Food | Ditch the cow - plant-based milk alternatives

Manufacturers of plant-based milk alternatives rely on concentration, dissolved oxygen and vis-cosity monitoring to optimize their production process and create top-quality liquid and pow-dered products. Anton Paar’s inline refractometer L-Rix 5100 is ideal for monitoring total dissolved solids in food and beverage production, while Oxy 5100 provides accurate and reliable dissolved oxygen measurements for a wide range of concentrations. The inline viscosity measurement perfor-mance of the inline viscometer L-Vis completes the reliable process control.

Plant-based milk alternatives

Plant-based milk, also known as non-dairy milk, is a growing market trend as more consumers look for alternative options to traditional cow's milk. These milks are derived from a variety of plant sources such as soy, almonds, oats, rice, and hemp.
In general, plant-based milks are produced from the breakage of the relevant raw material by reducing its size, subsequently extracting in water, followed by homogenization, thermal processing and formulation where lipids, flavors, colors, vitamins, minerals and stabilizers may be added.
Cow’s milk is usually sold as liquid, as milk powder, or as main ingredient in dairy products. The same can be expected from plant-based alternatives, however, processing the plant-based milk into powder is a common method. The powder has a far longer shelf life than the final liquid product and does not need to be refrigerated due to its low moisture content (2.5 – 5 %). Another advantage is to reduce its bulk for more economical transportation.
This application report describes how Anton Paar inline process sensors are used to control the final product prior packaging and ensure highest efficiency in the drying process to get milk powder.

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