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Instant Coffee

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Economical, all-in-one solution for the production of instant coffee

Because it is easy to prepare, soluble coffee powder is a popular choice among hot beverages. In the production of soluble coffee or “instant coffee,” Flottweg’s mechanical separation technology has a big impact on coffee quality and production efficiency.

The quality demands of instant coffee are steadily increasing. At the same time, cost pressure and the demand for sustainable and efficient production methods are growing. It is possible to extract the maximum yield from the valuable coffee beans and ensure high coffee quality in a cost-effective way with Flottweg separators, decanters and the Tricanter®.

In addition to the coffee bean, its blend and roasting, the clarification of the coffee extract is crucial for good, high-quality instant coffee. Unsightly sediment residue in the coffee cup should be avoided. Flottweg separators remove the visible particles from the coffee extract during the manufacturing process. This ensures a sediment-free end product while keeping the aroma and texture preserved.

The Flottweg decanter recovers valuable coffee extract from the solids separated from the thin and thick extract. Residues of coffee extraction, commonly known as the coffee grounds, are pressed out and the liquid phase is then broken down into residual extracts and coffee oil by the Flottweg Tricanter®.

Flottweg separation technology supports many processing steps in the production of instant coffee. Our machines and systems are designed to meet the hygienic requirements of the coffee industry. Various adjustment options make it easy to adapt the machines to different raw materials and product characteristics. Easy operation and maintenance is ensured by the straightforward and robust design of all production lines. The high-quality components, developed and manufactured by Flottweg entirely in Germany, also contribute to ease of operation and maintenance.

Our complete solution for coffee processing

How is instant coffee powder produced? – Flottweg separation technology can be found in many process steps

The roasted and ground beans are extracted under pressure on a large scale. The resulting coffee extract contains insoluble components. Separators remove these particles from the thin extract and from the thick extract after concentration.

The solid separated in the thin and thick extract (the separator sludge) still contains small quantities of high-quality extract. The Flottweg decanter separates it from the solid phase with the addition of water. The solids can be used for thermal recycling, while the separated extract is fed back into the process.

When coffee is extracted via percolators, residues are generated. These coffee grounds, which are still moist, are usually pressed out to make them thermally usable. The Flottweg Tricanter® separates the resulting press water into three phases at the same time: de-oiled and clarified press water, coffee oil and solids.

Flottweg separation technology can be found in many process steps in the production of instant coffee: Coffee clarification, extract recovery, coffee oil recovery The production process for soluble or instant coffee

Customer benefits

Clarification of the thin and thick extract for high-quality coffee

Coffee extract contains small amounts of unwanted, insoluble components. Flottweg separators are ideal for separating these particles from thin and thick extracts. The speed can be adjusted so that the desired flavors remain in the product. The separator is designed to be easy to maintain and robust, while meeting the highest hygienic standards. A special discharge system, Soft Shot®, ensures that extract losses are minimized.

  • Processing of thin and thick extracts
  • Large clarification area for maximum particle separation
  • Adjustable speed settings and selectivity possible
  • Maintenance-friendly and robust design
  • High hygienic standards
  • Soft Shot® for exact discharge with minimal extract losses

Recovery of coffee extract for high yield

The extract yield can be further improved, depending on the process and operating characteristics. The solid matter discharged by the separator still contains valuable coffee extract that can be recovered by a downstream decanter to increase the overall yield. The discharged solid is mixed with water, and the decanter centrifuge efficiently separates the solids. The Flottweg Simp Drive® ensures a constant dry solids content in the discharged solid. Even with fluctuating feed conditions, the separation result remains constant. The very dry solid (up to 50% dry matter) can be directly thermally recycled. The extract obtained is fed back into the process and the overall yield is significantly increased.

  • Flottweg Simp Drive® for high dry solids content and recovery rates
  • High added value by improving the overall yield of coffee extract
  • No foam formation, due to closed discharge under pressure
  • Easy retrofitting and integration of the machine, even in existing processes
  • High degree of automation

Extract recovery from coffee grounds

After extraction from the percolators, the moist coffee grounds still contain high-quality extract and coffee oil.

Post-pressing (such as using a Flottweg belt press or screw presses) serves two objectives: First, the dry matter of the coffee grounds increases, which is a prerequisite for thermal recycling of the solid. Second, press water is obtained, a liquid mixture of residual extract, coffee oil and solid.

The Flottweg belt press can be used to effectively dewater the most fine-ground coffee. The durable belt press is made of stainless steel and is easy to clean and operate due to its clear design and pneumatic belt control.

  • Good thermal utilization of the coffee grounds
  • Higher efficiency in the subsequent coffee oil processing
  • Highly durable stainless steel
  • Straightforward design and easy access for cleaning and operation
  • Pneumatic belt control for efficient and reliable operation

Coffee oil extraction

Press water contains valuable coffee oil and residual extract. The Flottweg Tricanter® separates the press water into the phases of solids, coffee oil and water containing the residual extract. Coffee oil can then be processed further – e.g., as an aromatic carrier in the finished, soluble coffee. Residual solids can be thermally recycled. The de-oiled and clarified press water can once again be added to the main process in order to recover the coffee extract it still contains. 

  • Optimum separation results due to easy adaptation of the separation zones, even during operation
  • Optimum coffee oil yield
  • Discharge of the de-oiled, clarified press water
  • Efficient use of resources by achieving the highest possible total extract yield

In contrast to the fully automatic production systems of large companies, increasingly smaller manufacturers produce liquid or soluble coffee in batch operation. By adding hot water (or in the case of cold brew, cold water) the coffee extract is removed from the ground coffee beans batch by batch. The Flottweg decanter continuously separates the suspended solid from the coffee extract. High solids loads can be easily processed in the centrifuge.

Due to the high dry matter of the discharged solid, the extract yield is significantly higher than the yield produced with the sieve tray method. A downstream separator clarifies the coffee extract prior to instantization or bottling.


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