The global market for oat milk is growing at an unprecedented rate. With awareness of the health benefits of plant-based dairy alternatives increasing worldwide, combined with rising disposable incomes and concerns over diabetes, huge growth in the market is predicted over the coming years. In fact, the global oat milk market is expected to reach US$ 6.45 billion by 2028 with an annual growth rate of 14.2% (Grand View Research, Inc). 

But how best to take advantage of a trend that is only going to increase in importance? JBT SF&DS offers a range of solutions for not just effective UHT pasteurization of oat milk, but also for maximizing uptime, energy usage and product yield during the production process.

Winning solutions
For oat milk processors, JBT has developed solutions that cover everything from mixing and preparation of the product in batch to aseptic, thermal pasteurization and filing into a variety of different containers. This includes the Sterideal® HX SteriCompact UHT Sterilizer, a UHT solution famed for its robustness, resulting product quality, ease of operation and favorable Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). 

Capable of handling higher viscosity products, the SteriCompact utilizes a coil design to save on energy costs compared to traditional heat exchangers, while a small footprint reduces floorspace requirements. The proven Sterideal HX technology further optimizes the taste and shelf-life of end products.

Maximizing uptime
According to JBT’s Global Product Line Director for Aseptic Systems, Juan Martinez, a key advantage offered by JBT UHT systems are their ability to run for extended periods between cleaning, minimizing downtime and maximizing uptime in the process. “Thanks to the design of JBT systems, this happens far less frequently than in competitor systems, and this translates into much longer production runs,” says Martinez.

Another key benefit of JBT UHT solutions is a drastically reduced level of product loss during cleaning or product changeover. “When production is stopped for cleaning, part of the production always has to thrown away because the tubing is cleaned with water,” explains Martinez. “With JBT’s system, producers will see an up to 40% reduction in product loss during cleaning.”

JBT systems can further handle options beyond standard oat milk, whether that be flavored products or oat milk products containing fruit pieces, he adds.

A UHT solution famed for robustness, product quality and ease of operation: the SteriCompact

Future prospects
But how far go the oat milk trend go and why is it happening now? “The growth in oat milk is incredible,” says Martinez. “there been a change in consumption not just from dairy to non-dairy, but from soya or almond milk to oat milk because there is a perception that it is a more healthy product.”

Although overall sales volumes for almond and soya milk remain higher, Martinez says this is likely a result of being longer established in the market. Oat milk by contrast is growing quicker. “There has been a very significant increase in consumption of non-dairy worldwide and that has increased most of all with oat milk,” he adds. “JBT is well placed to support any processors looking to take advantage of this trend.”

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