The food industry faces unique challenges. After all, a food product must look appealing to consumers, pass all quality checks, and comply with food safety regulations.
Besides improving the palatability and safety of food, food processing also increases the variety of foods available to consumers. Think of the salad you may buy for lunch and the variety of components it contains. The food industry must produce safe, tasty, nutritious, versatile, and affordable foods to meet consumers’ demands.
Equipment for the preparation, cooking, storage and packaging of food and food products encompass a variety of components, machines, and systems. However, some pieces of equipment are also utilized for preliminary or auxiliary tasks, such as handling, preparation, and packaging, even though they’re primarily designed to transform or preserve food by increasing palatability, consumability, and digestibility.
What Is Food Processing
Food processing refers to any procedure used to create food products out of fresh foods. It could mean washing, pasteurizing, packaging, freezing, fermenting, cooking, or chopping, among many others. In addition to adding ingredients to food, food processing can also be employed to extend a food’s shelf life.
What Are Food Processing Screens
The food processing industry uses various types of screens. Some of these screens are used for filtration, sizing, solid and liquid separation, fluid bed dryers or coolers, or washing. Stationary screening devices, round separators, and centrifugal sifters are examples of screeners that are used in food processing.
Here are a few uses of food processing screens:
Across the globe, the food processing industry has taken strides to reduce waste, compost organic waste, recycle processing and packaging materials, and conserve energy and water.
Utilizing food-grade and quality metals for industrial screens can help you minimize waste, reduce your business’s costs, and reduce environmental impact. Lean manufacturing aims to manage waste effectively; excess waste results from contaminated products from manufacturing issues or using the wrong food processing equipment.
Sorting And Sifting
The process is somewhat similar to dry-cleaning in that it relies on physical characteristics to identify and separate contaminants and foreign matter from raw food based on measurable physical characteristics, such as size, color, shape, or weight.
The following pieces of equipment are needed during this process:
- Sieves/screens (size sorting)
- Sorting machinery
- Machine vision sorting systems
- Sorting conveyors disc
- Separators (shape sorting)
- Equipment used in dry cleaning
Sizing And Separating
The first-order function in mechanical processing involves shear, impact, or compression force to reduce the average particle size of solid food matter. On the one hand, the average particle size of solid food matter is increased by mechanical processes, such as aggregation, forming, and extrusion.
Ingredient solubility, flowability, and reactivity, as well as mouthfeel, texture, and processing of products, are all affected by particle size.
Moreover, it’s common in many phases of food processing to rely primarily on physical forces to achieve separation of components. These processes are normally called mechanical separation and include centrifugation, filtration, and sedimentation.
Washing Food Products
Manufacturers perform cleaning, grading, sorting, peeling, and skinning operations to prepare raw materials. The cleaning process is classified into wet and dry processes and involves cleaning contaminants and foreign matter, such as soil, oil, insects, skin, and chemicals, from the surface of raw ingredients.
It’s important to use food processing equipment with stainless steel surfaces so that harmful contamination won’t seep into the food.
When you use poorly designed food processing equipment, you slow down production flow. If you use high-quality materials and equipment, on the other hand, you can keep up with demand because you won’t have to constantly fix problems with the equipment. For example, you wouldn’t want to transport food in a basket with a faulty lid, which might cause the food to fall out.
Also known as emulsification, this process reduces the individual particles in liquids or semi-solids, while enhancing their consistency.
Food and beverage industries use homogenization to produce dairy products, mayonnaise, ice cream, cream liqueurs, salad dressings, and other items that need a liquid suspended in another liquid, such as water-in-oil or oil-in-water.
It’s common to use processing equipment for various food items. As illustrated above, a wide range of food processing equipment exists. However, not all of them are used in every facility as particular industrial subdivisions prefer specific types of equipment for their processes and unit operations.
In addition, the quality of the food processing equipment used by a company can either hinder or help the producer. An ERP software made specifically for food and beverage processors and producers can also help you track the supply chain and compliance; learn more here (https://www.inecta.com/
A food processor must meet stringent specifications set forth by the FDA to ensure the food is safe to consume, and they must ensure a consistent, steady supply of food. In addition, the quality of the food processing equipment used by a company can either hinder or help the producer.