Beverages – Flavors Production
Beverage Flavors Production
Liquid and Dry Flavorings Pre-Mix:
The Supplier’s Food Scientist sends the flavored beverage sample to their customer to go through the customer’s approval process. The customer approves the sample so an order can be approved for production with the Supplier. The key ingredients of the pre-mix are combined by adding liquid fillers like fruit juice, water and solvents (i.e. ethanol). The solvent changes the oil soluble ingredients into a water soluble state, which allows the finished flavoring to disperse properly and avoid floatation on top of the liquid dispersion. The colorants are the last thing added to the liquid mix. The dispersion is sent to Quality Control to have color, flavor, viscosity and other characteristics tested and analyzed for values.
Spray Drying Process:
Customers sometimes need a dry powder to work in their production process or manufacturing facility. This requires they make a liquid product and use a spray dryer to convert the liquid into a dry powder. The batch manufacturing process starts when all of the key ingredients are added into a processing kettle, which is usually a 500-1,000 gallon stainless steel tank. All of the final ingredients of the pre-mix are added, and if necessary the tank is heated and the ingredients are mixed with a screw auger.
The production crew sets up the mixing tank with water, gums and starches and then adds the pre-mix to it. The spray dryer hatch is opened and the mix is dropped into the spray dryer. Spray dryers use high pressure to turn liquids into a fine mist, then heat is used to dry the mist particles which are turned into dry powder particles.
These dry powder particles are put into a ribbon blender, which is a drum or tank with blades that are twisted and mix the dry powders together. Then the remaining dry powders in the formulation recipe are added to the mix and are incorporated into the blend. A sample is taken and sent back to QC lab to test particle size and to see how well the particles are mixed and blended together.
After exiting the ribbon blender, the flavored powder passes through a vibrating screen, magnet and metal detection packaging equipment. This step is necessary to create the desired flavorant particle size and to eliminate any metal particles which may contaminate the flavorant finished product. This material is then packed into polyethylene lined cartons and measured by weight. Airborne dust is an explosion hazard so a vacuum sucks up particles to eliminate the explosion hazard. Every batch requires a sample to be taken and sent back to the lab for analysis. A consumer test panel compares the new production material with an original sample. A flavor chemist adjusts the new production material to correct any problems or deviations from the original sample.