Challenges in Flavor Production
While adjusting to the latest consumer trends is key, flavor houses must also meet requirements for clarity and purity. Selection of the right filtration technology is critical in achieving these goals as flavor producers must overcome multiple challenges:
There can be high variability in raw materials, the extraction method and the corresponding extraction solvents. Additionally, the chemistry of the flavor substance itself can require the use of different, very complex processes.
The requirement to mix different solvents (alcohols /polypropylene glycol), and water resulting in turbidity-forming colloids. There is a further risk that haze may occur after packaging.
The existing opacity/turbidity is often complex and can be of both particulate and colloidal origin. Additionally, waxes in oils (e.g. for citrus flavors) can place very high stress on the separation processes.
Aroma and color are delicate chemical components. Manufacturing techniques must provide the delicate balance in preserving the fragile notes while delivering on clarity.
- Flavor production requires a great deal of flexibility to process both large and small batches.
Filtration and separation equipment used in flavor production must be selective and have the flexibility to reliably remove the different sources of turbidity. However, it is also important that these steps do not negatively influence or reduce quality-enhancing characteristics like aroma and color.
Different filtration solutions may be employed during flavor production to achieve specific goals as outlined in the diagram below.
Particle filtration is usually the starting point for clarifying liquid flavors. The target of this step is to remove coarse and fine particles that usually tend to settle and form a sediment-layer at the bottom of blend tanks, or float to the surface of the flavor. Effective solutions for particle removal include using a coarse filter. Find out more here.
Removal of Colloidal Haze
The requirement to mix different solvents, alcohol and water has a big impact on solubilities of turbidity forming colloids. To remove colloidal haze, a chill filtration step is typically implemented, which forces chill haze particles to form. Technologies combining filtration and adsorption can then successfully remove colloidal haze at the best economic efficiency, helping to reduce the risk of precipitations that might occur after packaging. Depth filter sheet-based products are typical in this step. However, Pall SUPRApak™ modules provide a more effective removal through adsorption. Find out more about our solutions here.
Wax and Lipids Removal
Naturally occurring waxes which originate in the citrus peels are solubilized during extraction. This can have a negative impact on quality, causing cloudiness upon precipitation. There are a variety of methods to separate the wax solids, but these pose challenges. Drawbacks in common processes include poor final product quality, process flow rates are often low, or the installations require large sizing. Replacing the disposable filters to allow batch completion can be time consuming, labor intensive and costly. Addressing these challenges, our solutions achieve a stable product while reducing the process time. Find out more here.
Removal of Microbiological Contaminants
Filtration steps should also be employed to prevent microbiological contamination of raw materials used to produce flavors. For example, there may be a need to remove TAB (Thermoacidophillic bacteria) that can come from aroma chemicals and ingredients or yeast that may be present in binders. Pall has developed a series of depth filter sheets designed for effective removal. Find out more here.
Removal of Water from Oil Based Flavors
Oil based flavors, in many cases, are extracted from plants and may also contain traces of water from the plant cells. A coalescing or separation step is usually necessary to remove the water to achieve a pure essential oil. Providing a more efficient way of water removal, Pall solutions use an adsorptive effect saving on contact time. Find out more here.