State-of-the-art turnkey water treatment plants for Food and Beverage production: a case study from Cameroon

What advanced solutions does Hydrotech Engineering employ to meet the needs of Food and Beverage producers?

Water is at the core of the food and beverage industry’s transformation, presenting both a valuable and challenging resource. The growing population and evolving consumer preferences, such as plant-based foods, are reshaping the sector, compelling companies to reconsider water resource management and capitalize on new opportunities. Increasingly, companies face pressure to adopt practices like reducing water consumption and recovering resources, which can offer a competitive edge, particularly for consumer-focused brands.

In this analysis, we will examine the global food and beverage market, the challenges faced by plant managers, the optimal water treatment process to ensure water readiness for the production process, and a case study of water treatment solution for a plant in Cameroon.

Global Food and Beverage market overview

The global food and beverage market is projected to reach $7,464.2 billion by 2027, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.9% from 2022 to 2027. This growth is driven by evolving consumer habits and the rising demand for organic and natural products, which, according to Food Navigator, will exceed $400 billion in the U.S. market by 2030. This robust demand for organic products is expected to fuel market growth throughout the forecast period.

In 2021, the Asia-Pacific region dominated the market, holding 35% of the global share, driven by a large consumer base and rising demand for healthy and ready-to-eat foods. The increasing availability of products like carbonated drinks, snacks, and baked goods also fueled market growth in this region. According to a Kantar report, based on interviews with 12,000 Chinese consumers aged 18 to 60 living in cities, 64% of consumers are concerned about healthy food and food safety, while 56% use food and beverages to alleviate emotional stress. This growing demand for healthy foods and beverages in the region supports the expansion of the global food and beverage market.

The essential role of water treatment in food production

The safety and quality of food and beverages rely heavily on high-quality water treatment. Impurities and contamination can undermine production efficiency and compromise product safety. Consequently, companies in the sector must implement advanced water treatment solutions to uphold high standards and satisfy consumer expectations.

Challenges for Food and Beverage Producers

  • Final product quality: Water used at every stage of production must be pure and free of contaminants.
  • Plant efficiency: Even minor impurities can decrease plant efficiency, leading to costly downtime, frequent maintenance, and compromised product quality. Investing in a high-quality industrial water treatment system can enhance operational efficiency, minimize downtime, and reduce maintenance costs.
  • Optimization of water consumption: Recovering and reusing wastewater is crucial to reducing waste and ensuring efficient water use.

Let’s explore in detail the advanced solutions that Hydrotech Engineering has implemented for a Food & Beverage plant.

Advanced water treatment technologies for the Food & Beverage industry

For over 23 years, Hydrotech Engineering has been developing customized and highly efficient solutions for process water treatment (WTP – Water Treatment Plant) and wastewater treatment (WWTP – Waste Water Treatment Plant and ZLD – Zero Liquid Discharge). These solutions enable the recycling of wastewater, significantly reducing environmental impact and water consumption. Our specialized team has perfected an advanced and innovative approach to water treatment. Below, we examine the water treatment process for plants in the food and beverage sector.

The water slated for treatment, sourced from either underground or surface supplies, undergoes initial analysis at Hydrotech Engineering’s chemical laboratory. Upon identifying the chemical and bacteriological composition of the water, our technical team then designs the most efficient treatment process to meet specified standards.

To ensure optimal water treatment efficiency, Hydrotech Engineering adheres to a structured three-phase process: pre-treatment, primary treatment, and post-treatment. These phases are meticulously chosen and tailored according to the initial water quality and the precise goals of each client, guaranteeing the highest standards in the end product. Let’s delve into each phase in detail.

Pre-treatment: disinfection, Multi-Media Filtration, and Ultrafiltration

When required, pre-treatment commences with disinfection using oxidants such as sodium hypochlorite to reduce microbiological contaminants. Subsequently, filtration through a granular multi-media layer eliminates suspended particles and metals like iron. Before activated carbon filtration and reverse osmosis/nanofiltration, ultrafiltration ensures high efficiency by employing semi-permeable membranes that are chlorine-resistant, and available in either spiral-wound or hollow fiber configurations.

Benefits of Ultrafiltration

  • Reduction of overall running costs, ease of maintenance and greater simplicity in membrane cleaning
  • Reduction of residual chemicals, thanks to the minimal use of chemicals for pre-treatment and cleaning
  • High and consistent product quality, measured by: water turbidity (NTU) or silt density index (SDI).
  • High level of tolerance of the UF membrane to feed water alterations

Main treatment

Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) Filtration: GAC employs granular activated carbon to eliminate organic chemicals and pre-treatment residuals that may induce odors and flavors, even at minimal concentrations.

Reverse Osmosis (RO) and Nanofiltration (NF)

RO eliminates microbiological elements and dissolved substances using a membrane that separates water under pressure against the natural osmotic flow. For applications needing less reduction in dissolved solids than RO while still effectively reducing hardness, organic substances, and color, nanofiltration is suitable. Nanofiltration operates similarly to RO but targets multivalent ions like calcium and magnesium, ensuring effective hardness and organic substance reduction.

Benefits of Reverse Osmosis:

  • Guarantee of the high quality of the water produced, even if the source of supply should change
  • Removal of the elements is organic and inorganic
  • Particularly effective on micropollutants (endoxins, antibiotics)
  • The conformation of the membrane makes it possible to carry out effective cycles of cleaning and sanitization

Post-treatment: UV rays

Ultraviolet (UV) rays, ranging from 210 to 370 nanometers in wavelength, is employed to treat water before bottling or its intended application. UV light deactivates microorganisms by modifying their proteins and DNA, thereby preventing replication. UV systems, equipped with stainless steel chambers and UV lamps, treat water effectively without affecting its taste, odor, or color.
The end water is pure, free of contaminants, and ready for use in the production process. Discover more about Food & Beverage water treatment process here.

A specific case study: water treatment solution for a plant in Cameroon

Hydrotech Engineering has developed a turnkey process water treatment plant for one of the world’s leading beverage producers. This highly automated and remotely monitored plant ensures efficient management and uninterrupted production, reducing maintenance costs and adhering to high-quality standards.

Plant details:

Country: Cameroon
Year: 2022
Solution: Turnkey water treatment plant (WTP)
Plant components: Hygienic design
Water treatment process: MMF (Multimedia Filtration), GAC (Granular Activated Carbon Filtration) – RO (Reverse Osmosis) – UV Light
Membrane type: Hot water sanificable RO membranes
Required water quality: For bottling
Water source: Well
Capacity: 1560 m³/day
To date: No maintenance, no replacement, and low plant management costs
After-sales support: Our dedicated in-house team monitors the plant remotely, offering immediate support for any anomalies. Through partnerships with international suppliers, we guarantee prompt assistance and rapid availability of spare parts.

Are you curious about all Hydrotech Engineering’s plants developed? Discover all of them here.


The integration of advanced water treatment solutions stands as a pivotal factor in revolutionizing the food and beverage sector. Effective water resource management not only safeguards the quality and safety of end products but also enhances operational efficiency and environmental sustainability. With over 23 years of expertise, Hydrotech Engineering has emerged as a leader in designing bespoke water treatment facilities tailored to the sector’s unique requirements. Leveraging technologies like activated carbon filtration, reverse osmosis, and UV light, the company delivers high-performance solutions for optimal water resource management.

In a dynamic market landscape, adopting advanced water treatment technologies is essential not just to meet current consumer expectations but also to gain a competitive edge and foster a sustainable future.

Would you like to discuss more with a water treatment specialist? Fill out the form here, and you will be contacted soon by an expert.

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