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Spinning Cone Column

Better flavours, better aromas – Naturally

Our flagship product – the Spinning Cone Column (SCC) – is designed to extract and recover volatile compounds using steam, under vacuum conditions. This is a far more gentle process compared to standard extraction techniques, enabling our equipment to better capture aromas and flavours – naturally.

Used across multiple industries, applications for the SCC include:

  • Aroma recovery during instant coffee production
  • Simultaneous flavour and soluble solids extraction from coffee and tea slurries for the production of ready-to-drink (RTD) beverages
  • Dealcoholisation and alcohol management in wine, beer and other alcoholic beverages
  • Deodorisation of cream and flavour management of dairy products
  • Aroma recovery and preservation during production of fruit and vegetable purees and juices
  • De-oiling of NFC (Not From Concentrate) citrus juices
  • Essential oil extraction from botanicals, herbs and spices
  • Extraction of pure flavours from fresh fruits

The SCC has been proven to deliver significant returns on investment through the recovery of superior flavours, aromas and extracts by maintaining the natural characteristics of the raw material. Equipped with state of the art control and automation, and built using 316 grade stainless steel for all product contact surfaces, the SCC operates as a continuous processing system delivering superb operational efficiency and maximising factory uptime.


Simultaneous processing of solids and viscous products

The unique design of the SCC enables it to process clear liquids, viscous products such as fruit pulp and purees, and slurries containing high levels of suspended solids. For example, the SCC is used in the RTD tea industry not only to recover the tea aroma but also to brew the tea thereby producing a tea extract at the same time.

Natural, chemical-free processing

Using a simple ‘chemical free’ process whereby just pure steam is added to the product, the SCC meets the needs of consumers seeking nutritious and natural products.

herbs and spice

Tailor your flavour

The SCC employs a user friendly system that allows companies to tailor the aroma profile they capture to suit consumer’s flavour preferences. Several operating parameters can be adjusted to control the type and relative proportion of various volatile compounds extracted from the feed material.

Superior flavours are maintained by using low thermal impact

Uniquely, the SCC uses gentle heating and a short residence time of only 25 seconds within the column. This avoids thermal degradation of the product being processed and ensures the best flavours possible are obtained from every product Typically, the SCC can operate between 40 and 120°C, so delicate peach or strawberry flavours, for example, can be obtained with operating temperatures as low as 40 to 50o C. This allows the fresh light notes of fruit, vegetables or tea to be readily captured and used to enhance your final product using only natural aroma derived from the natural product.

Case Study

Café Outspan Vietnam – Olam International

Café Outspan, a subsidiary of Olam International, which is one of the major trading houses for coffee and the largest shipper of Robusta coffee in the world, installed Flavourtech’s Spinning Cone Column technology in 2008 for the recovery of aroma from their coffee extracts. The soluble coffee manufacturing facility operated by Café Outspan in Long An Province is Olam’s first instant coffee facility and produces bulk spray-dried coffee powder, freeze-dried coffee granules and coffee extracts for the unbranded and private label segment. Flavourtech’s SCC technology enables Café Outspan to maximise capture and retention of desirable coffee aroma for inclusion in their soluble products. Moreover, as product is exported to Europe and other countries in Asia, the SCC will facilitate control of aroma profile such that soluble coffees may be made to match specific consumer taste requirements in each of the destination countries. The use of this unique technology has allowed Café Outspan to establish a reputation for consistent high quality products and increase its market share.

This focus on quality has allowed Café Outspan to increase capacity and extend their factory in Vietnam within just a few short years. A second SCC system was installed in 2017 to meet customer demand for quality freeze dried coffee granules incorporating SCC aroma. A small-scale SCC100 was also recently installed in the company’s Research & Development Department to facilitate new product development. Based on the success in Vietnam, Olam International adopted SCC technology in its Brazilian production facilities in 2023, allowing the company to produce the same high-quality products for customers all around the world. The SCC has proven itself to be key to their business success!

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How it works

Figure 2

Figure 1

The Flavourtech Spinning Cone Column is a stripping column in which steam separates volatile compounds from liquids or slurries under vacuum.

The column itself is a vertical, stainless-steel vessel with a central rotating shaft. It contains a series of alternate rotating and stationary cones, the rotating cones attached to the shaft, the stationary cones fixed to the wall of the column. A cut-away diagram of a single cone set is shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2

Figure 2

The feed material, from which the volatile compounds are to be separated, is fed into the top of the column. This material, either liquid or slurry, flows as a thin film (approximately 1mm film thickness) down the upper surface of the first stationary cone. It then drains through the outlet of the stationary cone on to the base of the spinning cone immediately below. Centrifugal force, generated by the rotation of the cone, causes the liquid to flow upwards and outwards across the upper surface of the spinning cone, again as a thin film.

This film breaks up as it moves from the lip of the spinning cone; the liquid is then guided downwards on to the next stationary cone, and the cycle is repeated. In this manner, the liquid works its way, cone by cone, from top to bottom of the column.

Figure 3

Figure 3

At the same time as liquid is flowing down the column, stripping steam (vapour) is introduced into the base of the column. The vapour flows upwards, across the surfaces of the volatile-rich liquid films, separating (or stripping) the volatile compounds from the liquid. Fins on the undersides of the rotating cones promote turbulence in the vapour stream, increasing mass transfer efficiencies. Figure 3 illustrates the flow of liquid and vapour through the column.

The temperature and flow rate of the stripping steam can be controlled. The ability to control these parameters allows different aroma profiles to be captured from the same raw material to produce different aromas for multiple markets or products.

The vapour, which is now steam mixed with the volatiles stripped from the product, flows out of the top of the column and passes through a condensing system which captures the volatiles in a concentrated liquid form. The remaining liquid or slurry is pumped out of the bottom of the column.


Flavourtech Spinning Cone Column systems are designed around three sizes of column: SCC 1,000, SCC 10,000 and the recently released SCC 100 (2021 for clear liquids and 2023 for purees/slurries).

The SCC 100 has a maximum nominal feed rate of 100 litres per hour, similarly, the maximum feed rate for an SCC 1,000 is 1,000 litres per hour and 10,000 litres per hour for an SCC 10,000. It is important to note that the maximum feed rate of an SCC is a function of operating conditions and feed material characteristics. Generally, more viscous products are processed at lower feed rates. High turn-down ratios are possible without reducing performance allowing customers to start off with small volume runs and build up accordingly as their business requirements increase.

All 3 models can be designed specifically for processing clear liquids or slurry products. Pumps, heat exchangers and internal column design may all vary in order to offer the best conditions for the product being processed.

SCC 100

SCC 1,000

SCC 10,000 for coffee extract processing

Find out more about Flavourtech’s products and services: Contact us