Food processing refers to the process of transforming raw materials into products that human beings and animals can consume. Generally, one picks butchered, harvested, or slaughtered components and processes them into food. To accomplish this, several food processing equipment is used. These machines are usually diverse because they play different roles, ranging from cooking, packing, preparing, and storing processed food products.
The prime purpose of these pieces of equipment are targeted toward preservation, making food products palatable, and conservation. However, there are other minor machinery that performs auxiliary functions like handling, preparation, and packaging. A complete food processing procedure requires different types of equipment for food processing. Before you buy industrial machinery, you’ll need to first check on the kind of food materials you’ll be handling.
Currently, there’s a wide range of food processing equipment available in the market. Choosing the most suitable equipment for your business or restaurant could be difficult, as you may not be in a position to identify the ones you need.
With this in mind, this post will walk you through some important equipment you’ll need in your food processing startup. Read on to get enlightened.
What Machines Do You Need For Your Food Processing Startup?
There are several machines you’ll have to get for your food processing shop, but the most important ones include the following:
1) Preparation Equipment
In preparing raw materials, several operations are mandatory. They include grading, cleaning, sorting, skinning, and peeling. The key focus is preparing the raw materials for chemical or mechanical processing.
In this part, the materials needed for processing are separated from substandard materials. This ensures that you produce high-quality products. Again, the preparation equipment ensures that contaminants, which can damage the equipment or food materials, are removed.
2) Mechanical Processing Equipment
Mechanical processing equipment changes the size and form of the food matter. Primarily, mechanical processing equipment grind, crush, cut, and form the food. When the raw materials are ground down to smaller pieces, manufacturers can increase and facilitate the efficiency of the processes that come next. In turn, this process improves the general quality of the consumables, giving room for a wide range of products to be produced.
3) Heat Processing Equipment
This is another piece of equipment you’ll be required in your food processing startup. However, which equipment you’ll get is dependent on whether your desired end product needs to be frozen or cooked at a set temperature. This is because the equipment is either designed to direct or transfer heat from the product.
If your final product requires heating, you’ll need to focus on heating equipment. The heat causes physical, biological, chemical, and biochemical changes. Eventually, the quality and chemical structure of the food is changed. This may be either to enhance flavor or to preserve the food products. In the heating process, some operations carried out include roasting, baking, and deep-frying.
4) Preservation Equipment
The primary purpose of this equipment is to prevent spoiling. Thus, every part of this process here is geared toward making food products last. Preservation processes range from irradiation to refrigeration, and each procedure functions to destroy enzymes or microorganisms within food materials that would contribute to its spoiling. Every preservation process will function uniquely, depending on the food being processed. You’ll need this equipment in your food processing startup to ensure that your products last a longer period.
5) Packaging Equipment
Again, this is another set of equipment that’s crucial in your food processing startup. After processing, the food product undergoes various post-processing methods, which include packaging. Packaging is crucial in any food processing business as the packaging could also serve as your company’s advertisement and helps preserve the food products. Furthermore, you’ll need food packaging equipment for the following functions:
- Containment: Your food will be contained until its use.
- Preservation: Your food will be protected from chemical, physical, and microbial variables. This implies it won’t be contaminated or lose quality.
- Convenience: Packaging will make it possible for you to portion your food products into different weights and volumes. In turn, it’ll be easy for you to store, transport, and distribute food.
- Communication: Packing equipment will help you label the food contents and indicate storage and handling. Again, branding will be made easy for you.
Further, food packaging is done in several ways—bottles, boxes, cans, jars, among others. Therefore, you need to know that the form of your food will determine the type of packaging and equipment too. Other things will dictate packaging equipment like distribution, marketing, and handling of the food.
6) Quality Assurance Equipment
Food quality is a critical aspect in the food industry. Your food needs to be evaluated to ascertain whether it’s safe from harmful substances. Some of these substances include heavy metals, pathogens, pesticides, and organic toxins. Moreover, these pieces of equipment will help you analyze and indicate the nutritional content of your food products.
The equipment previously discussed are the most essential for those who are considering starting a food processing business. However, there are other machinery needed in your production. These machines support or serve the following key functions in food processing:
- Utility Equipment: These instruments provide the essential resources for one to maintain the food processing facility, including generators, pumps, and power supplies. Other typical resources include water treatment; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; electricity; compressed air waste disposal choices, etc.
- Control and Measurement Equipment: These instruments ensure that other equipment in food processing is operating at optimal levels. They are also required to analyze ingredients. Some of these instruments are pressure gauges, timers, and thermometers.
- Material Handling Equipment: These are important to move food materials through preparation, processing, and also post-processing operations. Some of these are conveyor systems and pipes.
- Cleaning Equipment: Hygiene is another vital aspect of food processing equipment. You’ll need cleaning equipment to eliminate and prevent contaminants from spoiling your raw materials or your finished products.
The equipment discussed in this post would contribute to smooth your food production cycle. Though auxiliary equipment isn’t compulsory, most of the time, some primary equipment will require the former so they could operate efficiently. Most importantly, you’ll only need to acquire the food processing equipment for the food products you’ll actually sell.
When you finally decide to procure the food processing equipment, you must prioritize sanitation and maintenance. Equipment with metal surfaces have the tendency to collect harmful substances in food processing. Therefore, waste management and product movement are also other process that you should take into account.
Food processing is a growing industry. This is because it contributes toward the production of food, which is a basic need. Do you wish to start a food processing business? With what’s discussed here, you’ll be equipped with the right equipment and knowledge to help you thrive in the food processing industry.