The Incredibly Gentle Journey Of A Strawberry Into A Yoghurt
Strawberries are among the Germans’ favorite fruits. Statistically, every German consumes 3.4 kilos of the delicious fruits every year. By no means only fresh from the field: strawberries are also a pleasure to eat deep-frozen, as jelly or jello, as puree, sauce, ice cream, a smoothie or in yoghurt. The processing of both fruits and vegetables requires very sophisticated technology because fruit and vegetables have to be treated gently in order to preserve their valuable vitamins. Ideally, all surfaces that come into contact with these foodstuffs must be easy to clean with little or no dismantling work. Hygiene and safety standards in the food and beverage industry have increased over the last few years. In addition, producers not only have to comply with the strict product liability laws, but in the global competition they also have to satisfy the high demands of well-informed critical consumers. Manufacturers of cosmetics and pharmaceutical products also place the highest demands on exemplary technical solutions and customized systems for their production processes. The most commonly used pumps in the food industry are centrifugal pumps. These are used for liquids with relatively low viscosities. At higher viscosities, however, their use is no longer recommended from an economic pointof view, as the efficiency of the pump decreases. Here, progressive cavity pumps can represent an alternative: for the purposes of transport and dosing in equal measure.
Seepex is one of the world’s favorite suppliers of certified progressive cavity pumps in the hygiene sector. With its products, the company offers technologically leading solutions so that dairy products, smoothies, fruit products and beverages, among other items, can be transported hygienically and without any microbiological contamination. The specialist from Bottrop in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, supports food and beverage producers with its sophisticated technology. Seepex CS progressive cavity pumps enable low-pulsation pumping, can be cleaned quickly and without any residues and therefore satisfy all hygiene and safety requirements. Whether for apple juice, strawberry yoghurt, tomato sauce, beer or wine production: Seepex offers high-tech concepts for the correspondingly gentle handling of foodstuffs. An essential feature of the food pumps from the CS product group is the gentle and non-destructive conveyance of whole fruits. Many types of fruit and vegetables also have to be freed from their peel and seeds, while green waste also needs to be reduced and compressed. The waste volume from the fruit residues is reduced by up to two thirds in the Seepex process. This saves the food and drinks industry considerable energy and disposal costs. Seepex also offers its own separate “MD” product group for the dosing of additives such as enzymes or flavors.
In order for the strawberry to reach its destination, a pump must be able to convey particularly sticky and viscous or highly viscous products. Hygienic progressive cavity pumps transport the strawberry mixture with soft solids effortlessly, so that it ends up in the yoghurt in the right quantities and in pieces of the right size. Dairy products in particular are extremely susceptible due to microorganisms. For this reason the highest hygiene standards apply to the production of fruit yoghurt. In addition to the gentle conveyance process and residue-free cleaning, Seepex food pumps have a special surface quality as standard, with the result that the pump housing is free of dead space. This means that strawberry residues cannot become stuck here. The orbital cleaning system is directly connected to the housing, so that the disinfection and cleaning of the production facilities is programmed and controlled. Clean-inplace flushing (CiP) cleans surfaces in piping, machines, devices and tanks without residues. Other food pumps produced by the company enable sterilization with superheated steam in the cycle operation. The pumps are designed in accordance with the USA’s 3-A Sanitary Standard regulations and follow the strict EHEDG and FDA guidelines for the production of foodstuffs. The certificates are always updated in good time. They therefore ensure a high level of product safety.
The technical side: many uses, a high level of product safety
The progressive cavity pumps made by SEEPEX are especially easy to maintain because of a plug connection between the rotating unit and the drive and easy-to-install joints. These can be assembled and dismantled without the use of special tools. The high-quality surfaces of the housing walls and the rotating internal parts guarantee residue-free cleaning, while the mechanical seals that are adapted to the respective application ensure the hygienic sealing of the shafts. Norman Dicks, Team Leader, Technology & Innovation, Product Range Development at Seepex, sums up the advantages of using progressive cavity pumps in the food and beverages industry: “Progressive cavity pumps convey items more gently – above all sensitive foodstuffs. This means that sensitive fruits are preserved in their entirety. The dosing options are also very precise. The low-pulsation conveyance enables us to achieve stable volume flows, which represents great added value when it comes to dosing very small quantities, for example as additives.”