||♦ Blending materials
The tea leaf raw materials are poured into a storage tank
after checking that they do not contain foreign matter
using such things as an air shower and a powerful magnet.
The temperature of storage is regulated, and heat-sensitive
tea leaf raw materials are stored in refrigerated storage
at 5C or less.
The extraction facility was designed by our company to
facilitate ideal extraction of the tea components. A computerized
system sets the optimal extraction conditions in accordance
with such things as the origin of the tea leaves and season
in order to produce high quality extracts.
||♦ Separation from tea ground
Even the smallest piece of tea ground is removed from
the extract (tea water); this results in clear tea water.
The removed tea grounds are collected into a special tank
and recycled as fertilizer.
Extracts are concentrated in order to efficiently convert
them into powders. A special method, called membrane concentration,
is used to concentrate extracts.
* What is membrane concentration?
Membrane concentration is a method that removes moisture
by utilizing an RO membrane, which allows only liquid
to pass through, and by application of pressure. Deterioration
of flavor is minimized because this process does not use
||♦ Sterilization and drying
After sterilization using a plate heater, the extracts
are converted into powder using the spray dry method,
which instantaneously dries the extracts by spraying them
into heated air. Spray drying is our core technology,
and all the facilities within our plant were developed
by us, from design to construction. The spray dryer is
a huge facility 34 m high and has an area of 470 m2, including
building components. Products converted into powder using
the spray dryer are automatically packed into bags and
carried onto the next process (mixing and wrapping) by
a robot and an unmanned carrier device.
||♦ Mixing and wrapping
Products converted into powders are mixed to homogenize
them and are automatically wrapped and sealed after passing
through screening and magnetic devices to ensure that
they do not contain foreign matter. The wrapped products
are then carried into automatic storage after passing
through another check for foreign matter. Operation of
machinery, inventory management, and management of such
things as loading and unloading in the automated storage
warehouse are all conducted by computers.