Food Engineering/Manufacturing/Production of Iced tea beverage

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QUESTION: I am currently in the process of making my own tea based beverage at home and have been doing a ton of research on how to make it shelf stable. I have read some of the other questions on the site which were very helpful. But was wondering what is the best way to make it shelf stable. So far I've gathered adding citric acid and hot filling the glass bottles. If you could please give me an idea of how much citric acid I need for a general amount such as a gallon or 32oz.  Also what temperature do I need to reheat the mixture to pasteurize or hot fill the bottles? And will my flavors be affected by this? Any help is greatly appreciated.  Thanks

ANSWER: Hello Greg

You are on the right path with addition of citric acid and hot filling glass bottles.

Citric acid also affects taste so you will have to figure out on your own. I do not know your formula so I can not give you a number.

You can pasteurize between 185 and 192 degrees F to do you hot fill process.

I hope this helps.

Regards

Jim

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Jim,
Thanks for your timely response. To follow up on the last question, is the citric acid only needed to bring the pH below 4.6 or does there have to be a certain amount in the mixture. I guess what I'm asking is what is the main purpose of the citric acid?...so I have an idea of what im measuring for and trying to accomplish with the citric acid.

Also, when hot filling do the bottles(16oz) have to have a certain rating or certain type of bottle? Where can I buy bottles to hotfill. My goal is to start small and be able to bottle at home until we can afford a co-packer.

Thanks again

Answer
Hi Greg

Citric acid is used to lower the pH as you indicated and also used for balncing the flavor of the finished products. There are theories that it also help in preservation of products.

You ahve to contact glass bottle manufacturers and tell them your hot fill process and they will get you the right bottle.

Regards

Jim

Food Engineering/Manufacturing

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Jim

Expertise

All processing and packaging related questions

Experience

Have worked with all possibile processing and packaging systems used in food industry. I have over 30 years experience related to Food and Beverage manufacturing.

Organizations
Institute of Food Technology American Institute of Chemical Engineering

Publications
Holder of two patents

Education/Credentials
Masters in Chemistry BS in Chemistry Bs and in Chemical Engineering

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