surface heat exchanger technology, HRS products are compliant with global design and industry standards. HRS has a network of offices throughout the world: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, Spain, USA, Malaysia, and India; with manufacturing plants in India, Spain, and Canada.

HRS Heat Exchangers

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