Common Uses of Filtration Systems in the Food, Beverage and Packaging Industry

Common Uses of Filtration Systems in the Food, Beverage and Packaging Industry


A filter is defined as a porous device that is used to remove contaminants from a gas or liquid. These contaminants are usually in the form of solid particles.  In commercial settings, filtration is generally interested in the gas or liquid as its primary product. The contaminants can still be harvested and used, but clients are generally keen to harvest the purified liquid or gas.

Many industries use filtration while they manufacture and process their products. Beverages like fruit juice, wine, carbonated drinks, beer, and even bottled water are passed through different filtration systems before they end up in your hands.

One of the most common uses for filtration media is to produce clear beverages. When you’re drinking water or wine, the last thing you want is to see bits of solid, powder, or other sediments at the bottom of your bottle or glass. Clarifying filters are used to get rid of these contaminants because not only do they ruin a customer’s appetite, they can also spoil the flavour of the drink.

Fermented food and drinks such as alcohol, yoghurt, butter-milk and so on, need bio-filtration as part of their processing. These foods are prepared through the controlled use of cultures. They are treated with artificial bacteria that enhance the flavour and nutrients of the product. However, if these bacteria exceed the required time or dosage, the food and drink can become unfit for consumption. Bio-filters make sure that fermentation does not extend past the required level.

Bio-filters are used before the food and beverages are bottled, tinned, or canned. Once the products reach the packaging stage, one more round of filters is needed. This final filtration process gets rid of any contaminants inside the pack. These types of contaminants can make the food spoil while it’s on the shelf at the supermarket or the grocery store.

This final filtration stage is called sterilisation. It gets rid of anything inside the pack that could damage the finished product. A lot of these contaminants are living organisms like bacteria and food cultures. To make sure they don’t survive inside the sterile pack, the packaging is usually filled with nitrogen or carbon dioxide. This is what gives carbonated drinks that fizzy effect when you open them.

As the gas is placed into the food and drink packages, it passes through yet another filter to make sure no solid particles accidentally get into the pack. Bacteria and similar organisms are microscopic, and it’s quite difficult to get them all out of the food and drink. That’s why products need to go through multiple filtration systems. This way, the ones that are not removed can be made inert by sterilisation, and by replacing oxygen with nitrogen.

Some foods are stored in vacuum packs with no air at all. This is an additional way of preventing any bacteria inside the food from growing or multiplying. Other foods, such as juices and branded drinks, are stored in large tanks before they are packaged in individual cans and bottles. These drinks are filtered on their way into the tank, to get rid of any particles from the manufacturing process.

As the drinks are put into bottles and cans, they are filtered again to get rid of any sediment the liquid might have picked while it was inside the storage tanks. These drinks use water as a primary ingredient, and the water has to remain consistent so that it doesn’t change the flavour of the juice or soda.

Water is filtered to maintain its neutral taste and pH. This ensures that when the flavour enhancers are added, they give the right result and ensure that every bottled product within the brand has the exact same colour, quality, and palate. Water is also filtered before it’s added to canned foods like soup, pasta sauce, or gravy.


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About the Author: Martin French

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