In 2025, experts expect cannabis sales to reach $23 billion in the United States. While smoking and vaping marijuana still dominates the market, digesting marijuana is becoming more prevalent.
With marijuana legalization increasing, users can consume a variety of marijuana products, including marijuana beverages. THC-infused soda, tea, juice, and even water are growing in demand.
If you’re making marijuana beverages, you’ll want to produce the highest quality and safest beverages. The best way to do that is by using beverage pasteurization techniques on your product.
Here’s a basic guide to pasteurizing THC-infused beverages.
Why You Need Pasteurization for THC-Infused Beverages
Pasteurization is the process of killing or inactivating microorganisms. Experts use this process on most beverages, such as milk, fruit beverages, and beer.
Why is THC beverage pasteurization important? Marijuana has many bacterial concerns and can also develop mold. In addition, beverages containing milk, sugar, and fruit are more at risk of microbial growth.
Some of the microorganisms and bacteria found on marijuana include:
- Enterobacteria (such as E. coli
- Klebsiella, Pseudomonads
Most bacteria are harmless at low levels. However, there are certain types of bacteria are dangerous even at low levels. These bacteria can cause a variety of different illnesses and symptoms — from flu-like symptoms all the way to cancer.
Pasteurized beverages usually contain no to little bacteria, resulting in a high-quality beverage for your customers.
Benefits of Pasteurization
In many cases, using different pasteurization methods is the line between a quality product and a product that can cause serious effects for your customers. Here are other benefits that bottlers and beverage makers of THC-infused beverages should know.
As stated previously, the biggest benefit of pasteurization is how the process kills all (or most) bacteria. While good growing processes and proper extraction can reduce the number of bacteria in a cannabis plant, it won’t completely eliminate the bacteria. Pasteurization adds an extra step to eliminate bacteria from the final product.
Increased Shelf Life
Have you ever bought bread, meat, dairy products, etc. and the slightest sight of mold or smell of spoilage caused you to throw out the product? Your customers will feel the same way if they see their cannabis beverage has gone bad.
You don’t have to add different ingredients to your beverage to increase the shelf life. If you use the right pasteurization method, your products may not even require refrigeration until the product is open. That’s because pasteurization kills most bacteria.
Ideal for Beverages
Users have more cannabis edible options than ever before. While there are methods to pasteurize the flowers before they go into production, you’ll benefit more by pasteurizing the end product before it becomes available to the public.
There are different pasteurization methods that are perfect for beverages and other liquid cannabis products. We recommend batch and tunnel pasteurization. We’ll go over these methods in another section.
Assists Medical Users
Many users take THC for medical reasons. THC aids in pain relief, reduces anxiety and depression, and some high-THC cannabis strains can also improve insomnia.
Since many patients can’t smoke cannabis, they prefer consuming it. THC-infused beverages a alternative to marijuana capsules and sugary edibles.
Types of Pasteurization
There are many forms of pasteurization. But which are more useful for THC-infused beverages? We recommend batch and tunnel pasteurization.
With Batch pasteurization, the beverage is heated at high temperatures (154.4 degrees Fahrenheit).
it’s recommended that larger brands invest in batch pasteurizer. One pasteurizer can hold thousands of bottles or cans and the process takes as little as eight hours.
You also have the option to choose a single or triple temperature pasteurizer. Triple temp pasteurizers have three temperature profiles: high-heat, low-heat, and cooling. You have different pasteurization temperature options as well as the option to rapidly cool your beverages.
Tunnel pasteurization uses multiple stages of heating the beverage itself as well as its packaging.
The beverages are heated for a specific amount of time to ensure all bacteria are killed, but the time the heat is applied depends on the pasteurization unit (PU).
This is one of the most commonly used options because it’s effective. But you’ll want to compare tunnel pasteurization to batch pasteurization and see which of these options work best for you.
THC-Infused Beverage Pasteurization Is the Best Choice
If you create THC-infused beverages, you want to give your customers the best quality product. To ensure your beverages are safe, beverage pasteurization is recommended.
Now that you know how to pasteurize beverages, the next step is to invest in a pasteurizer.
Are you interested in one of our pasteurizers? Contact us for a quote!
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, specifically tunnel pasteurizers and batch pasteurizers
PRO Engineering/Manufacturing has been designing and manufacturing great 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]