Milk Powder & Infant Formula

For companies operating in the brand-conscious milk powder and infant formula sector, safety and hygiene optimization is vital. Our technical expertise and understanding of the processes involved in canning powdered milk, baby formula and follow-on formula enable us to provide the optimal can seaming equipment and support for your business.

Infant formula is produced by over a dozen firms in up to fifty processing plants around the world, but the manufacturing process varies little from plant to plant. Infant dairy powder is usually produced under one of two methods: dry blending or wet mixing, though some producers combine the two processes by using the wet mixing and spray drying method to create a base powder, and then dry blending this powder with carbohydrate, mineral and vitamin ingredients. Each of these processes has the potential for bacterial contamination.

To reduce this risk, infant formula is canned in the high hygiene zone of the plant, and can sealers must adhere to the strict engineering and design standards laid down by the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group (EHEDG). The EHEDG is a non-profit consortium of equipment makers, food suppliers, research facilities and government bodies with the aim of promoting hygienic engineering and design standards across the food sector.

EHEDG supports European legislation requiring the handling, preparation, processing and packaging of food to be carried out hygienically, in accordance with the food hygiene directive, the machinery directive and the food contact materials directive (see EC Directive 2006/42/EC, EN 1672-2 and EN ISO 14159).

Equipment manufacturers and users are required to adhere to these standards, and EHEDG offers guidance on legislation-compliant hygienic design standards. Our Innovus VGP tin sealer model designs are optimised to fully comply with EHEDG guidelines.

Whilst hygiene standards are critical in ensuring product safety, the integrity of the modified atmosphere inside the can is also vital. Air is composed of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and 1% other gases, but oxygen can cause fats, food colors, vitamins, flavors, and other food elements to deteriorate, through oxidation, enzyme-related damage or enabling the growth of micro-organisms.

Our Innovus VGP can closers use the ‘open can’ process, vacuuming and gassing individual cans in the seaming chamber before double seaming the can’s end. Unlike other methods such as inline gassing, the can never leaves the modified atmosphere of the chamber, and the result is extremely low residual levels of oxygen. This method also leads to much lower gas consumption than with pre-gassing or in-line gassing systems.

Innovus can seamers are designed and produced in the United Kingdom by Innovus Engineering Ltd who have been supplying the international can seaming and canning industry since 1994. If you are interested in purchasing an Innovus can seamer, we are happy to provide any technical advice and assistance you need relating to can specifications, seamer tooling design, double seam specifications or quality control practices.

Advantages of our Innovus can sealers:

  • Low consumption of gas compared to pre-gassing processes
  • Minimum residual O2 ensures improved product quality (O2 < 0.5%)
  • High efficiency combined with sanitary design and easy cleaning