What are the challenges faced by beverage and food producers worldwide? One is certainly ensuring security across the entire production process – because, of course, only products of impeccable quality should ever roll off the line and make their way to consumers. Another is sustainability, a factor that applies along the entire value chain. As we approach the end of certain finite resources, society has an obligation to do everything in its power to protect the natural environment and our planet as a whole. Of course, it goes without saying that these topics also play a central role in the vision and mission of the Krones Group, whether for new and continuing developments or for its many overarching concepts and services.
At Anuga FoodTec 2024, Krones, together with its subsidiaries Steinecker, Milkron, Evoguard and HST, will be presenting plant and engineering solutions for beverage and food production. One main focus will be on showcasing customized, holistic sustainability concepts, especially those designed to save water and energy in the production process.
Integrated modular sustainability concepts
Krones plant engineering looks at a customer’s entire value chain and offers advice for recovering and recycling energy and water across the production operation. Steinecker and Milkron also offer a variety of ap-proaches to optimize sustainability in the production of milk and dairy products and plant-based alternatives, juices and soft drinks. Specific applications include HydroCircle, a complete concept for wastewater recycling, and specially designed heat exchanger systems or heat pumps for sustainable energy recovery.
Bioreactors for the “new food” sector
When it comes to leveraging synergies, Krones doesn’t limit itself to simply choosing solutions for customers. Instead, the company seeks to use them to develop new systems and technologies, drawing on decades of in-house expertise in process technology and plant engineering and applying it to new and different product categories. The latest example of this comes from Steinecker, whose knowledge of and technology for fermenting beer, combined with Krones’ aseptic expertise, can be adapted to accomplish the cell-based manufacturing of new food products. Steinecker’s bioreactor is suitable for both precision fermentation and cell cultivation, making it possible to manufacture new food products like alternative proteins for meat substitutes and whey and egg proteins. Krones recently launched a partnership with the Swiss startup Food Brewer, and now the two companies are testing various applications and sharing the results with other companies to develop their own recipes and trials.
Equipment for the production and preservation of beverages and foods
For further process technology, Krones also offers a diverse range of solutions, from the plant planning and engineering expertise of Milkron to HST’s HLI90 high-pressure homogenizer and the VarioAsept D direct-heating system from Krones right through to the broad portfolio of pumps and valves from Evoguard and Ampco, for both standard and aseptic applications. Krones is also driving security and sustainability in other filling and packaging processes. For instance, by offering filling valves specially designed for the respective final product, we are ensuring the highest quality when filling milk and dairy products and plant-based alternatives, juices and sauces. Meanwhile, LitePac Top is one of the most sustainable packaging concepts available today for PET containers and cans.
Integrated concepts and solutions are among the greatest strengths of Krones process technology and of the entire group. And the group’s 18,000+ employees around the world are doing everything they can to make beverage and food plants even more sustainable and ready for a better future.