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Pressure Vessels and the Food and Beverage Industry

Pressure vessels are used extensively in the food and beverage industry. It’s one of the largest industries using them, and no matter where you are, you’ve likely eaten or drank something that required a pressure vessel during its manufacturing, storage, or transportation. This article will show you some of the uses for pressure vessels in this industry, including how some of your favorite food and drinks are made.

What is the food and beverage industry?

The food and beverage industry encompasses companies and organizations that create, package, and transport products for people to eat and drink. It includes things like the following:

  • Raw food materials
  • Processed food materials
  • Prepared food
  • Alcohol, sodas, and other drinks

Many of these categories require pressure vessels at some stage of their development. Next, we’ll go over some specific examples of how pressure vessels are used.

Pressure vessels for beverage production

One of the most common uses for pressure vessels in the food and beverage industry is the production of soda and sparking water. Soda is made from dissolving carbon dioxide gas into the flat soda. When you crack open a can, the bubbles that form are the gas leaving the liquid. To dissolve the gas in the liquid, the contents have to be pressurized – this compresses the gas until there is nowhere else for it to go.

Pressure vessels are used in multiple steps for soda and sparkling water production. They’re used in transporting the carbon dioxide in pressurized containers to the place the soda is made, storing the gas, and distributing the gas into the liquid.

Other beverages can also use pressure vessels, including alcoholic beverages. A lot of alcoholic beverages involve pressure fluctuations as the ingredients ferment, which releases gases as by-products. Managing those gases often involves pressure vessels to contain and transport them.

PET Bottling

PET bottles, or polyethylene terephthalate bottles, are plastic bottles that are used to hold sparkling water and sodas, along with other drinks. It’s the most commonly used container to hold beverages, and they require pressure vessels in order to be formed and filled.

PET bottles are made from plastic preforms, which are small cylinders with the mouth of the bottle formed. To turn the preform into the right shape, the preform is heated, placed in a mold, and pressurized with gas. This forces the plastic to expand to fill the mold. When the pressure is released, the plastic keeps its shape.

Pressure vessels in food production

Pressure vessels are used extensively in food production, particularly in high-pressure processing (HPP), which is a way to preserve food while keeping the integrity of its nutritional quality, taste, appearance, and texture. It involves putting the food under extremely high pressures to kill microorganisms, and can be used with the application of heat or in some cases, at room temperature. High pressure processing requires pressure vessels to contain the gas used to pressurize the food, to contain the food being pressurized, and transport and store the gases used.

This is a significant advance in food production, since using heat to kill microorganisms in food is more likely to change the food than using pressure, making it less visually appealing or breaking down the components making up the food. It gives more options and flexibility for food production.

Learn more about pressure vessels

Rexarc is made up of teams of expert engineers and technicians to create safe, reliable pressure vessels across industries. To learn more about pressure vessels, please reach out to us!



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