New reverse osmosis equipment at BC BTAC to help beverage industry

By College Relations | March 18, 2022

Reverse Osmosis Machine
Reverse osmosis system in the BC Beverage Technology Access Centre lab

The burgeoning beverage industry has more quality assurance equipment at its disposal thanks to Okanagan College’s British Columbia Beverage Technology Access Centre (BC BTAC).

The BC BTAC has acquired a reverse osmosis (RO) system for use at its Penticton-based facility, in support of research and development among beverage manufacturers.

“Reverse osmosis systems can be significantly beneficial as the industry adapts to climate change impacts,” said Wes Peterson, BC BTAC Manager. “Many growers are concerned about how environmental factors like forest fires, mildew or rot could impact the flavour of beverages. The reverse osmosis system can reduce the effect of smoke taint and other impurities, while preserving the intended flavours.”

While RO systems are currently used in the beverage industry, they are typically much larger in scale and require greater volumes of beverage to successfully process. This can make the technology inaccessible to smaller beverage producers.

The smaller system allows for smaller trial volumes and test batches, so any producer can stop in the middle of the process and take samples at specific points. This flexibility provides a greater degree of confidence to beverage manufacturers that the finished product will be in line with expectations prior to moving on to larger volume runs. The system can also help a producer develop new beverage products, like de-alcoholized beer or low alcohol wine.

“BC BTAC is here to support the beverage industry, whether that means solving the problems of wineries or breweries, or helping producers innovate with something new,” Peterson explained.

Funding for this project has been provided by the Governments of Canada and British Columbia through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative, under the Canada-BC Agri-Innovation Program. The program is delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC.

The BC BTAC supports the Canadian beverage industry’s innovation and growth by providing a comprehensive range of expert analytical, commercial and sensory services and resources. Based at Okanagan College’s Penticton campus, the Centre assists industry members in exploring areas such as product research, lab testing, export markets, training and more. Okanagan College acknowledges the support of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), as well as the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training and Accelerate Okanagan, for the BC BTAC. For information, visit

Tags: BCBTAC, Penticton, Inside OC



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