Processing Plants for the Production of Gelatine

Processing Plants for the Production of Gelatine
Concentrating and separating with technologies by
GEA Wiegand and GEA Filtration
engineering for a better world
GEA Process Engineering
Processing plants for the
production of gelatine
GEA Wiegand GmbH and GEA Filtration have the process engineering knowhow for filtration, concentration, and sterilization in the gelatine and glue
industries. With more than one hundred years of experience in thermal and
mechanical separation technology, we have been significantly involved in the
development of efficient gelatine and glue process lines. Our strength is our
experience gained with more than 180 realized installations in the gelatine
industry worldwide. Today, GEA Wiegand and GEA Filtration globally rank
among the leading suppliers of customized processing plants, across many
industries including gelatine. Combining modern membrane processes with
efficient evaporation plants, we provide the market with state-of-the-art process
solutions. Our goal is to deliver the best possible technical and commercial
solutions to achieve the goals for the tasks and requirements of our customers.
Gelatine and glue are high-quality natural products. The technical range of
applications of gelatine in the food, nutriceutical, pharmaceutical, and photo
industries is extraordinarily wide. Concentrated glue broths are mainly used
in the adhesives industry.
Production of gelatine 4
Creative plant designs
Membrane filtration, high-concentrator (finisher) and sterilization (DSI) 6
Evaporation plant, high-concentrator (finisher) and sterilization (DSI) 8
Thermal sterilization of gelatine broths
Processing of secondary flows
Overview on our complete range of products
Processing plants for the production of gelatine
Tailor-made designs
Range of services
GEA Wiegand is a technology company within GEA Group
and is recognized worldwide for its plants for evaporation,
distillation, membrane filtration (GEA Filtration), its vacuum
systems, jet pumps, mixers, steam jet cooling systems and
gas scrubbing systems. More than 200 qualified employees at
the headquarters in Ettlingen design the process engineering
Our range of services includes consultation, planning, calculation, design, manufacture, delivery, quality control and
commissioning. After-market service and membrane spare
part deliveries round off the range.
systems. The company distributes its products worldwide
via a well-organized network of GEA companies, sales offices
and agencies. With more than 12,000 delivered plants worldwide GEA Wiegand has reference plants in most of the
In detail, this implies
onsultation and creation of a plant design, taking into
consideration the customer-specific and product-specific
Performing laboratory tests and pilot tests for the determination of physical properties data allowing the design of
apparatus, equipment and systems
Detail design and quality-tested monitoring of the appropriate production facility
Delivery, installation, monitoring and commissioning
Development / optimization of processes
Expansion and modernization of existing plants
Consultation regarding energy efficiency
Research and development
GEA Wiegand has its own research and development centre
with numerous laboratories and pilot plants for
Membrane filtration
Gas scrubbing
Several process steps can be combined into one overall process
solution at the pilot scale, where it can be tested and optimized,
e. g. hybrid systems (consisting of membrane filtration and
evaporation), several different kinds of membrane filtration
as well as process combinations with other technologies. Most
laboratory plants are mobile and can be used both in the research centre and for tests at the customer’s facilities.
Experimental hall in the GEA Wiegand research and development centre
Production of gelatine
Raw materials and processes
GEA Wiegand plants
Gelatine is extracted from leather waste, veal, bovine, and
porcine hides, bones, and fish skins. The raw materials are
chemically treated in the extraction. The cross-connections
between the chain molecules in the collagen protein of the
raw materials are split using acids or caustic solutions. The
high-molecular collagen fragments are then extracted with
warm water as glue or gelatine. Depending on the treatment
process, this takes place in several steps at different pH values
and temperatures.
For gelatine production, GEA Wiegand delivers GEA Filtration
membrane filtration plants and evaporation plants for the
process steps of clarification, desalination, concentration, and
sterilization. After extraction, fat and particles are separated
from the gelatine solution in high-performance separators. The
subsequent fine clarification is usually performed with diatomaceous earth (Kieselgur) filters. These can be advantageously
replaced by membrane filtration. This type of clarification,
however, depends on the gelatine to be processed. In the microfiltration plant very durable ceramic membranes are used,
which are characterised by high separation efficiency and long
service life. In particular for ceramic membranes, cleaning
solutions for protein / fat mixtures considerably reduce the
cleaning time.
