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The filtration challenges in beverage manufacture

2 Minutes Read


Whether you are involved in brewing, manufacturing soft drinks, mineral or spring water bottling, or spirits and wine creation, the challenges cartridge filters solve for you fall into three main categories. They are:

1.    Preventing contaminants from entering your bottling or packaging process
2.    Ensuring the appearance of the final product
3.    Ensuring the shelf life of the final product once bottled or packaged.

We identify the products used in each category and the benefits they provide.


1. Preventing contaminants from entering your bottling or packaging process

Beverage raw materials When raw materials are brought to the beverage packaging site, they can contain contaminants, such as solids and particulates, that must be removed at delivery. Typical cartridge filter solutions at this point use basket, nylon mesh or felt bag-filters to ensure protection.

Water plays a prominent role in packaging processes, whether combined in the product or involved in cleaning the manufacturing equipment. As discussed in other blogs water can contain varied impurities that must be removed before use. Typically, water will be passed through carbon filters to remove residual chlorine that can impact taste and any organics that would affect later cartridge filter life. Additionally, it might be passed through depth or pleated depth filters to remove solid particulate and the cryptosporidium parasite that causes ill health in humans.

Gases also play a role in the packaging process. Atmospheric air is drawn into and expelled from storage and holding tanks during emptying and filling. Compressed air is used to dry bottles and packaging after cleaning before use. Next, carbon dioxide is used in the carbonation process of various beverage products. Manufacturers use  nitrogen to blanket tanks, providing an inert atmosphere above the product to prevent spoilage in storage. All gases should be prefiltered using coalescing filters to remove any aerosols or liquid droplets of water and oil. However, a final sterile cartridge filter must be fitted to ensure that the spoilage microorganisms are entirely removed.

2. Ensuring the appearance of the final product

Clear & bright

In many cases, having a product that is visually clear and sparkling when dispensed is a crucial goal in the beverage industry. Small particulates and hazes formed during the packaging process will impact the quality of a beverage product. These contaminants can come from the process itself, if resins or particulate beds are used, or from corrosion products that form over time within the process due to simple wear and tear. 

The solution to these problems is depth or pleated depth filters, which have high dirt-holding capacity and ensure long service before the final packaging point. However, we recommend that manufacturers place depth filters through the process to catch contamination as near the source as possible.

During light spirits manufacturing, activated carbon filters are used at various stages in the process to correct colour that otherwise would spoil the beverage’s appearance.


3. Ensuring the final product’s shelf life once bottled or packaged

Shelf life

All beverage manufacturers seek maximum shelf life without affecting the taste or nature of their products. They achieve this by removing spoilage organisms, such as yeast or bacteria. Membrane cartridge filters accomplish this without impacting flavour, allowing the freshest product possible to be dispensed to the customer.

Membrane cartridge filters are challenge-tested for their ability to remove specific spoilage organisms. The typical spoilage organisms that are routinely assessed are oenococcus oeni, yeasts, brettanomyces or saccharomyces, which may cause turbidity and off-flavours in beverages. Testing will show the control or complete removal of these bacteria.

Finally, it is worth noting that the beverage industry never uses membrane cartridge filters without prefiltration. Membrane cartridge filters are required to ensure long service life and low cost per litre of the beverage product filtered. Pleated depth filters are the usual choice with the media dependent on the CIP/SIP regimes employed at the packaging site.

In conclusion, it is important to understand the challenges faced in the beverage industry so the correct solution can be applied. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact PorefilterUK, and our experts can advise you on how to solve the filtration challenges you face.

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David Keay