Expanding our Membrane & Service team to face beverage industry challenges

Ensuring continuous support and optimal performance for our customers in the dairy, food and beverage industry is at the heart of Wafilin systems’ commitment. This is especially reflected in our Membrane & Service department, which was set up by Installed Base Manager Eric van der Wal. Recently, we have added Bram van Gelder to this team, an expert with extensive experience in membranes and a profound understanding of the food and beverage industry. In this article, we share Bram’s views on the opportunities and developments within the beverage industry.

What opportunities do you see for the beverage industry?

I believe there is still significant potential in dealcoholisation, a process involving the removal of alcohol from beverages such as wine, beer or spirits to produce low or non-alcoholic products. This application opens the door to new beverages that meet consumer demands and health trends. Membrane technology, in my opinion, will play a vital role in this advancement.

What are the advantages of this application?

It is evident that there is a growing demand for low-calorie or low-alcohol beverages, as highlighted in our previous article. Consumers aspire to enjoy their favourite drinks without compromising on health concerns. And at the same time, they expect these beverages to retain their authentic taste. Dealcoholisation is the perfect application to meet this requirement. Consider a uniquely flavoured beer, for example. What makes it stand out? It is the blend of different ingredients that contribute to its unique character. Conventional dealcoholisation processes might alter this flavour profile, but membrane technology preserves it. Companies now maintain quality and flavour without compromise.

Why do companies hesitate to implement this application?

I’ve often noticed reluctance among companies regarding dealcoholisation, mainly due to its process complexity. This application can impact  the final product, demanding in-depth process and membrane knowledge – elements that aren’t always readily available to companies or suppliers. This uncertainty sometimes hinders progress, despite the promising opportunities it presents.

What can help these companies in seizing these opportunities?

The solution lies in collaborating with a partner with extensive process knowledge. At Wafilin Systems, we have a large team of experts who have extensive experience in complex processes and are familiar with the challenges that are at stake. We offer comprehensive support, guidance and training to our customers.  Additionally, we provide the infrastructure for pilot testing, enabling us to identify the best membrane and deliver tangible results before implementing dealcoholisation on a large scale.

How do you see your role within the Membranes & Service team?

Our membrane and service department extends far beyond sheer membrane replacement. We conduct extensive research to understand the impact of the membrane system on the final product. We dive into the details of the production process and provide insights on how to optimise the whole process. What I find incredibly important is establishing an in-depth understanding of our customers, their industry, processes and to build strong partnerships. This gives us a clear view of the problem and an understanding of its origins. In doing so, we not only focus on the customer’s immediate needs, but also on a wider set of benefits. This includes exploring opportunities for cost effective membrane alternatives. Our proactive approach involves a careful examination of our customers’ existing system to determine their current set-up. It enables us to deliver tailored solutions and optimise the overall efficiency and performance of their system.

Unlocking your company’s potential

Our team is committed to unlocking your company’s potential with membrane technology and to help you with your challenges. If you’re intrigued by the possibilities discussed here and would like to delve deeper into Bram’s insights or explore what we can do for your business, get in touch! Contact Bram van Gelder via b.vangelder@wafilinsystems.nl

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