How A Simple Process Upgrade Will Save Noosa Yoghurt $350,000 a year: Utilizing a CIP’able Air Blow Check Valve

Noosa Yoghurt Front

Located 70 miles north of Denver, Colorado in a small agricultural community is the campus of Noosa Yoghurt, a growing yoghurt processor with a passion for producing the world’s finest product. Visitors to Noosa’s campus will notice it looks more like a city park or a state-of-the-art small college than a manufacturing facility. 

That’s because Noosa has always focused on excellence — producing the best quality product without sacrificing cleanliness standards or best practices.

Since its beginning nine years ago, the company quickly grew from selling at local farmers' markets to distribution nationwide, and with this rapid growth came a need for increased output to meet demand. This inspired Noosa to explore new strategies to decrease downtime for system cleaning while maintaining sanitary standards, with the hope of increased product recovery.

Process downtime can be costly. Almost 80% of facilities are unable to estimate their downtime accurately and those that try often underestimate their Total Downtime Cost (TDC) by 200-300%.

Processors who take reducing TDC seriously have the potential for a massive ROI through process improvements. The challenge, however, is finding the right solution.

Noosa Yoghurt Line Running

The Challenge

Noosa sought to improve their processing and reduce their TDC in three primary areas. First, fruit line piping must be cleaned after each fruit flavor in a 40-minute changeover process that repeats 12-13 times per week. In addition to the TDC for CIP cleaning, Noosa lost approximately 15.5 pounds of product remaining in the line and lost during the cleaning cycle — totaling over 200 pounds of product lost each week.

Second, Noosa was losing 115 pounds of product each time they cleaned their honey-recirculation line, for weekly losses totaling 345 pounds.

Finally, depending on the specific product recipe running through their blending skid, Noosa lost an additional 65 to 95 pounds of product each week during cleaning.

In addition to product losses, Noosa was using water and chemical rinses to power through lines filled with product. All-in-all, Noosa recognized potential to save thousands of dollars each month through better product recovery and system cleaning.

Searching for the Solution

To increase their product recovery, Noosa's Improvement Engineer, Nick Hansen, set out to find a sanitary air blow check valve. Primarily used in product line evacuation, sanitary check valves push residual product downstream at the end of a process run while preventing product backfill during cleaning.

The downside of standard 3A certified air blow check valves is that they must be cleaned out of place — a manual cleaning step that adds costly downtime and introduces the possibility of human error.

Because food, dairy, and beverage products are intended for human consumption, sanitary standards for production are high, and a great deal of attention must be focused on valve cleaning.

Nick knew that every manual step added to the cleaning process creates a potential failure point, and he didn’t like the trade-offs. After extensive web searches, Nick found TrueClean's® CIP'able air blow check valve. This patented valve from CSI is the first and only sanitary air blow check valve approved by 3-A for cleaning in place.

Air Blow Check Valve Flow Diagram

The Clear Winner

After research, Nick presented the options to his Director of Quality.

With an air blow check valve that wouldn’t need to be disassembled to clean, Noosa could increase cleaning efficiency while also maintaining product integrity. Nick reached out to CSI to discuss pricing and availability. "I spoke with Jason Burks, Business Development Leader, and he walked me through the savings and increased levels of automation these valves would provide to our system," Nick said. 

With the new automation capabilities, Noosa operators could cut 40 minutes of work during a flavor changeover down to a 45-second process. Multiply those savings by 13 changeovers per week, and the exponential savings started adding up. After understanding the benefits, Nick commented, "it was a no brainer to make the purchase."

Quick Results and ROI

Chris Rivoire, Noosa Automation Engineer, liked how much the automation and pre-programming simplified the product changeover process. "The automation allows us to fine-tune our process to make sure we can recover as much product from each line as possible," he stated. "The changeover process is a moment where a lot of different things need to happen. Having this level of automation gives us more time to do those other tasks — it's more time, at the right time!"

Air Blow Check Valve on Fruit Line
Air Blow Check Valve Installed on Fruit Line

Air Blow Check Valve Installed on Honey Line
Air Blow Check Valve Installed on Honey-recirculation Line

Air Blow Check Valve Installed on Blending Skid
Air Blow Check Valve Installed on Blending Skid
Since the installation of the new valves six months ago, Noosa has already realized $16,000 in savings — full ROI in just two months. In addition to the increased recovery, Noosa has been able to save approximately 19 minutes of operator time during each flavor changeover, that equates to over 200 personnel hours per year — or 5 weeks’ worth of work — that operators can use for completing other tasks.

Based on these results, Noosa expects that implementing 13 more valves across all of their processing lines will save the company $350,000 a year.

The Long-term Benefits

A system upgrade that prevents waste aligns with Noosa’s company culture and brand standards.

For a growing yoghurt company focused on making the most delicious product with the finest ingredients, the CIP’able air blow check valve from TrueClean is a proven solution to growth without sacrificing cleanliness standards.

How the CIP'able Air Blow Check Valve Can Save You Money

Any processor presented with the opportunity to save $350,000 a year through a simple process improvement would jump at that opportunity – as long as they didn’t have to trade safety, quality, or production time to get it. That's because processors understand that maximizing system efficiencies and reducing product waste leads to more money for the bottom line.

The TrueClean clean-in-place capable (CIP'able) air blow check valve from CSI is the first and only sanitary air blow check valve that can be cleaned in place without removal from the process line.


The TrueClean CIP'able air blow check valve features a compact design that can easily replace an existing standard air blow check valve. Typical uses include air agitation, air-drying lines, and product recovery.

How it works

While product is flowing, the primary valve stem is closed, preventing backflow into the air line. A secondary o-ring seals the air line. When air pressure is applied to the primary air inlet, both the primary and secondary seals open to allow air to flow into the process line.

During CIP, air is applied to the actuator inlet to open the primary valve stem while keeping the air line closed. CIP fluid flows around the primary valve stem and within the valve internals, thoroughly cleaning the unit.

TrueClean Air Blow Check Valve


The TrueClean CIP'able air blow check valve is compact and easy to install, with few replacement parts. The valve is crafted from corrosion-resistant 316L stainless steel and comes with either a 1.5-inch or 2-inch Tri-Clamp® connection and Viton or EPDM seals. A hose kit and a 3-A filter disk kit are available for installation.

Noosa Yoghurt Logo

About Noosa Yoghurt

In 2007, while visiting her hometown in Noosa, Australia, Koel Thomae stumbled upon a creamy yoghurt with a passion fruit purée. From her first bite, she was obsessed, and she decided to bring this great-tasting yoghurt back to Colorado where she was living.

After bringing the recipe to America, Koel connected with a local dairy farmer, Rob Graves, in Bellvue, Colorado — and from that partnership, Noosa Yoghurt began! Within two years, construction started for the first Noosa building right next to Rob's farm. After launching locally in 2010 with four flavors, Noosa primarily sold at local farmer's markets and Whole Foods stores.

As the popularity grew, Noosa added additional flavors and expanded their operations. Today the company has 260 employees and distributes yoghurt in 50 states.


Central States Industrial Equipment (CSI) is a leader in distribution of hygienic pipe, valves, fittings, pumps, heat exchangers, and MRO supplies for hygienic industrial processors, with four distribution facilities across the U.S. CSI also provides detail design and execution for hygienic process systems in the food, dairy, beverage, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and personal care industries. Specializing in process piping, system start-ups, and cleaning systems, CSI leverages technology, intellectual property, and industry expertise to deliver solutions to processing problems. More information can be found at