In the further process, the extractions are clarified, desalinated, concentrated, if necessary, sterilized, dried and packed.
Quality features
For the numerous fields of application of gelatine and glue
broths different qualities are required. The quality characteristics of product clarity, colour, pH value, viscosity, gel strength,
swelling behaviour and solubility depend on the raw material
and on the manufacturing process and require a high-quality
and flexible processing line.
Viscosity is one of most important parameters for gelatine
and glue broths. For gelatine it ranges from 100 mPas for
high qualities to 20 mPas for low qualities (measured according to international standard) at a concentration of 6.66 %
and a temperature of 60 °C. The viscosity depends on the salt
contents and on the pH value of the solution. The influence of
temperature and concentration on the viscosity has a crucial
significance for the design of evaporation plants.
Below, essentially the following process designs are used
1a Desalination, pre-concentration by means of membrane
filtration, high concentration by means of evaporation,
sterilization (pages 6-7)
1b Pre-concentration and desalination by means of membrane
filtration, high-concentration by means of evaporation,
sterilization (pages 6-7)
2 Desalination, pre-concentration and high-concentration by
means of evaporation, sterilization (page 8)
Gelatine (gel) strength
Gel strength is a further parameter for the quality of glue
and gelatine; it is specified as Bloom or Bloom number. The
gel strength ranges between 50 Bloom for low-value gelatine
broths and 320 Bloom for higher-value gelatine broths. To
minimise the loss of Bloom during processing, the gelatine and
glue broth must not be exposed to an elevated thermal load.
Ultrafiltration plant for different gelatine qualities for the
capacity increase of an existing concentration plant
Processing plants for the production of gelatine
Process design 1
For design 1a and for design 1b, ultrafiltration plants and
nanofiltration plants are used for pre-concentration. The salt
contents and the contents of short-chain proteins / peptides are
reduced by means of membrane filtration. If the ultrafiltration is expanded by a diafiltration effect, the ion exchanger for
desalination can be replaced completely or in part, depending
on the required final salt content (process design 1b).
In both designs a directly heated forced circulation evaporator
as high-concentrator as well as a sterilization unit are arranged
downstream. The permeate from the membrane filtration
process can be returned into the process after a corresponding
treatment, as it is the case for the condensate from the evaporation plant.
Process diagram
Process design 2
In design 2, even for the pre-concentration an evaporator is
used which, depending on the energy situation of the customer, either has a multi-effect design and is directly heated or
is designed with mechanical vapour recompression, which is
the steam-saving version.
The diagram shows the general flow of the gelatine process.
GEA Wiegand’s scope of delivery is colour-coded. The following pages provide you with detailed descriptions of the technological systems, illustrated by examples of implemented plants.
Raw materials
Acid / alkaline treatment
gelatine solution
Process design 1a
Process design 1b
GEA Wiegand / GEA Filtration
Process design 2
Ultrafiltration with diafiltration
Falling film evaporator
Forced circulation evaporator
Sterilization unit DSI
Final concentration
(Direct steam injector)
Extrusion / cooling
Spray drying
Membrane filtration, high-concentrator (finisher)
and sterilization (DSI)
Low-viscosity glue and gelatine broths from the extraction
have a solids content of 2 – 6 % DS. After the pre-concentration
with a membrane filtration plant, the solids content amounts
to 10 – 20 % DS. For further concentration, forced circulation
evaporators are used. To keep the temperature load as low as
possible, the membrane filtration plant works at a product
temperature of 55 °C and the evaporation plant under vacuum
at 50 – 65 °C. Depending on the quality and on the raw material,
glue is concentrated to 35 – 50 % DS, high-quality gelatine to
24 – 35 % DS. The membrane filtration plants can be equipped
in addition with a diafiltration effect to reduce the salt contents. In the membrane filtration plant, polymeric spiral wound
modules in sanitary design are used. These membranes have
been well-proven for years, they are long-lasting and robust.
