It’s summertime and the heat feels like you live in an oven! At the end of a long, hot day, all you want is a cool fizzy drink to quench your thirst.
Hard seltzer manufacturers aim to take over a good part of the adult beverage market. Between the Spring and Fall of 2019, the number of adults who drank hard seltzer at bars and restaurants increased by 73%!
A key element in many beverage processes is pasteurization and that includes bottling hard seltzers.
What Is Pasteurization
A French microbiologist named Louis Pasteur invented the process later named after him, way back in the 1800s.
There’s a wide range of pasteurization techniques these days. Some of these techniques include heat, high-pressure processing (HPP), and Low Temperature, Short Time (LTST). Most companies that process food and beverage products use some form of heat pasteurization before selling to consumers.
These days, many foods (both packaged and unpackaged) go through some form of pasteurization before hitting the shelves. For beverages, a batch pasteurizer treats a up to 2,400 bottles or 3,000 cans, 12 ounce size, pasteurized to 12 pasteurization units in an 8 hour shift. The largest single-deck tunnel pasteurizer can pasteurize up to 1,800 bottles or 2,000 cans per minute, in ballpark numbers.
Why You Should Pasteurize Hard Seltzers
So do you need to pasteurize a hard seltzer?
The short answer is yes, you should! Here are the two main reasons you should pasteurize your hard seltzers:
Increased Shelf Stability
As Pasteur discovered, killing off the dangerous microbes with pasteurization makes it shelf-stable for much longer than without pasteurization, allowing your customers more time to enjoy it before the product degrades!
Preventing Popped Tops/Bulging Cans
Another benefit of pasteurization is that it helps to de-activate any remaining traces of active yeasts. If you leave any yeast in your hard seltzer bottle or can it will continue to feed off of the sugars and produce carbon dioxide. With the yeast de-activated, you eliminate the continued production of carbon dioxide and prevent the trapped carbon dioxide from making the bottle tops pop off or having the cans bulge.
How to Pasteurize Your Seltzer
As we mentioned earlier, there are many ways to pasteurize consumables. We’re going to touch on the oldest and most common form of pasteurization, the heat method.
The key to pasteurization using heat is to hit the target temperature for the right amount of time. A proper profile of time and temperature must be created for the elimination of microbial growth and stabilization, to insure optimal taste and shelf life. When purchasing a pasteurizer from PRO Engineering, small samples are tested in a batch unit and the profile is recommended by PRO Engineering.
Different Types of Spiked Seltzers Available
So far this year, many Americans have tried these new, refreshing adult beverages Some retailers report a 40% to 50% increase in their sales since the beginning of the year!
Here are the two most popular types of hard seltzers on the market right now.
Wine Flavored Seltzers
One way to flavor hard seltzer is with wine! For those who love a good glass of wine to wind down at the end of the day, red, white, or rosé flavored seltzers may be a unique taste.
Fruit Flavored Seltzers
Another popular hard seltzer flavor is fruit flavoring. Fruit flavorings in seltzer recipes can make your hard seltzer taste like biting juicy fruits.
Sangria Flavored Seltzers
For the best of both worlds, a Sangria flavored seltzer could hit the spot. Not only does Sangria please the wine lovers, but it also has an extra boost of fruit too! For those who want a fizzy refreshment full of fruity flavor, look no further than a Sangria flavored hard seltzer.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you have any questions about this article or if you’re looking for batch or tunnel pasteurizer, contact us!
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.
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