Plate Heat Exchanger For Dairy

Dairy Industry

Contribution of networks to the globalization of the dairy industry, all the gamers are dragged to one giant checkerboard. Although the market share is expected up to thousands of billion by 2024, it is never easy to survive through the dynamic and complex marketplace arena. HFM has been dedicated to hygiene plate heat exchangers for more than ten years. We provide highly efficient and economical solutions and plate heat exchangers for our dairy customers.


Ultra-high temperature processing (UHT), ultra-heat treatment, or ultra-pasteurization sterilizes food by heating it above 135 °C (275 °F) – the temperature required to kill spores in milk – for 1 to 2 seconds. UHT is most commonly used in milk production, but the process is also used for fruit juices, cream, soy milk, yoghurt, wine, soups, honey, and stews.
The heat used during the UHT process can cause Maillard browning and change the taste and smell of dairy products. An alternative method is HTST pasteurization (high temperature/short time), in which the milk is heated to 72 °C (162 °F) for at least 15 seconds.
If not opened, UHT milk packaged in a sterile container has a typical unrefrigerated shelf life of six to nine months. HTST pasteurized milk has a shelf life of about two weeks from processing or about one week from being put on sale.


Ultra-high-temperature processing is performed in complex production plants, which perform several stages of food processing and packaging automatically and in succession:
Flash cooling
Aseptic packaging
In the heating stage, the treated liquid is first pre-heated to a non-critical temperature (70–80°C for milk) and then quickly heated to the temperature required by the process.

Indirect heating systems

In indirect systems, the product is heated by a solid heat exchanger similar to those used for pasteurization. However, as higher temperatures are applied, it is necessary to employ higher pressures in order to prevent boiling. There are three types of exchangers in use:

Plate heat exchanger

Tubular heat exchanger

Scraped-surface exchangers

For higher efficiency, pressurized water or steam is used as the medium for heating the exchangers themselves, accompanied by a regeneration unit that allows reuse of the medium and energy saving.

Process flow

The pasteurized milk process is as follows:

Acceptance of raw milk → filtration, purification → standardization → homogenization → sterilization → cooling → filling → inspection → refrigeration

Technical requirements for production process

1 Acceptance of raw milk and classification
The raw milk determines the quality of the sterilized milk. Therefore, the quality of raw milk must be strictly managed and carefully tested. Only sterilized milk can be produced from raw milk that meets the standards.
2 Filtration or Purification
The purpose is to remove dust and impurities from the milk.
3 Standardization
The purpose of standardization is to ensure that the milk contains the specified minimum amount of fat. The requirements for milk standardization vary from country to country. Generally speaking, the fat content of low-fat milk is 0.5%, and that of ordinary milk is 3%.
In China, the fat content of sterilized milk is 3.0%, and all non-standard milk must be standardized.
4 Homogenization
Homogenization is usually carried out at a homogenous temperature of 65 ° C and a homogenization pressure of 10 to 20 MPa. If the homogenization temperature is too low, viscous may occur.
5 Pasteurized fresh milk is often contaminated by many microorganisms (80% of which are lactic acid bacteria). Therefore, when using cow’s milk to produce milk for disinfection, the easiest and most effective way to spread the hazard is to use heat for sterilization or sterilization to improve the stability of milk during storage and transportation, avoid rancidity and prevent microorganisms.
6 Cooling
To inhibit the development of bacteria in the milk and prolong the preservation, it is still necessary to cool in time, and the milk is usually cooled to about four °C. Ultra-high temperature milk and sterilized milk can be cooled to below 20 °C.
7 Filling
The purpose of a filling is to facilitate retail, prevent external impurities from being mixed into the finished product, prevent microbial re-contamination, preserve flavour and prevent absorption of external odour and produce odour and prevent loss of vitamins and other components. Filling containers are mainly packaged in glass bottles, vinyl plastic bottles, plastic bags, and plastic-coated paper bags.

Case- HTST pasteurizatio

The steps to use the plate heat exchanger 

1. heat recovery section;

2. sterilization section;

3. cooling section;

The pre-cooled 5°C fresh milk is absorbed by heat in the heat recovery section, reaching about 65°C. It is homogenized by a homogenizer and then heated to 85°C for more than 15s. Finally, it is cooled to 5°C with ice water, sent to the packaging workshop, and packed in bottles or soft plastic bags. In the sterilization section, hot water is used as the heating medium, the cooling section uses ice water as the cooling medium, and the heat recovery section uses the sterilized milk as the heat medium to fully utilize the heat of the hot milk to heat the cold milk. The heat recovery rate can be reached—85%~90 %.

Plate heat exchanger design solution

Plate material: 304 or 316

Gasket: NBR

1. Heat recovery section: Both sides of the medium are milk

Hot side inlet temperature: 85 degrees or more

Cold side inlet temperature: 5 degrees outlet temperature 65 degrees

2. Sterilization section:

Cold side: preheated milk; temperature: inlet: 65 out 85 or more

Hot side: hot water 95 or more

3. Cooling section:

Cold side: milk that needs to be preheated and ice water

Hot side: hot milk that kills bacteria

Application of Plate Heat Exchanger in Ice Cream Production

The plate heat exchanger is widely used in the food industry, with ice cream representatives. The production of ice cream mainly includes steps such as mixing the mixture of sterilizing and cooling, the filling and packing of ice cream. Before the homogenizer, the ice cream mixed material needs to be strictly controlled between 65℃ ~ 70℃ through the plate heat exchanger. When the temperature is too low, fat can easily condense; when too high, the material is prone to have a hot stink. And then, before into the ageing tank, use the plate heat exchanger for sterilization, and make the material temperature up to the ageing of the required temperature. Make heating and sterilization done at the same time to save cost. Ice cream material is relatively viscous; Hofmann’s BNF series of plate heat exchangers with wide flow path, and high heat transfer efficiency, can be a good choice for this heat transfer work.