Are you optimizing existing processes, designing new production processes or looking for alternative applications for product waste streams? We can assist you with practical solutions, applying our extensive knowledge on process-product interactions. We offer an extensive pilot facility, covering upstream and downstream processing. Our available unit operations for downstream processing include heat treatment, membrane filtration, centrifugation, homogenization, evaporation and various drying methods, like spray drying and vacuum drum drying. Additionally, we have variously sized equipment, meaning we can perform downstream processing on 100-10.000 L/h scale.

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Heat treatment

To ensure a safe product with adequate shelf-life, heat treatment is the most reliable and most validated method. Optimally, heat treatment in downstream processing minimizes the microbial risk while also ensuring a high product quality (e.g. minimizing protein denaturation). As such, we have experts on both microbial inactivation as on process-product interactions.

For practical solutions, we have a large range of heat treatment equipment available, both on pilot scale from 100-10.000 L/h, and on lab scale from microliters to liters. Our practical solutions are supported by our extensive modelling experience and readily available in-house model libraries.

Membrane concentration/separation

Membranes are the ideal unit operation for mild but efficient separation and concentration of your product. The main problem is that specific membrane performance remains mostly unknown until it is actually tested with your product in practice. At NIZO, we offer a dedicated screening, using multiple membrane types and flow rates. By analyzing the permeate and retentate composition, this allows us to quickly asses the performance of several membranes for a specific product. Further fine-tuning experiments can be performed on our pilot scale polymeric and ceramic membrane installations.

All resulting data can be implemented in our membrane modelling module, allowing for quick in-silico design and optimization of the final desired membrane unit. Naturally, we also use or membrane units as a concentration/separation step in-line with our other downstream processing units. For more course separation purposes we also have centrifugation units available.

Spray drying and falling film evaporation

Spray drying is the workhorse of downstream processing for food powder production. It is also a challenging one involving a complex balance between production costs and product quality. Improvement can often be achieved in enhancement of drying capacity, minimization of fouling and reduction of downtime for cleaning. At NIZO we help you to get the most out of spay drying. Development, implementation, optimization and troubleshooting of powder processes and products is what we do. NIZO also has extensive laboratory and pilot scale facilities to validate drying processes and produce food-grade powders delivering capacity on demand.
To supply or dryer with concentrated product we also have a falling film evaporator to our disposal. To cater to the varying needs of different customers, we are able to run our evaporator as a single stage or multistage and with mechanical or thermal vapor recompression (MVR/TVR).

Next to our pilot facilities we have an expansive model portfolio which we regularly apply in designing process units and which we use to support our pilot and lab scale trials and productions. The use of these models helps to reduce time and cost during testing, production and scale-up. Additionally, models serve as a perfect medium for storing knowledge on the many different aspect of processing. We have housed our models inside an intuitive and user-friendly software environment which we also license to our customers. To further expand the capabilities and applicability of our software, we have recently started a collaboration with Process Systems Enterprise (PSE). Through this collaboration we will be able to supply a better integrated model library using flow-sheeting and the addition of sophisticated optimization and process analysis tools.

Even after you finish your product and process design we can offer support in getting your product to market successfully. We are experienced in setting up clinical trials and consumer test. Additionally, we have an in-house testing panel with specially selected and trained tasters. At NIZO hands-on experience, combined with extensive laboratory and pilot scale facilities as well as practical modeling tools, have been applied extensively for the industry to assist with:
• Development and implementation of drying processes
• Optimization of existing processes
• Troubleshooting
• New or adjusted product formulations

Our Food-Grade NIZO Pilot Plant is your flexible and quick-to-market alternative for test and start up productions. Your ingredients can be applied in products ranging from drinks, to cheese, soups, sauces, margarines and ice-cream. As such, we can support you in all aspects of your product and process development trajectory.

Any questions?

Ben van der Deen is happy to answer all your questions.

Meet Ben