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Equipment Descriptions

Meat Processing for Small Businesses – Free Online Information

Here is another example of valuable technology information that is available for free from the FAO.

click the image to download the manual

click the image to download the manual

The manual covers meat science, processing, processing equipment, ingredients and formulations in detail with little mention of other business topics such as distribution, marketing and quality. The book is some 400 pages long is well illustrated with drawings and photographs.

Food Processing Pages With The Apple Look

My posts on this blog for many years have been written on Apple computers and tablets. I am very much an admirer of Apple and its minimalist approach to design of both hardware and applications. They introduced the clean, light and almost austere look to computer screens which has since become a kind of standard part of succesful user interfaces. So I was struck by the new site of Alfa Laval.

Apple Like Website

click image to visit website

To me its really beautiful and very Apple like. However at the same time it has some really good content which I am likely to share in future posts. For example this flowchart of a milk pasteuriser

click image to visit website

click image to visit website

This flowcharts are interactive linking to father information about the equipment including specifications, diagrams and even animation videos.

As usual I need to note that this information is linked to the equipment of Alfa Laval, which I am not passing any judgement on oe recommending. I do, however, believe that the value of clear information like this outweighs the fact it is linked to the supplier

Small Scale Popcorn Equipment

Here is a business that can be set up with quality equipment at an affordable cost.

This is a manual oil kettle based popping plant which can produce 55 kg/h from the two poppers. More poppers can be combined with a larger sifting and cooling table. Poppers can also be combined in automated units.

please note this is not a recommendation, only a sharing of information

New Milk Processing Technology For Rural Small Scale Farmers

Small scale farmers in rural areas with a a few cows can easily produce more milk than their family consumes, opening the opportunity to earn income by selling milk. However climate, lack of reliable energy and long distances make this an unreliable business. Introducing standard fresh milk handling technology does not work because of the costs are too high, the quantities too low and energy too unreliable. Other solutions such as increasing shelf life with fermented products and introducing the Lactoperoxidase System have there place but there is real demand for fresh milk.

This new system being introduced by Promethean Power could change this.

Chilling Milk Directly From the Cow for India s Dairy Farmers Modern Farmer

click the image to open an online story

This is a mechanically simple system that is powered by local electrical supply which does not need to be consistent or reliable. Whenever electricity is available it is used to “charge” a thermal storage system, the system is then used to cool milk whenever it is available.

The thermal storage system consists of a cylindrical stainless steel tank, containing an unspecified phase change chemical in a heat transfer fluid. When electricity is available it is used to refrigerate the tank, freezing the chemical which absorbs large quantities of energy as it changes phase.

The simplicity of the system lies in the design of what they have termed the Rapid Milk Chiller. The milk is distributed on the top of the stainless steel tank, it flows over the total surface of the tank and is thereby cooled quickly. With gravity transferring the milk there are no pumps, pipes and controls which would complicate maintenance, be difficult to clean and require electricity.

There is also the potential to use any other alternative energy source e.g. solar, wind, biogas and biomass which can be converted into electricity.  

I like the idea and look forward to hearing about how it works out in practice.

Heat Excahangers – Free Online Information

In a previous post I said that equipment suppliers often supply useful technological information which is not necessarily tied to their equipment.

If you are looking for technical information on heat exchangers for the food industry here is a good place.

Extract from Tetrapak's Dairy Technology Book on heat exchangers.

click image to access the pdf

 

This gives you access to an impressive 15 page chapter from the Tetra Pak Dairy Processing Handbook covering uses of heat exchangers, pasteurisation, sterilisation, heat transfer mechanisms, design equations and equipment options.

The complete manual of 440 pages and 600 illustrations costs $80, but there appear to be quite a few free extracts (Tetra Pak has six on its page for the book) online. Some educational institutions provide the manual free of charge for students.

Why not download the chapters that match your activities in food processing. Although these have a focus on dairy there is totally applicable information on heat exchangers, centrifugal separators, membrane separation, homogenizers and rheology.

A Comprehensive Solar Drying Manual – Free Online Information

I happened onto this manual just now and it got me to thinking about solar drying again.

click the image to download the manual

The document was prepared as a training manual for a Zimbabwian project funded by the Austrian Embassy titled Establishment of a production, sales and consulting infrastructure for solar thermal plants in Zimbabwe.

Its a comprehensive manual covering many designs and processes which you will see in illustrations from other documents you have read over the years. The 110 page book contains descriptions of many different dryers as well as examples of many different crops and their dryers. It also presents a great deal of technical data on drying but even though the title of the project nothing about markets, packaging and selling.

Solar drying should be all the rage currently giving its potential to impact global food shortage and climate change – but we still seem to be where we were decades ago.

 

Cane Sugar Processing – Process Description

If you are like me you enjoy getting a simple understanding of a food process/technology, even if you are never likely to use it!

Cane Sugar Flowsheet showing process interactions.

from: EFWE

(click image for full story online)

This is the case with this masters thesis, which presents a nice simple (two different levels of detail) explanation of the sugar cane process. It includes the two main juice extraction systems diffusion and milling in parallel, although I am not sure whether this often occurs in practice.

Explaining Technology by Analogy.

This interesting diagram from emphasizes the fact that the Tetrapak cartons are separated under the liquid a key point of the aseptic packaging technology.

photo by Tetrapak – usable under Creative Commons license

The more modern version is maybe not as explicit but much more appealing. This is a technologyand a presentation thereof that Steve Jobs would have admired.

photo by Tetrapak – usable under Creative Commons license 

Freeze Concentration – Equipment Series

A while back I wrote about pressure processing which was driven by the “fresher flavour” of juice that is not heated. Freeze concentration is driven by the same quality concerns and is an alternative to concentration by boiling off water. 

IFT Web Article on FReeze Concentrationclick the image to visit the website 

This article from the Institute of Food Technologists covers freeze concentration in a few pages giving information on the process and discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the technology 

 
Interesting is that the energy needed to melt a kg of ice is several times lower than that required to evaporate a kg of water. In these days of high energy costs and carbon footprints this would seem to be an advantage. However, the freeze concentrator can not be run in mutiple effect plants which allows an evaporator with sufficient effects to use almost the same energy. 

 
Even more disadvantageous, is that the freeze concentrator is often unable to reach the concentration required and a thermal evaporator has to be used as a finisher. 

 

Cleaning Process Vessels in Place – Free Online Information

The cleaning of tanks and other process vessels is a large part of the effort required to ensure a quality product. As well as the food safety considerations products with uncontrolled microbial load will be inconsistent in quality and quicker to spoil.

click the image to visit the website

This website provides useful information on tank cleaning, starting with the need for cleaning and comparing 5 methods of tank cleaning. The fact that this is the website of GAMJET a commercial company does not distract from the usefulness of the information.