Four health trends and how your homogenizer can help you capitalize on them

Dairy Homogenization

Four health trends and how your homogenizer can help you capitalize on them

Health trends and developments among consumers pose challenges for food and beverage producers. But can equipment such as homogenizers turn those challenges into opportunities? Here we look into four current global trends and explore the role of homogenizers and homogenization in each.

1. Keep it natural

According to Mintel’s Global New Products Database, natural product claims appeared on 29% of global food and drink launches from September 2016 to August 2017. This is an increase from 17% of global food and drink launches that used natural claims in the same period ten years earlier. These kind of claims include wording such as “no additives”, “no preservatives”, “organic” and “GMO-free”.

Homogenization allows the removal of certain additives to meet the demand for a more natural product. In many cases, the function of additives is to increase viscosity. But homogenization may be able to improve viscosity without the need for additives. There are two main ways homogenization raises viscosity. Firstly, hydrogen bonds in fibres are broken down and replaced by hydrogen bonds with water. Secondly, naturally-occurring pectin in fibres becomes more accessible. Pectin is the substance that gives jam its sticky consistency.

An example is the manufacture of tomato ketchup. CMC (carboxymethylcellulose) is a modified cellulose gum used as a stabilizer and thickener. It forms a gel with water and is sometimes added in ketchup production. With more and more consumers demanding a “clean label” (no additives), ketchup manufacturers want to replace CMC. It is possible to remove CMC by increasing the pressure in the homogenizer to about 280 bar. In this way, more of the naturally-occurring stabilizers in the tomatoes are released to achieve a similar viscosity and stability as when using CMC.

Homogenization can also remove the need for artificial colouring. During homogenization, fruit and vegetable cells rupture and the particles become smaller. This improves the colour appearance. Homogenization also has an impact on flavours minimizing the need for artificial flavouring.


2. Veganism grows

While milk is a staple food and basic ingredient in many parts of the world, there are a growing number of people who are turning away from milk for ethical, environmental or health reasons. Taking the UK as an example, one estimate (from a Vegan Society survey of May 2016) is that at least 542,000 people in Britain are following a vegan diet, which means that about 1% of UK residents claim they never consume any animal products. This is a big increase since their last estimate of 150,000 ten years earlier.

A whole range of milk substitutes have sprung up in recent years made from plant-based sources known by the abbreviation RNGS (rice, nuts, grains and soya). They are not just consumed by vegans. For example, peanut drink is very popular in China. The peanut particles themselves can be very abrasive on a homogenizer causing fast wear. It is a similar story with other nuts or particles of rice, grain and soya bean. With wear being such a critical factor, producers of such drinks need to carefully consider the durability of a homogenizer.

One way of dealing with this issue is to choose pistons and piston seals with harder materials such as tungsten carbide or ceramics. This keeps costs for spare parts and maintenance low when processing abrasive particles of rice, nuts, grains and soya beans into drinks for a growing sector of the beverages market.


3. Yes to yoghurt

The yoghurt market in China is booming, with annual sales of more than USD 10 billion. The annual growth rate in yoghurt sales is about 15-20 percent and expected to continue to grow as the Chinese people embrace this healthy food which is advertised to help them grow tall and strong. Yoghurt has generally been consumed as a drink in China, but newly launched products are spoonable, often containing particles of grains or larger fruit pieces.

To make yoghurt drinks, many producers put fermented yoghurt through a homogenizer to liquefy it. For small or medium-sized dairies with a limited number of lines, they may be homogenizing milk one day and then yoghurt the next on the same line. Therefore there are clear benefits to purchasing a homogenizer that can handle viscous products like yoghurt as well as milk without having to change the valves.

Homogenizers are also used to liquefy fruit for smoothies or juices, which are perceived as healthy drinks or indulgent treats. The soft pulp of fruit can be broken down in a homogenizer to smaller particles to give these products the right viscosity and mouthfeel.


4. The diabetes threat

One of the largest risks to global health is obesity. According to the World Health Organization, more than 650 million adults worldwide were living with obesity in 2017, and this number is forecast to grow to 1 billion by 2025. Being overweight increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, among other diseases.

The International Diabetes Federation estimates that more than 425 million people have diabetes and this number is likely to grow to at least 650 million by 2045 based on current projections. Currently about 9 percent of people between the ages of 20 and 79 have diabetes with all the health risks that entails: an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and cancer, for example.

One development to address what has been called a “diabetes epidemic” is new functional milk formulations containing biologically active ingredients thought to prevent cardiovascular diseases. The recipes for such products are complex and they often contain ingredients with a high viscosity.

These innovative milk formulations for diabetics are just one example of the challenges food producers face with new complex recipes. A homogenizer for such applications needs to be flexible enough to deal with different formulations and with different viscosities. Some modern homogenizers can manage a wide range of recipes and viscosities without requiring rebuilding or a complicated set-up, and enable operators to change the recipe at the click of a button.