With the evaporation plant, the desired or the max. possible
final concentration of the gelatine discharge is adjusted.
Crucial parameter for the max. possible final concentration
is the product viscosity. For the design of the plant, a special
focus is put on the fact that there is as little dead space as
Ultrafiltration plant for pre-concentration, capacity: 12,000 kg/h
possible in order to ensure that hardly any product is retained
in dead corners. Our plant combination consisting of pre-concentration and final concentration is always designed such that
the customer’s advantage regarding operating and investment
costs is as favourable as possible.
CIP solution
Process water
1 Safety filter
2 Heat exchanger
3-5 Filtration effects
6 Heat exchanger
7 Cleaning tank
Live steam /
hot water
Diafiltration water
Cooling water
Processing plants for the production of gelatine
The gelatine concentrate is sterilized by means of a direct steam
injection (DSI). The DSI sterilization unit can be coupled with
an evaporation plant at low cost. The vapour condensate from
the evaporation plant is used in the process as diafiltration
water. Excess vapour condensate can be treated together with
the permeate of the membrane filtration plant in another membrane filtration process and then be recycled into the process.
Special features
Optimal plant combinations from one single source thanks
to membrane technology by GEA Filtration and thanks
to GEA Wiegand’s know-how in the field of evaporation
High-quality gelatine regarding gel strength, colour and
odour thanks to membrane filtration
Low thermal load
Combination of pre-concentration and diafiltration to desalinate gelatine
Extremely low gelatine losses thanks to the use of state-ofthe-art plant technology with spiral wound modules
Suitable for all conventional spiral wound modules
Very energy-efficient processes
Compact, modular plant design
Completely automated operation with GEWI Flex control
Long service life of the plants
Evaporation plant (finisher),
evaporation rate: 1,000 kg/h
Live steam
1Forced circulation evaporator
3 DSI unit
6 Vacuum pump
Cooling water
Air bleed
Gelatine (pre-concentrated)
Evaporation plant, high-concentrator
(finisher) and sterilization (DSI)
There are many combination options within the evaporation
plant. Often, the prices for steam and electrical energy are the
decisive factors regarding the plant design. If the steam production costs are low, multi-effect evaporation plants, perhaps
with thermal vapour recompression, can be taken into consideration. In case of high steam costs, the evaporation plant can
be heated by means of a mechanical vapour recompressor. In
this case, the plant does not require steam during operation,
only for the start-up or for a downstream-arranged high concentrator small quantities of steam are required.
Falling film evaporator
plant with mechanical
vapour recompression for
evaporation rate: 10 t/h
The falling film evaporator which in the example below is used
for pre-concentration, stands out for a low temperature load
and extremely short residence times and in this case it ensures
gentle product treatment during evaporation. The pre-evaporator is heated by means of a mechanical vapour recompressor.
Due to the high product viscosity, for further concentration a
forced circulation evaporator is used. The heating element is
designed as tube bundle unit with special pipes or as plate unit.
In this case, too, the process chain ends with the direct steam
Special features
Low operating cost, since the plant designs can be adapted
flexibly to the energy situation
Product-friendly operation under vacuum at temperatures
between 50 and 65 °C
Short residence time of the product in the plant
Long service period between the cleaning cycles
Low-maintenance operation and low spare part costs
Long service life of the plants
Live steam
1 Preheater
2 Falling film evaporator
3 Separator
4Mechanical vapour
5Forced circulation
evaporator (plate)
Cooling water
Air bleed
6 Separator
7 DSI-unit
8 Separator
9 Condenser
10Condensate level tank
11 Vacuum pump
G elatine (pre-concentrated)
Live steam condensate
Thermal sterilization of
gelatine broths
Gelatine is sensitive to heat due to its protein structure.
At temperatures of more than 140 °C and contact periods
exceeding 10 seconds a considerable destruction of the protein
bonds can be observed. The temperatures of 120 – 145 °C
which are required for sterilizing must therefore be achieved
as quickly as possible and be rapidly lowered again after a
certain holding period (3 – 6 seconds, this means max. temperatures with min. holding period). Only in this way, can the
damage to the important properties of gelatine, such as gel
strength, viscosity and colour be minimized.
