Temperature Control in Aseptic Tomato Paste Processing
Aseptic processing is vital to the food industry, particularly tomato paste production. This process involves sterilizing the tomato paste and packaging it in a sterile environment to prevent bacterial growth and increase shelf life.
To achieve this, the tomato paste is heated to elevated temperatures, typically above 212°F (100°C), which can destroy bacteria and other microorganisms. However, the precise nature of temperature control is critical in aseptic processing, as both overheating and underheating can lead to product spoilage, reduced quality, and compromised food safety.
Choosing a Heater for Aseptic Processing
In aseptic tomato paste processing, the challenge is to heat the paste to elevated temperatures without compromising product quality or food safety.
If the paste is not heated correctly, it can spoil, leading to waste and lost revenue.
Two main technology options for heating are direct steam injection (DSI) or heat exchangers. While both options can heat tomato paste, they do so in different ways.
Hydro-Thermal’s Solaris® Hydroheater injects steam directly into the tomato paste through patented diffuser technology, producing quick and efficient heating cycles.
DSI technology provides precise temperature control and energy-efficiency operating conditions, a critical element for aseptic processing. Plus, with its compact design, installing the Solaris® helps save valuable floor space.
In contrast, a heat exchanger transfers heat from a hot fluid to a cold fluid, inefficiently and indirectly heating the tomato paste. In addition, heat exchangers often have larger footprints and require more maintenance than direct steam injection heaters, creating issues with fouling, reduced product efficiency, and increased downtime.
While both solutions are typically considered for installation, the end user must decide which heater is best for their aseptic tomato paste processing needs. The Solaris® is often preferred because of its precise temperature control, energy efficiency, and compact design.
Temperature control is critical in aseptic tomato paste processing. Hydro-Thermal’s Solaris® Hydroheater can help ensure precise and consistent heating, resulting in high-quality, safe, and shelf-stable tomato paste and heat exchangers having trouble producing.