OAL Group Steam Infusion to make maize-based yoghurt drinks in Zambia

By Jenny Eagle contact

- Last updated on GMT

OAL Group to make maize-based yoghurt drinks in Zambia
OAL Group has entered the African market winning a deal with Trade Kings, Zambia, to hydrate maize flour and other grains to make Maheu, a maize-based yoghurt drink sold in the country.

The company will utilise its OAL Steam Infusion Vaction technology to reduce the processing times of maize and other grains drinks. Maheu is a non-alcoholic drink normally made by the local citizens but if it is not pasteurised properly, it can lead to health problems.

Keeps food nutritious and tasty

The steam infusion can hydrate maize flour up to concentrations of 12%, at a rate of 15,000 litres an hour using a 5,000 litre vessel. The maize slurry produced is then fermented at 60°C for two hours before passing through two Vaction units to heat the final product to 90° before filling.


Steam infusion cooks huge quantities of food quickly and evenly, keeping food nutritious and tasty. It works on liquid foods like sauces and soups by blasting them with steam travelling at three times the speed of sound, heating food from 20C to 80C in second, and can cook 1000kg of food in 10 minutes.

Harry Norman, managing director, OAL Group, told FoodProductionDaily, due to consumers changing preferences African manufacturers need to make products that are both smooth and gritty. Gritty is more traditional, it gives the product a home-made texture. Smooth makes the drink more like yoghurt.

By altering the steam flow rate through the Vaction unit, the level of shear can be increased and decreased allowing manufactures to change the characteristics of the final product.

"It's great to have entered the African market. It's fast moving and growing at a phenomenal rate. It also makes it a lot easier when you're selling a system that requires one vessel compared to eight using conventional methods​."

Eliminating burn on contamination

The Vaction technology injects steam at a rate exceeding 1,000m/s generating a partial vacuum in the unit preventing exposure to excess temperatures; improving product quality by eliminating burn on contamination.

There are no moving parts in the unit improving the ability to clean and maintain the system.

According to Norman, the installed system is simpler with fewer stages compared to traditional methods.

Previously, a maize slurry was premixed by hand before heating in a vessel with a steam jacket or a steam coil​,” he said.

The steam infusion instantly hydrates maize flour on a single recirculation system​.”

The company entered the African market after generating interest exhibiting at shows including Gulfood Manufacturing and Interpack in 2014.

Manufacturers have also benefited from energy savings. Unlike a traditional steam jacket, OAL Steam Infusion is a near perfect heating process with 95% of the steam energy transferred to the product​,” added Norman.

Related topics: Dairy Drinks, Markets, Soft Drinks & Water

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