GEA is expanding capacity at its in-house test center in Ahaus, Germany, by adding two more modules to its technology offering. With this addition, GEA is raising the Ahaus Test Center’s profile as a key facility dedicated to piloting aseptic processing as well as the filling of sensitive foods and beverages.
The new 500-liter GEA BATCH FORMULA® PRO High Shear Test Mixer is an attractive option for customers who want to implement their own product tests before scaling up to full production. Previously, GEA had installed an Aseptic Filling Pilot Plant in Ahaus to simulate the process steps for customers, from formulation to filling, now also with a bottle filler.
The test center provides solutions to complex product requirements
Customers can use the GEA Test Center for Aseptic Processing & Filling to trial product developments and process sequences before integrating them into their own production lines. Each year, more than 100 tests are conducted. The focus is on aseptic technologies that ensure long-term product shelf life and food safety, especially for dairy products. In recent years, Ahaus has also expanded its testing options and capacities to serve other promising markets. Beverage manufacturers are increasingly coming up with highly complex product requirements regarding ready-to-drink teas and plant-based beverages for which there are still no standard solutions.
Scale up and invest safely
Ulrich Rolle, Head of Product Development Hygienic Processing at GEA in Ahaus, explains how the pilot studies work: “We not only define processes and technology parameters but even specify recipe details. Customers are provided with reproducible results that they can then implement in production.” Right from the outset, GEA experts take an interdisciplinary approach to optimizing process efficiency. Working hand in hand with customers considerably speeds up the time to market. “Most importantly, customers can feel confident they are making the right investment since they have personally tested and validated the processes. Our expertise and commitment make a compelling case for GEA as the partner of choice.”