Pasteurization: Louis Pasteur’s Gift to the Beverage Industry

Pasteurization: Louis Pasteur’s Gift to the Beverage Industry

Although sourness and a bitter taste is sought after today in some craft beers, during the mid 1800’s the French wine industry was by plagued by various diseases causing these off flavors in wines. Word of these unpalatable flavors spread throughout Europe, drastically affecting France’s wine exports. So much so that Napoleon III commissioned Louis Pasteur, a French scientist and one of the first microbiologists, to study wine disease to try and find the source of these off tastes. Pasteur provided experimental evidence for the participation of living organisms in fermentation processes. He showed that contamination of unwanted microbes was the cause of the spoiling and off flavors in wines. To alleviate the problem, Pasteur pre heated the wine to 50-60 degrees Celsius which killed the unwanted organisms, extended the shelf life of the wine and ultimately saved the French wine and beer export industry. This process is known as Pasteurization and is still used throughout the food and beverage industry.

Louis Pasteur (Public Domain,

Louis Pasteur (Public Domain, Pasteurization is a method which prevents liquids from spoiling using a special heating treatment. This treatment is still used today for a variety of products such as milk, juice, spreads and is prominent in the food and beverage industry. Pasteurization eliminates the need of preservatives and chemicals while improving shelf life and maintaining nutritional properties of a product. Food and beverage producers often kill two birds with one stone by filling containers/packages with the hot pasteurized product which also sanitizes the inside of the container. This is known as “hot filling”. After hot filling, a cap is applied to the container, then the container is flipped vertically or horizontally onto its side allowing the hot product contact time with the inside of the cap to sanitize it. Bevco manufactures 2 varieties of cap sterilizers; the Horizontal or ZPPI cap sterilizer and the Vertical Cap Sterilizer. The ZPPI gently rotates bottles onto their side and rotates them back to right side up, allowing the hot product to contact and sterilize the cap. Bevco’s Vertical Cap Sterilizer captures bottles between two gripper chains, carries them vertically, inverts them, then releases them onto the outflow conveyor right side up. This also allows the hot product to contact and sterilize the inside of the cap. Bevco will help you choose which cap sterilizer is right for your specific application!

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