GEA’s new aseptic double-seat valve increases shelf life of dairy products

GEA has launched its new D-tec D/DV double-chamber valve, to achieve a longer shelf life with fewer preservatives.

The double-seat valve is designed with a sterile leakage chamber which is hermetically sealed from the atmosphere by two side valves. This new valve stem diaphragm raises hygiene standards to an UltraClean level, increasing the shelf life of milk-based and lactic acid-fermented products and other beverages.

After launching the single-seat D-tecP/DV control valve in 2018, the D-tec D/DV double-chamber valve completes GEA’s UltraClean valve range. Customers can now fully integrate D-tec equipment into their production processes, and GEA can consistently plan greenfield projects leveraging D-tec.

With the D-tec double chamber valve, GEA now offers aseptic valves for both hygiene classes “Aseptic” and “UltraClean”, which are tailored to the special conditions of the respective applications.

According to its hygiene philosophy, GEA recommends this distinction: “Aseptomag, our metal bellows technology, is the benchmark in hygienic processing, which we use for highly sensitive products such as baby food and UHT milk as they demand an uncompromising aseptic execution of processes and components,” said Pascal Bär, product manager for GEA Aseptic Valve Technology.

“However, a wide range of beverages produced by our customers are not promoted under aseptic conditions. In fact, they fall into the second highest hygiene level according to the VDMA guideline, which is hygiene class IV ‘UltraClean’. That is why our new D-tec D/DV is meeting the process requirements of this hygiene class.”

D-tec is suitable for fruit yogurt and ESL milk and products that require an increased shelf life depending on the pH value, cold chain and storage conditions.

When it comes to UltraClean applications, GEA systematically opts for the hermetically sealed D-tec stem diaphragm because it provides improved contamination protection against the atmosphere and ensures microbial stability of products throughout their manufacture. The membranes are made of thermoplastics that are more flexible than stainless steel. For example, this makes them well-suited to compensate for pressure surges, said Bär.

They are more forgiving to process errors, for example, in the event of a diaphragm rupture, the leakage detection system ensures a high degree of operational safety. Bär added: “Our product development is directed towards ensuring equipment availability and profitability for beverage and food producers. The new double-chamber valve fulfills this: It can be used very flexibly and combines a high level of hygiene with manageable operating costs.”

Like the entire D-tec range, the D/DV double-chamber valve is based on the tried and tested VARIVENT assembly unit, which is characterised by its adaptability. This enables the valve to be configured according to the required process conditions. The double-seat valve is characterised by the two membranes, which hermetically seal the product interior from the atmosphere. It is available in valve sizes ranging from DN 40 up to DN 100 and OD 1.5″ up to OD 4″. The valve seat can be executed as both soft and hard sealing – the latter with the popular TEFASEP gold seal, which GEA recently introduced. In addition, D-tec double-chamber valves can be equipped with one, two or three T.VIS control tops of various designs. The GEA D-tec D/DV considers all common industrial standards.

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