“Food industry cannot compromise on health and safety aspects of food production…”

Mr. V Gokuldas, Managing director, HRS Process System.

Food Industry Take Over by the Heat Exchangers

HRS Process System provides  the heat exchanger technology to the process industry with total solution for food / fruit processing industry. Sagrika Sanjay from Food Marketing & Technology India interviewed with Mr. V Gokuldas, Managing director, HRS Process System.

Q How long has HRS been in India? How has the journey been so far? What are the different heat transfer solutions of HRS Processed System? How well are theses solutions diversified to the industries?

HRS Process Systems Ltd (HRS PSL), India, is part of the UK based HRS International group of companies. HRS has been a forefront of thermal processing technology which is the backbone of food product processing. HRS Group is globally recognized for providing sustainable, energy efficient range of heat exchangers and heat exchanger based systems. HRS PSL has built its reputation in value-added engineering, manufacturing excellence and customer service. In India since year 2003, HRS today boasts of prestigious certifications and design expertise in the heat transfer arena and its ISO 9001:2008, ASME ‘U’ stamp accredited state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Pune to cater to ever-growing customer requirements and demands.

HRS offers range of customized heat exchangers and heat exchanger based systems for a wide spectrum of manufacturing and process industries. HRS products range includes ECOFLUX* Corrugated Tube Heat Exchangers, HRS Funke Plate Heat Exchangers and customized heat exchanger based systems. HRS adds value to food processing industry with advanced product range of HRS Monobloc* Aseptic Steriliser with Filler, evaporation systems, turnkey beverage processing solutions as well as Unicus® scrapped surface heat exchanger, Hygienic Piston Pump, HRS ParaDice dice pasteurizer and systems for special applications in dairy, nutraceuticals and infant food supplements.

HRS is adding value to food processing industry through various innovative solutions for fruit and vegetable pulp processing, beverage processing, ready to eat food. Unique technology solutions from HRS like the non-fouling Ecoflux* corrugated tube heat exchangers, Hygienic piston pump can be used to process pulpy, viscous, dices, particulate fruits or vegetables and ready-to-eat fruits & beverages efficiently. Our range of Ecoflux* corrugated tube heat exchangers and other heat transfer products are designed to deliver hygienic products and sterile products as required by the customer, in beverages, neutraceuticals and such products, where highly reliable thermal processing solution is key to success.

HRS with extensive process know-how, design and manufacturing expertise is a leading food processing technology solutions provider. HRS’ capability to offer systems for efficient and value added processing of fruit dices, particulates foods, processing of vegetables, grains, pulses for end use in ready-to-eat foods without shearing are a significant advancement in processing technology. Solutions for processing of sensitive dairy products, nutraceuticals, probiotics, infant food supplements and similar applications for quality processing have enabled HRS to make a strong footprint in these sectors.

We provide all latest technology even to developing countries. However, we customize and engineer solutions suitable for their market in terms of available produce, manpower, technical capability and service availability for key components. HRS is providing process lines which can be upgraded in future based on growing demand in these nations.

Q Explain to us the technology of thermal processing in processed foods.

Technology of thermal processing in processed food industry involves heating the product to a specific temperature and holding at that temperature for a specified time in order to pasteurise or sterilise the product. This is necessary to make the product hygienic, suitable for human consumption and long term storage. The thermal processing can be in batch mode, semi continuous or continuous depending on the type of product and quantity of product to be processed. The most important aspect of thermal processing in food industry is that during thermal treatment the properties of food product – aroma, colour, flavour and taste should not change. Thus the design of thermal processing equipment for processed food industry is very critical.

Q What is the requirement of heat exchangers in the Indian market when it comes to processed foods?

Tubular heat exchangers are the most commonly used equipment in processed food market. For small volume, a pan or kettle is used and for highly viscous and heat sensitive product scrapped surface heat exchangers are used.

Q Tell us about your various heat exchangers and their uses?

The various heat exchangers used in the food processing industry are made of high grade of stainless steel. These are:

Tubular Heat Exchanger – This is a heat exchanger with single or multiple tubes inside a common shell. The product is normally in the tube side and the heating or cooling fluid is on the shell side. These heat exchangers are used for almost all applications in fruit, beverage and dairy industry.

Plate Type Heat Exchanger – these are thin plates stacked together in a frame with fluid flow channels between set of plates. The product and processed fluid alternate between a set of plates and the sealing is by gaskets. This type of heat exchanger is used for clean fluids (fluids without particulates), e.g. carbonated beverages.

Scraped surface heat exchangers – has a shell inside which there is a high speed rotating scraper blade, which has very fine clearance from the shell. The product is fed in the form of a “thin film” around inside of shell by the scrapper. Thus the contact time for heating is very short. The unit can handle viscous products also.

Special heat exchangers – for certain applications like products with particulates or high viscosity or fibres or heat sensitive nature are processed in a combination of above or heat exchanger designed with some of the feature of above.

Q What new reaches and product development HRS is working on to fight with competitive market?

HRS is one of the leading global companies in the food processing sector focusing on fruit, beverage, prepared food, dairy and nutraceuticals segments. HRS has a global R&D center at Murcia, Spain; where research and application engineering is carried out to developed products suitable for the market. The technology developed is available for all the group companies to supply globally. Our patented product UNICUS® scraped surface heat exchanger was developed in the center to cater to thermal processing of viscous fluids and fluids with particulates. We developed Piston pump to pump diced food product and other sensitive products likes leaf and vegetables (without breaking) to enable their thermal processing and transfer over a distance. Currently we are working on thermal processing technology for prepared food in aseptic.

Q Cost reduction trends of the food industry often leads manufactures to compromise the health and food safety aspects of food production. How far do you agree with this?

Food industry cannot compromise on health and safety aspects of food production, as this is the basic necessity for any plant. Manufacturers tend to compromise on level of automation to reduce the cost. However, in recent times all manufacturers are upgrading the old facility with new technology and high level of automation as they have understood the advantage of having this versus loss in production or loss in product quality.

Q Do certain traditional thermal processing techniques affect the nutritional properties of food?

Traditional thermal processing techniques do not affect the nutritional properties of food. These are inherently ‘man’ controlled and due to low capacity are easy to monitor. However, since most of this traditional thermal processing is with open pans or kettles there is some loss of nutritional properties and aroma during the processing.
QThere are more new thermal processing techniques involved like- radio frequency, microwave processing, and infrared heating, ohmic heating, combined high pressure thermal treatment of foods, etc. Give your views, specifying how safe are these techniques? What is your view towards other thermal processing techniques?

Thermal processing techniques have evolved in the food industry based on various raw material, finished product and market requirements. Each of the above techniques have specific use which means these cannot be used for all types of thermal processing but for specific raw material and for specific capacity. These new techniques are always tested by the food safety authorities before it can be commercialised hence they are safe. However, the processed plant designed with these techniques has to be with higher level of safety features. The food industry requires thermal processing of different dimension hence all these techniques work alongside the predominant heat exchanger based thermal processing with is the most widely used thermal processing technique.

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