Since dairy products are regarded as healthy, demand is rising continuously. A development noticeable e.g. on the production of the Zott dairy company in Mertingen in the German state of Bavaria: Each year, they process about 950 million kilograms of milk into yogurt and other dairy products.
Yogurt is especially popular in Europe. When it comes to per capita consumption, the French are the European champions, with 17.8 kilograms per year; Germans consume about 13.9 kilograms. During the production process the tasty dairy products are controlled thoroughly in accordance with strict hygiene standards. This is because dairy products are particularly susceptible to germs.
The process known in the industry as aseptic filling is state-of-the-art: Just before it is filled, the packaging is disinfected with hydrogen peroxide. In addition to the biocidal effect, it must also be very easy to remove the product from the packaging so that no residues remain. The hydrogen peroxide that Evonik has developed for this is ultra pure and, when subjected to heat, decomposes to oxygen and water, which makes it a very environmentally compatible product that is ideally suited for use in the food industry.
As one of the world‘s biggest providers of hydrogen peroxide, Evonik has been supplying the product to the food industry since the 1960s. “The high bactericidal effect of hydrogen peroxide and its good environmental compatibility have contributed to the sweeping success of aseptic filling,” says Friedhelm Brandner, who is responsible for technical service for active oxygen products at Evonik. Many machines operate in the Zott dairy company and they are treated with OXTERIL® 350, a hydrogen peroxide that was especially developed for the food industry. “Depending on the product, the cups are disinfected either in an immersion bath or they are sprayed,” explains Brandner. Residues of hydrogen peroxide are completely removed.
Evonik is an important supplier to the food industry and its products play a major role in ensuring food safety. “The safety of our food products is top priority for us,” says Johann Baur from Zott’s Quality Management Department. “This is why we are very glad to have Evonik as a supplier, as we can always rely on the product quality and the service. Treatment with hydrogen peroxide and sterile filling are also important for the shelf life of the yogurt.”