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Separation technology for the production of plant-based milk alternatives

For many consumers, plant-based milk alternatives are a popular and vegan alternative to animal milk. In the production of plant milk, a high-quality end product and flexible processes are crucial for manufacturers. Decanters from Flottweg deliver both: high efficiency separation as well as flexible application possibilities.

Vegan milk alternatives make an important contribution to sustainable nutrition. Grain- and plant-based beverages offer good nutritional value as well as flavor and health benefits, and they have a reduced ecological footprint compared to conventional cow's milk.

Industrial centrifuges play a crucial role in the quality of finished milk in the production process of plant-based milk alternatives. Centrifuges efficiently separate the extract from the mash. The high G-forces generated by the decanter centrifuge ensure optimum clarification performance and a high liquid yield due to the maximum dewatering of solids.

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Flottweg decanter centrifuges have several special features that make the machines flexible to use and ensure high availability. Thanks to the adjustable impeller, the centrifuges can be used for various plant raw materials (such as soy, oats and almonds) and can be easily adapted to new recipes.

Whether soy milk, oat milk, rice milk, almond milk, nut milk or other milk alternatives - our centrifuges are optimally designed for the production of vegetable milk. Our machines comply with current hygiene standards and can be easily integrated into a fully automated processing line with CIP cleaning.

Our machines for the industrial production of nut, grain or soy milk

How are plant-based milk alternatives produced industrially?

Depending on the type of plant-based milk, different raw materials are used. Popular vegan milk alternatives include soy milk, oat milk, rice milk, almond milk, as well as other grain or nut milks.

The raw materials (such as soybeans or oats) are mixed with a certain amount of water and milled wet. A specific temperature-time combination optimally extracts the valuable ingredients from the raw material. In starchy foods such as oats and rice, the starch is also converted into sugar by an enzymatic reaction. In the next step, industrial centrifuges separate the plant milk from the extracted plant fibers.

As shown in the figure, for some products a second extraction step may be worthwhile to increase the yield of the milk substitute. Finally, for a full-fat milk alternative, the plant milk is homogenized with edible oil (this varies according to the raw material), mixed with various ingredients, heated and packaged.

The fibrous residues (okara/fibers) separated with the decanter or Sedicanter® still have a high water content and thus a high transport volume. Manufacturers have the option of using a belt press to further dewater the remaining fiber residues. This saves costs during subsequent transport or drying.

Flottweg centrifuges separate the extract from the fiber residues. The plant fibers, which are still moist, can be further dewatered with the belt press. Process for the industrial production of alternative plant-based milks such as soy milk or oat milk

Customer benefits

Produce oat milk, soy milk or nut milk on a single production line.

Our decanter centrifuges process milk from a wide variety of plant and grain types, such as soy, oats, almonds or legumes.

  • Industrial production of soy milk or soy drink.
  • Extraction of grain milk or rice milk.
  • Oat drink and oat milk production.
  • Production of almond milk and nut milk.
  • Production of coconut milk or milk from other plant alternatives

Especially pure thanks to Flottweg Sedicanter®.

Depending on the product and process, Flottweg's patented Sedicanter® is particularly suitable for efficient clarification. As a combination of decanter and separator, the Sedicanter® eliminates process steps and thus reduces investment and annual operating costs. Thanks to its high G-forces and continuous operation, the Sedicanter® efficiently separates the fibers from the plant mixture. This results in drier solids and a better clarification of the plant-based milk.

To enable our customers to put the Sedicanter® through its paces under real conditions, we can provide test machines on request. Be on the safe side!

  • Maximum clarification ensures optimal flavor and pleasant palatability of the finished soy milk, oat milk or other vegetable beverages.
  • Reduced investment and operating costs.
  • Particularly dry solid.
  • Test machines for tests under real conditions.

Powerful separation technology.

Our separation solutions have numerous special features that make the machines more efficient, flexible and durable. The key to an efficient process is maximum machine performance, easy operation, low service costs and efficient cleaning.

Flottweg's adjustable impeller ensures that the decanter centrifuge can be easily and quickly adjusted to changed recipes or raw materials. Our Flottweg Simp Drive® drive concept automatically adapts the differential speed and drum speed to changing conditions. The result: optimal and consistent quality of the plant milk.

The InGo user interface makes our machines intuitive to use. Users thus always have all data at a glance.

  • Constant quality and pleasant palatability of the plant milk.
  • Flexible processing of changing products and recipes.
  • Intuitive operation and control.
  • Integration into existing CIP systems.
  • Global service network.
  • Wide range of different machine sizes (0.5 m³/h - 20 m³/h).
  • Availability of test and rental machines

Would you like to learn more about the industrial production of plant-based milk alternatives?

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