Improved Industrial Tomato Processing

Tomato paste is a common ingredient in food products and is a staple raw material in numerous food products such as ketchup, soups, sauces, juices and purees. Ultrasonic tomato processing is a mild, non-thermal treatment that gives the final tomato product a more intense flavour, improved texture and longer shelf-life.

Enhanced Tomato Processing with Industrial Ultrasonicators

Ultrasonication as processing method for tomato products comes with numerous positive effects, which results in an improved tomato food product featuring better flavour, texture, stability, and nutritional values.

Advantages of Ultrasonic Tomato Processing

  • mild, low temperature processing
  • increased viscosity
  • sweeter taste due to extracted natural sugar
  • improved bioavailability of biomolecules (e.g., lycopene)
  • improved texture
  • pasteurization: better stability and shelf-life

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Ultrasonic industrial processor for continuous tomato processing in an industrial inline plant.

Ultrasonic industrial processor UIP4000hdT for continuous tomato processing on industrial scale.

The video shows the ultrasonic homogenization of puréed tomato sauce. The ultrasonic processor used is a Hielscher UP400St ultrasonicator, which is ideal to prepare medium size batches of sauces and purées in culinary applications. For large volumes, Hielscher Ultrasonics supplies industrial ultrasonic systems for continuous inline processing.

Puréed Tomato Sauce - Ultrasonic Homogenizer

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Ultrasonically Increased Viscosity in Tomato Puree

In vegetable purees such as tomato puree, ultrasound actually allows for better penetration of moisture into the fibre network which causes an increase in the viscosity of tomato puree. Sonication releases the intracellular pectins, so that viscosity goes up without using any additives.

Ultrasonic Extraction of Tomato Flavours

Tomatoes get their unique flavour from a complex combination of sugars, acids, and a large set of volatile compounds. Natural sugars — mainly fructose and glucose — give tomatoes a sweet flavour, whilst acids counterbalance the sweetness. The volatile compounds in tomato fruits are the most complex molecules containing lipids, amino acids, and carotenoid precursors. Since the sugar, acids and volatiles are bound in the cellular matrix of the tomato fruit, they are not fully available to the consumers’ taste buds. Sonication releases these flavour compounds from the cell interior, creating a significantly more intense flavour experience.

Ultrasonication extracts flavour compounds from tomatoes and improves texture due to reduced particle size distribution.

Microscopic image of ultrasonically treated unheated tomato juice with broken cell wall skeletons and stronger binding of demethylated pectins.
Study was performed with ultrasonicator UP400S.
(picture and study: © Wu wt al., 2008)

Ultrasonic Extraction of Biomolecules in Tomato

Tomato processing for paste, puree and juice production can be significantly improved by sonication treatment.Tomatos (Solanum lycopersicum) are rich in bioactive compounds (e.g. carotenoids, vitamin C, phenolics and tocopherols) which are known to have beneficial effects on health. As these biomolecules are entrapped in cellular compartments, their bioavailability might be limited. Ultrasonic extraction releases biomolecules from cellular structures and increases thereby the bioavailability of many substances.
Whilst heat treatment destroys many vitamins and micronutrient, ultrasonication as non-thermal treatment is significantly milder and preserves these biomolecules.
Synergistic treatment: Thermosonication
Piazza et al. (2021) investigated the effects of ultrasound in combination with conventional heat treatment (pasteurization). The research team demonstrate that sonication applied inline and before thermal processing has a positive effect on the total carotenoids (TCC) and lycopene (LC) release and solubilisation. It can be hypothesized that ultrasonic treatment and high temperatures together caused the unfolding of proteins or carotenoid bound to protein-carotenoid complexes, determining a higher extractability of carotenoid compounds.

Ultrasonic Pasteurization and Stabilization of Tomato Puree

Sonication as Alternative to Enzyme Activation via Cold Break / Hot Break
Wu et al. (2008) successfully deonstrated that ultrasonically assisted inactivation of the pectinmethylesterase (PME) enzyme can be achieved at a lower temperature range and also achieve a higher viscosity due to the mechanical effects of thermosonication. The synergistic combination of ultrasound and low temperature treatment, known as thermosonication, enables the retention of fresh-like properties of tomato juice. Based on the findings of the study, thermosonication could be considered as a potential alternative to conventional “cold break” and “hot break” treatments of tomato juice.
After thermosonication the average particle size decreased noticeably (to less than 30 μm) and viscosity increased 2–4 fold, compared to the heat treated or untreated juice (180 μm). These results suggest that thermosonication at 60 and 65°C could be useful to obtain tomato juice with a low residual pectinmethylesterase (PME) activity and high viscosity.
(cf. Wu et al., 2008)

Ultrasonication is used in industrial tomato processing to reduce particle size thereby increasing viscosity and improving texture.

