Profitable processing through model based optimization

Consultancy of NIZO resulted in a 40% increase in production capacity.

The use of modelling allows the exploration of numerous processing conditions, while evaluating the effect on process efficiency and product quality.


NIZO helped a customer, who had a problem with their products: Due to fouling in their heating equipment, runtimes were shorter than 2 hours. An optimization trajectory was set up, with the goal of increasing the runtime while maintaining/increasing product quality. The result was a 40% increase in capacity, due to reduced fouling. Meanwhile, the microbial and product quality where either maintained or improved.

1. Process scan

NIZO aims to collect all plant data required for the specific project scope. In this case, data on the equipment size and operation parameters like product flowrates and temperatures were gathered. This gave an accurate description of the process and the heat load on the product.

2.  Model optimization

NIZO first validated all process and product models in NIZO Premia software for the process at the customer. This resulted in an accurate description of the process and effect on the product in the form of microbial inactivation, fouling and Maillard products.

3. Model simulations and implementation

After performing several process simulations, the best result showed a significantly reduced fouling rate while also giving a better inactivation of microbes and less Maillard products. Implementation of the simulation settings resulted in a 40% increase in capacity due to increased running times and reduced cleaning frequency. After this success, the customer purchased the modelling tool developed by NIZO and realized an even greater production capacity through continuous model based optimization.

NIZO has recently setup a collaboration with PSE, a software developer offering model solutions for processes. The collaboration is intended to combine the sophisticated solvers and flow sheeting capability of PSE with the food oriented models and expertise of NIZO, offering even more flexibility and solutions.