How important is water to F&B manufacturers?

Friday, 02 March, 2018

How important is water to F&B manufacturers?

Water is absolutely crucial in the food and beverage industries on so many levels — as an ingredient; as part of the production process; and for cleaning and hygiene.

And what is water without a pump to provide reliable, powerful, hygienic, eco-friendly and energy-efficient transport of the liquid?

Then you have to be concerned about the quality of the water and ensuring it is fit for purpose.

Impurities or harmful substances need to be removed from the transported water stream safely. In brewing water, for example, these mainly are hydrocarbonates, nitrates and possibly pesticides, which can be removed by reverse osmosis. Also the varied range of membrane processes prove of value in the food and beverage industries. To prevent oxidation in products, membrane degassing, for example, can efficiently remove dissolved oxygen from brewing water or from mixing water in juice making. There are a multitude of technologies to choose from: ion exchange, reverse osmosis, membrane process or electro-deionisation.

Another huge playground for the treatment and cleaning technologies is the treatment of process water and production wastewater. In the beverage industry, these are typically heavily contaminated with solids; for example, with removed labels during bottle washing and organic substances. There are now solutions available that can reduce loads to such an extent that the treated water can be discharged into the public sewage system without supplementary charges or even directly into open waters. Additionally, energy can be produced in the form of biogas or heat, and treated process water can be used for cleaning plants and watering.

Also, valuable materials can be recovered from the wastewater stream, for example, harvesting phosphorus fertiliser from dairy plant wastewater.

To implement green technologies you need to know who does what and what is suited to your particular business. The environmental technology exhibition IFAT, taking place at Munich’s exhibition centre from 14 to 18 May is a great place to see the latest technologies and meet the leading players.

Image credit: ©

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