Effect of sonication amplitude on the particle size distribution of tomato juice at 60 °C for 15 min.
(picture and study: © Wu wt al., 2008)

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Ultrasonic Probes and Flow Cells for Juice Homogenization

Industrial power ultrasonic system for continuous tomato processing.Hielscher Ultrasonics is long-termed experiences manufacturer of high-performance ultrasonic homogenizers that are used worldwide in industrial production of fruit and vegetable purees, soups, sauces, juices and ketchups. The reliable and efficient homogenization of vegetable purees, juices and food products is a demanding application that requires high-power ultrasonic probes which generate constant amplitudes and deliver sufficient shear to obtain homogeneous food and beverage products. All Hielscher ultrasonic devices are designed and manufactured to be operated for 24/7 under full load. Ultrasonic processors are available from compact 50 watts laboratory ultrasonicators to 16,000watts powerful inline ultrasonic systems. A wide variety of booster horns, sonotrodes and flow cells allow for the individual setup of an ultrasonic high-shear homogenizaer in correspondence to the raw material (e.g. vegetables, fruits, other ingredients etc.) and the desired features of the final product.
Hielscher Ultrasonics manufactures high-performance ultrasonic probes that can specifically set to deliver the full spectrum of very mild to very high amplitudes. If your homogenization application requires unusual specifications (e.g., combination with elevated pressures and/or elevated temperatures), customized ultrasonic sonotrodes are available. The robustness of Hielscher’s ultrasonic equipment allows for 24/7 operation at heavy duty and in demanding environments.

Ultrasonic Tomato Paste Homogenization in Batch and Inline Mode

Hielscher ultrasonic high-shear homogenizers can be used for batch and continuous inline sonication. Depending on beverage volume and processing speed, we will recommend you the most suitable ultrasonic setup.
Continuous feeding and inline sonication using efficient ultrasonic high-shear equipment makes the homogenization process highly time- and labour-efficient, convenient and capable to process industrial volumes of tomato purees, sauces, pastes, juices, ketchups, condiments and jams.

Ultrasonic Probes and Flow Cells for Any Volume

Hielscher Ultrasonics product range covers the full spectrum of ultrasonic processors from compact lab ultrasonicators over bench-top and pilot systems to fully-industrial ultrasonic processors with the capacity to process truckloads per hour. The full product range allows us to offer you the most suitable ultrasonic equipment for your tomato-based beverage or food product, envisaged process capacity and production targets.

Precisely Controllable Amplitudes for Optimum Results

Hielscher's industrial processors of the hdT series can be comfortable and user-friendly operated via browser remote control.All Hielscher ultrasonic homogenizers are precisely controllable and thereby reliable work horses. The amplitude is one of the crucial process parameters that influence the efficiency and effectiveness of sonomechanically effects such as homogenization, emulsification, extraction, hydration, dissolving and preservation. All Hielscher Ultrasonics’ processors allow for the precise setting of the amplitude. Sonotrodes and booster horns are accessories that allow to modify the amplitude in an even wider range. Hielscher’s industrial ultrasonic high-shear homogenizers can deliver very high amplitudes and deliver the required ultrasonic intensity for demanding applications. Amplitudes of up to 200µm can be easily continuously run in 24/7 operation.
Precise amplitude settings and the permanent monitoring of the ultrasonic process parameters via smart software give you the possibility to process your juice, beverage or food product under optimized conditions. Optimal sonication for most efficient vegetable puree homogenization!
The robustness of Hielscher’s ultrasonic equipment allows for 24/7 operation at heavy duty and in demanding environments. This makes Hielscher’s ultrasonic equipment a reliable work tool that fulfils your food & beverage manufacturing requirements.

Highest Quality – Designed and Manufactured in Germany

As a family-owned and family-run business, Hielscher prioritizes highest quality standards for its ultrasonic processors. All ultrasonicators are designed, manufactured and thoroughly tested in our headquarter in Teltow near Berlin, Germany. Robustness and reliability of Hielscher’s ultrasonic equipment make it a work horse in your production. 24/7 operation under full load and in demanding environments is a natural characteristic of Hielscher’s ultrasonic high-shear homogenizers.

The table below gives you an indication of the approximate processing capacity of our ultrasonicators:

Batch Volume Flow Rate Recommended Devices
1 to 500mL 10 to 200mL/min UP100H
10 to 2000mL 20 to 400mL/min UP200Ht, UP400St
0.1 to 20L 0.2 to 4L/min UIP2000hdT
10 to 100L 2 to 10L/min UIP4000hdT
15 to 150L 3 to 15L/min UIP6000hdT
n.a. 10 to 100L/min UIP16000
n.a. larger cluster of UIP16000

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The video shows the ultrasonic homogenization of organic tomato-vegetable juice. The ultrasonic processor used is a Hielscher UP400St ultrasonicator, which is ideal to prepare medium size batches in culinary applications. For larger volumes, Hielscher Ultrasonics supplies industrial flow cell reactors for continuous inline processing.

Ultrasonic Homogenizing of Tomato-Vegetable Juice (Organic)

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Ultrasonic high-shear homogenizers are used in lab, bench-top, pilot and industrial processing.

Hielscher Ultrasonics manufactures high-performance ultrasonic homogenizers for mixing applications, dispersion, emulsification and extraction on lab, pilot and industrial scale.

Literature / References

High performance ultrasonics! Hielscher's product range covers the full spectrum from the compact lab ultrasonicator over bench-top units to full-industrial ultrasonic systems.

Hielscher Ultrasonics manufactures high-performance ultrasonic homogenizers from lab to industrial size.

We will be glad to discuss your process.

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