Pasteurizing sodas is an important part of ensuring they last and can be sold in stores. But what do manufacturers do with more unique sodas? How do they choose their pasteurization process, or adjust it for the types of sodas they have?

Here are a few key facts about the soda pasteurization process and how businesses can use it to keep their sodas stable and improve their shelf life.

What Is Pasteurization?

Pasteurization is the process of heating foods or drinks to kill microbes, improving their shelf life and quality. While the process has been used since at least the 12th century, people improved it during the 18th and 19th centuries. Louis Pasteur then refined the method, becoming the namesake for the process.

Since then, pasteurization has become a widespread process, and is used for a vast variety of foods and drinks that get bottled or canned. These include milk, fruits and vegetables, jams and jellies, and sodas.

In some places, certain foods and drinks are legally required to be pasteurized for commercial sale. The United States requires milk pasteurization for interstate commerce. Other drinks and foods are also commonly pasteurized.

Although some people dislike the way pasteurization can affect the flavor of foods or beverages, the improvements to health, safety, and shelf-life have ensured the widespread use of this process.

Why Pasteurize Unique Sodas?

Soda has a high sugar concentration and can quickly ferment and go bad if the bacteria inside it is not killed. And while fermentation makes alcohol, it should be done under controlled conditions. If sodas ferment, they can be unsafe to drink!

This sterilization process is especially important for worldwide shipping. Without it, many of the drinks would go bad before ever reaching their destinations!

But what about unique sodas? What are some examples of unique sodas? IZZE and Poppi sodas are some of the more popular of these new, unique sodas, but there are others that emphasize the fruit content and possible health benefits of these sodas.

Even though these unique carbonated sodas are a little different than “regular” sodas, they still have high sugar contents. This makes them a perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria, which is why they need to be pasteurized to stay safe and marketable! Thankfully, the pasteurization process of unique sodas isn’t that different than any other pasteurization process. 

How Are Unique Sodas Pasteurized?

Different pasteurization methods are used for some drinks and liquids. Typically, though, soda pasteurization is done after the bottling process. Soda is pasteurized in two main ways: batch and tunnel pasteurization.

Most soda manufacturers bottle everything before pasteurization. For unique sodas, batch pasteurizing is done by placing an entire crop of bottles in a big chamber in the machine, where they are all pasteurized at once. Often this process will involve slowly raising the temperature to kill the bacteria without breaking the glass.

The process of sending unique sodas through tunnel pasteurizing works a little differently. The bottles go on a conveyer, and slowly pass-through different tunnels where increasingly hotter water sprays on them. They continue passing through the tunnels and slowly cool off until they emerge on the other side, ready for labeling and packaging.

Tunnel vs. Batch Pasteurizers

Both methods will kill bacteria in your sodas. However, the machinery and time required serve several types of manufacturers and bottlers.

Batch pasteurization is typically great for smaller companies and quantities. These vats still take up space, but they don’t require the large conveyer systems that tunnel pasteurization does. If you’re a small business and don’t have a huge flow of products, batch pasteurizers may serve your purpose quite well!

On the other hand, tunnel pasteurization is great for large companies that need massive quantities and fast results. As soon as bottles are done pasteurizing, they’re already moving on and the next group are moving through the chutes.

Machines like the PRO Engineering Tunnel Pasteurizers can process vast amounts of sodas. This boosts your output, giving you a quick turnaround to get your drinks onto shelves.

Despite being “simpler”, batch pasteurizers can get the job done just well. And fancier versions like the PRO Engineering Single and Triple Temperature Batch Spray Pasteurizers can mimic a variety of tunnel processes.

This lets you treat your sodas exactly the way you want to. You have plenty of options, so find one that works for you and your business!

Where To Get Pasteurizers

Engineering and manufacturing companies can build these machines for a variety of customers. These range from dairies and soda manufacturers all the way down to little mom-and-pop businesses. For every size and job, there is a pasteurizer to fill that need.

No matter your needs, you should find a manufacturing company with years of experience and quality service behind them. You want to make sure you get the best product possible!

For a machine so integral to your bottling and distribution, you should shop around to find something that fits your needs. Do your research, maybe even call PRO Engineering / Manufacturing Inc. to see what kinds of deals and offers they can provide! You definitely don’t want to skimp on this vital process.

If you find a pasteurizer that fits your needs, you should also figure out the shipping and installation process. How does the machine get shipped, and will you need to assemble it? These types of things may affect how long it takes to get your pasteurization process off the ground!

Learn More About Pasteurizing!

If you’d like to learn more about pasteurization in general, pasteurizing unique sodas, or the equipment involved, we’d love to help!

Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you might have, and we’ll do our best to help you. We want you to feel confident in your understanding of this vital process and how you can make it work for you!

For more information on tunnel and batch pasteurization contact PRO Engineering/Manufacturing, Inc. at[email protected]or call(414) 362-1500 and ask for Ed Michalski, CEO.   

Edward A.Michalski Bio  
Ed Michalski started his career in the beverage industry by designing stainless steel, higher flow, spray headers for Pabst Brewing. Along with the header design, he also developed a process to produce the new headers.   Ed, along with his brother David, formed PRO Engineering/Manufacturing, Inc. 

Based on what they learned by re-designing and refurbishing other manufacturers’ pasteurizers, Ed and PRO started to offer the pasteurizer marketplace superior new pasteurizers.  

PRO Engineering/Manufacturing has been designing and manufacturing tunnel pasteurizers and batch pasteurizers for over four decades.  

PRO Engineering and Manufacturing was established in 1977 by Ed and Dave Michalski as a steel fabrication shop. For more than 40 years, PRO Engineering and Manufacturing, Inc. has been delivering solutions for beverage product shelf stability and consumption safety. As leading innovators in post-fill pasteurization, our skilled team offers the best in high-quality pasteurization equipment.

Phone: 414-362-1500 | Email: [email protected]

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Location: 11175 W Heather Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53224, USA