Ultra-high temperature (UHT) processing is the method of achieving commercial sterility of food products by heating for short periods of time at high temperatures. Whilst one of the most common applications for UHT processing is in the sterilisation of milk and milk-based drinks, the process also is used in production of fruit juices, baby foods, tomato products, cream, soy milk, yogurt, soups and stocks. The advantages of UHT processing over conventional sterilisation (i.e. in retorts) are the reduced process times (because of the high temperatures that are used) and the increased sensory quality (because there is less quality loss at higher temperatures). A critical feature of UHT processing low-acid shelf-stable products is the need to maintain aseptic conditions at all times after the delivery of the scheduled thermal process. The need for maintaining aseptic conditions may be diminished with acid products when the filling temperature remains sufficiently high to destroy any microorganisms that gain entry into the product stream.
DWC FoodTech have had extensive experience in the validation and verification of plant performance and process adequacy delivered by UHT systems. We can also provide assistance in verifying and developing procedures to ensure compliance with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and regulatory guidelines in relation to both process adequacy and aseptic handling. This includes assessing plant and product specifications in order to determine worst- case centreline exposure times and determination of the F value delivered throughout the process. DWC FoodTech can also provide assistance with the validation and verification of the aseptic environment, including aseptic tank sterilisation, packaging sterilisation and performance of aseptic fillers.
An excerpt from DWC FoodTechs calculations for a typical UHT plant validation is shown to the right (click the image to enlarge).
If you wish to have your UHT system validated please contact us.