Uflex introduces machine for extending shelf life of milk

Demonstrating its proactive engineering approach, Noida-based Uflex Limited has launched ESL aseptic flexi-pouch machine for packaging milk that can extend the shelf life of the product up to 90 days.

19 Sep 2016 | By Rahul Kumar

Milk is a perishable product. Again, it is extremely susceptible to infestation by bacteria and other microorganisms. Milk brands sold in pouches across India have for long been fretting about the restricted shelf life; time elapsed during the supply and distribution; optimum pasteurisation; necessity of cold chain to be integrated within the overall supply chain and so on so forth.

To alleviate all these problems in one go, Uflex has manufactured and launched ESL aseptic flexi-pouch machine for packaging milk. Milk sterilised and packed in this machine can be kept in normal ambient conditions at the point of sale for as long as 90 days.

The machine packs milk in a pouch made of a five to seven layer extruded/blown polyethylene film with strong barrier properties, including a black layer for UV protection.

The machine has an inbuilt automatic CIP and SIP system and can pack milk in SKUs ranging from 70 ml to 1500 ml volumetrically. The filling speed for these variants ranges between 5,000 and 2,500 packs per head per hour. On a specially programmed B&R and Siemens PLC fitted to this machine, altering the desired volumes to be filled can be actuated at the press of a button spelling utmost convenience for the milk companies.

The machine has been manufactured with a special isolation valve (sterile interlock) that does not allow the milk to flow from the UHT to the filling machine in case sterilisation of milk in UHT is incomplete or does not conform to the set specifications. This spares unnecessary invocation of intermediate CIP and SIP of the filling machine avoiding wastage of time.

Gravity filling system with precise tank level regulation has been provided in this machine. ESL flexi-pouch machine can be customised with single, two or three head filling arrangement as per the requirement of the client. This versatile machine is also capable of simultaneously packaging differential volumes on various heads.

Ajay Tandon, president & CEO, engineering business, Uflex, said, “It was a challenge to design and manufacture a machine for extending shelf life of a product as perishable as milk. After meticulous R&D of about 18 months, the engineering business at Uflex has designed this machine. This has been put under commercial run and validation at one of the largest milk packers in India.”

Ashok Chaturvedi, chairman and managing director, Uflex, said, “I am glad to present ESL aseptic flexi-pouch machine to the Indian milk industry. Nearly 145-150 million tonnes of milk is produced by India every year, out of which several million tonnes are spoiled owing to inefficient packaging. Thus, an overall system to extend the shelf life of milk without disturbing the retail coordinates is a real shot in the arm for milk brands and retailers. This will go a long way in reducing wastage of milk.”