What Beverage Makers Should Know About Tea Pasteurization
Why is it important to pasteurize tea?
As bottlers become increasingly creative with flavors of bottled tea products, every tea maker should ensure that they know how to pasteurize tea properly. For any responsible manufacturer in the beverage industry, the safety and wellbeing of valued customers should be of paramount importance.
Selling a faulty product that is potentially hazardous to someone’s health can do irreparable damage to a brand. This can be hard to bounce back from, both from the perspective of the retailer and the customer. The good news is that for bottled tea beverages, ensuring microbiological stability is simple and can be achieved with pasteurization.
The science behind pasteurization of tea is straight forward . The yeasts and bacteria responsible for spoilage can be introduced in various ways during production. For instance, it may result from improper sterilization of equipment and machinery. Microbes may also be present in the tea itself. This is particularly true of exotic teas and teas prepared with flowers. While risks are lower for traditional black or green teas, anything added later in the process such as fruit juice, extracts, or natural sugars can also result in contamination.
Furthermore, there are certain teas that are conducive to spoilage once microorganisms are present. For instance, teas with a higher sugar content create an opportunity for yeasts to thrive and convert sugars into carbon dioxide. Naturally, this completely alters the taste profile of the product, but more importantly, there is no guarantee of how safe for consumption the product will be at this point. Additionally, the pressure build-up from trapped carbon dioxide can lead to popping bottle tops.
How does pasteurization of tea work?
The key to the process has one central feature: heat. With thermal processing, microorganisms such as yeasts can be deactivated, redusing the risk of fermentation and as such, hazards to the customer. The procedure can be carried out using pasteurizers that transfer heat through water sprays. This can be conducted fast enough that it has a minimal effect on the tea’s flavor (if any at all).
What kind of tea pasteurization equipment is best for you?
When purchasing pasteurization equipment, one should consider the scale of operation. With batch pasteurizers, a lower quantity of bottles are processed at a time. Batch pasteurizers are ideal for beverage makers who want to try new recipes before going into large scale production, bottlers with reduced floor space or even universities educating students in the Food and Beverage field.
Larger producers with a high throughput may want to consider if a higher capacity model such as a tunnel pasteurizer is more in line with their needs. These sophisticated machines typically feature a conveyer belt that passes bottles through a thermal processing unit. If rapid cooling is required to preserve flavors, the system can be combined with a tunnel cooler.
Make sure your bottled beverages are stable, safe for consumption, and tasting their very best. Head to our page to find out more about our pasteurization equipment.
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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