During the direct high-heating, steam is injected into the
gelatine broth by means of a DSI-unit (DSI = direct steam
injector). In this way, the product is suddenly heated and
flashed against a low pressure after a very short holding
period and in this way, it is cooled again just as quickly.
Advantages of high-heating by means of direct steam injection
No product damage
Min. holding period
Min. change of the product properties
Possibility of integration into existing evaporation plant
No service life problems
Operating as an independent (“stand alone”) system possible
Degradation in %
This sterilization process shows significant advantages
compared to an indirect high-heating by means of heat exchangers. In case of indirect high-heating (pictured lower
right, curve 2) the holding time at high temperatures is
much longer.
˚C 160
130 – 140 ˚C
10 0
70 – 8 0
Curve 1
50 – 60 ˚C
Curve 2
90 –
Sterilization unit
% Gelatine
Guideline values for the degree of degradation of a gelatine solution with
a heating time of 5 seconds
Comparison of the heating curve for direct (1) and indirect (2) heating
common in the food industry
Processing of secondary flows
In the conventional gelatine production, so-called water
phases occur during the extraction with downstreamarranged fat recovery. These secondary flows contain
even a certain amount of proteins in addition to fat.
Usually, these water phases are introduced into a waste
water treatment plant without being exploited.
With a plant combination of microfiltration and nanofiltration for protein recovery these secondary flows can be
profitably used. In the first step, the fats and the suspended
solids are removed from the occurring water phases. Subsequently, the proteins or amino acid chains are concentrated by means of nanofiltration and later, it is further
concentrated in the already existing evaporator. Permeate
flows from already installed plants can be introduced for
Plant combination of microfiltration with ceramic membranes and
nanofiltration with spiral wound modules.
Feed rate: 5,000 kg/h
Permeate as
process water
E.g. permeate
from ultrafiltration
CIP solution
Process water
1 Safety filter
2 Heat exchanger
3 Ceramic microfiltration
6 Safety filter
7 Heat exchanger
8Nanofiltration, spiral
wound modules
9 Heat exchanger
Live steam
R esidues from
Cooling water
Residues / fat
Processing plants for the production of gelatine
If the quality of the process water is not sufficient, it is possible to install in addition a reverse osmosis plant for the rinsing
waters, vapour condensates and permeate flows which then
will be used in various ways in the production or as cleaning
water. The concentrate is discharged to the waste disposal.
Special features
Increase the overall yield of proteins / gelatine
Strong reduction of the waste water quantities / relief of
the waste water treatment plants
Recovery of process water for production
Reduced CIP times and costs by use of highly effective
cleaning solutions for protein-fat mixtures with ceramic
membrane filtration plants
Long service life of the plants
Residues from extraction
Process effluent / CIP solution
GEA Filtration technologies
Reverse osmosis
back to the
back to the
gelatine process
Process water
Overview on our complete range of products
Evaporation plants
Heat recovery systems
Membrane filtration plants - GEA Filtration
Vacuum degassing plants
Replacement membranes (polymer and ceramic)
Gas scrubbing systems
Plants for distillation / rectification
Project studies, energy optimization,
Alcohol production lines
Vacuum / steam jet cooling systems
Service, after-sales service
Jet pumps, mixers, preheaters
Multi-stage steam jet vacuum pumps / hybrid systems
We live our values.
Excellence • Passion • Integrity • Responsibility • GEA-versity
GEA Process Engineering
GEA Wiegand GmbH / GEA Filtration
GEA Process Engineering Inc. / GEA Filtration
Am Hardtwald 1, 76275 Ettlingen, Germany
Phone: +49 7243 705-0, Fax: +49 7243 705-330
[email protected]
1600 O’Keefe Road, Hudson, WI 54015, USA
Phone: +1 715 386 9371, Fax: +1 715 386 9376
[email protected]
© GEA Wiegand GmbH. All rights reserved. P12E 122013
GEA Group is a global engineering company with multi-billion euro sales and operations in more than
50 countries. Founded in 1881, the company is one of the largest providers of innovative equipment and
process technology. GEA Group is listed in the STOXX® Europe 600 Index.