To prepare for these new trends, read our white paper on “RNGS stability test” (rice, nuts, grain and soy) by filling the form below:


Related reading:

Separators and sustainability: how the right equipment can reduce the dairy industry’s climate impact
The science of separation
A brief history of separation
Separate wheys: the role of separators in today’s consumer trends
Why cold milk separation is hot again
Watch Your Speed – Tetra Pak® Homogenizer 250
It’s not you, it’s me – Tetra Pak® Homogenizer 250
4 things to look for in a homogenizer
Devils and details – the technologies you need for great spreadable cheese
Spreading knowledge: everything you need to know about mayonnaise production
How to control the cost of mayonnaise and cold emulsion production
The great mayonnaise controversy
3 global food trends and the challenges they pose for mayonnaise producers
4 tips to help you choose the right high shear mixer
High shear mixing reduces the cost of mayonnaise production
How to achieve high-quality mayonnaise
New mixer paves way for geographical and portfolio expansion
How a regional beauty producer saved $70,500 on energy costs
A short history of mixing – from mortar and pestle to microns
The heat exchanger budget dilemma: why project and operational managers disagree
Product-to-product tubular heat exchangers: surprisingly versatile
New heat exchanger welding technique meets 3-A Standard
Quantum leap: the secret to optimum heat exchanger configuration
Buying and owning a Tetra Pak® Tubular Heat Exchanger is child’s play
The digital future of dairies: automation and its effects
Four health trends and how your homogenizer can help you capitalize on them
Common quality issues homogenizers solve
A day in the life of a super-efficient dairy separator
What on Earth do separators have to do with space travel?
Infographic: faster, greener skin care cream manufacturing
How airtight separators help solve the coconut challenge
Why standard steel won’t suffice for dairy separators
Do you need help to navigate the mayonnaise maze?
Why two-stage homogenization is best for tomato products
Fine-tune your homogenizer to boost quality of tomato products
The magic inside our tubular heat exchangers
Cook and grind: from rock-hard beans to paste in 15 minutes
How to choose the right mixing and blending process
Simulation and its role in improving your product quality
How to streamline production for formulated UHT dairy products
2 common powder mixing challenges – and how to solve them
Mixing: where ingredients become products
Reduce total cost of ownership for recombined milk processing by 30%
Yoghurt is booming – here is the best way to mix it
4 steps to perfect blending – with optimal yield and minimal losses
5 questions that hold the secret to the perfect product
How to scale up sauce production
Finished syrup production: success is sweet
How to dissolve sugar safely, economically and reliably
Continuous benefits: 4 reasons to consider in-line blending
Cunning innovation makes a stir in the soft-drink world
Beverages with bite: how to process drinks with particles
How to design the optimal heat exchanger setup for your needs
Minimize your food safety risks with floating protection system
Viscous products and heat transfer: 5 things to think about
Corrosion: how to prevent an everyday risk becoming a problem
Infographic – A brief history of heating food
5 troubleshooting tips for tubular heat exchangers
How to make better soup – with mathematics
Infographic – Food heat transfer basics
Lower your operating costs with preventive maintenance
How to choose the right heat exchanger
Case closed: the magic inside airtight separators
Reduce your pressure – reduce your energy costs
How to ensure separation enhances value in whey production
How a Bactofuge unit restored one dairy’s market share
Clarification: 5 things you need to know
Bacto basics: how to achieve top-quality dairy products
3 tips for keeping your separator clean
Film: the basics of separation in 1 minute
4 important questions about NIZO
Condition monitoring: everything’s under control
The importance of centrifugal separation for product quality
Why an airtight separator is best for product quality
How to achieve high-quality tea through separation
The basic workings of milk homogenization
Homogenizing lactic acid drinks: 4 things to know
The joy of soy: homogenization challenges and solutions
Wanted: a quick lab method for assessing RNGS shelf-life stability
Homogenization: the secret to longer life
Homogenization: what you need to know
9 ways homogenization improves beverage quality
The ketchup effect
How a dairy solved the problem of excessive creaming
Five tips for avoiding common homogenization mistakes
Why a tiny gap makes a big difference for homogenization
How to choose the right piston for your application
How a dairy giant cut CIP energy costs by up to 10%
3 things you need to know about the compressed air for your separator
Video: Best value homogenization in the long run
Discover the benefits of cold milk separation
Homogenizer guide: what to consider for minimum TCO
Good quality water improves separator lifetime and performance: 5 important facts
The secret to large homogenizer cost savings
The cream of the crop: how the separator sparked a dairy revolution
Five reasons to choose an airtight separator
7 things to know about separators
Homogenizer total cost of ownership: what you need to know
How to produce more – without increasing your input
Low noise separators – hearing is believing
Homogenizer buying guide – 6 things to know
Why Tetra Pak Homogenizers give you best value in the long run
Get ten years’ peace of mind with unique warranty
How a dairy saved €19,500 in annual energy costs