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4-2017

Global hop market

A local alternative to mass beer suggested by independent brewers has been successful and is now altering the global market. Beer is becoming more diversified, so transnational companies have to accept the new game rules and to switch focus to young and fast growing markets. All these processes increased the demand for aroma and bitter hop as well as their acreage expansion on two continents. However now there appeared a downward trend of alcohol consumption in the world, so even special sorts can soon turn to be sufficient. In this connection the dynamic American hop market is already facing some problems. EU hop producers have become more cautious, they are not racing to exceed the demand and look forward with more confidence, judging by the contract terms. 

Hop Market in Russia

Germany still dominates the Russian market, yet over the recent two years one has been able observe a continuous success of Czech hop suppliers. Their expansion and growing popularity of hops from the United States became the drivers of supplies growth in 2016 despite the preceding modest harvest crop in the EU, as well as the factor of relative stability in 2017. In this connection, in 2017, the ratio of the varieties continued to shift towards the aroma ones, and the supplies of Magnum hop and other alpha varieties were reduced. However, the import of bitter hop pellets is partially replaced by extracts, especially from the major beer manufacturers. Total volumes of alpha acid supplies, according to our estimation, decreased by approximately 5% and returned to the level of 2015. Barth Haas Group continues dominating the hop products market; HVG also increased its weight. At the same time, Morris Hanbury significantly reduced the supplies in 2017.

GEA’s hermetically sealed control valve extends shelf life of food and beverages

GEA is expanding its D-tec® valve line with the new GEA D-tec® P/DV control valve for ultraclean applications in the food, beverage and dairy industries. This allows reliable control of process parameters such as volume flow, pressure, temperature and filling level of a vessel. Due to the hermetically sealing D-tec® stem diaphragm, the valve achieves a higher standard of hygiene. For example, it helps ensure product safety in beer mixes and soft drinks, fruit juices, milk-based and lactic acid-fermented products or even sauces, and contributes to a longer minimum product shelf life as is often demanded by the market.

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Longer shelf life, less preservatives
The P/DV type D-tec® control valve uses hermetically sealed D-tec® stem diaphragms. These provide improved contamination protection against the atmosphere and thus ensure microbial stability of the product throughout the entire process. While the D-tec® valve line can be used in aseptic processes, GEA sees the application of the new control valve primarily for ultraclean applications. The control valves are selected for products that require an extended shelf life, with or without cooling, depending on the pH value, cold chain and storage characteristics. These products include iced tea, fruit juice, fruit yoghurt and ESL milk.
Pascal Bär, product manager for aseptic valves at GEA, adds: “Durability is important to the consumer, but not at any price. Today’s consumers are very sensitive to the topic of preservatives. Ultraclean processing is beneficial here because it helps to achieve the desired shelf life of a product with less preservatives. As part of a customized process chain, our new D-tec® P/DV valve control valve takes manufacturers this one step further.”
Special valve diaphragm connection increases pathogen barrier and service life
“The critical point between valve stem and stem diaphragm has an increased risk of pathogen introduction: Here, metal and plastic – two materials that react differently to temperature and pressure – come into contact. For this reason, we have designed a supporting ring that guides and counteracts the stem diaphragm during stroke movement. This approach is more effective than other options available on the market”, says Bär, explaining how the valve contributes to increased process and product safety.
In addition, this type of connection ensures that the membrane is subject to minimal mechanical stress during the switching process. With this approach, GEA has succeeded in making the stem diaphragm last longer as well as demonstrably keeping its temperature resistance and cleanability high. “Our main goal is to ensure system availability and economic viability for food and beverage producers. This is achieved by our new control valve, which combines functional flexibility and quality with manageable operating costs”, concludes Bär. Producers gain further operational safety through reliable leak detection. GEA's valve experts have designed the entire construction to be easy to maintain in order to reduce system downtime during maintenance.
Modular construction enables process adaptation
The P/DV D-tec® control valve is part of the VARIVENT® modular principle, which is characterized by its variability for different requirements. This enables the valve to be configured according to the prevailing process conditions. It has an equal-percentage control cone characteristic and is available in the valve sizes DN40 up to DN100 and OD1.5” up to OD4”. Different KVS values are available for each valve size and different housing combinations can be implemented. The valve seat can be executed with a metallic stop as well as soft (V-Ring) and hard sealing – the latter with the new TEFASEP® gold material, which GEA recently introduced. In addition, D-tec® control valves are equipped by default with the proven GEA T.VIS® P-15 position controller.

18 Сен. 2018

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