Quick efficient cleaning of food-manufacturing equipment is an important and integral part of food processing. Customer and legislative demands for extended shelf life, purity, and traceability together with the environmental pressures to reduce water and harsh chemical use, makes cleaning equipment to the correct level of hygiene and within economic/environmental limits more demanding than ever. The food industry has developed sophisticated clean in place, CIP, technologies to automate some of these cleaning duties. However, these can be expensive in chemicals, energy and water use as well as taking not insignificant lengths of time out of the availability of the plant. One of the difficulties faced by CIP systems is that they have to remove food remains from the equipment as well as sanitizing it. The food remains will neutralize much of the chemicals used to sanitize, and hence relatively large quantities of expensive sanitizers are required with detrimental effects on the environment and on the profitability of the operation. This paper presents some of the on going work in support of an innovative and promising new technology focused on reducing and eliminating some of the cleaning problems encountered in the food manufacturing industry. It is based on using phase change materials to increase the shear, and hence the mechanical cleaning, on the walls of the equipment. By appropriate choice of the phase change materials this technology can be very beneficial to the environment and the food manufacturer’s profitability. Specifically it promises to reduce cleaning times, chemical sanitizer and water usage as well as providing product recovery and provide product separation capabilities. The paper focuses on the use of thick pumpable ice slurries to form ‘flexible ice-pigs’ that are able to provide many of the benefits of conventional pigs as well as being able to negotiate complex topologies. The paper provides an up to date review of the underlying theory and practice of ice-pigging as well as a number of examples of its use in real food manufacturing equipment.
|Translated title of the contribution||An environmentally friendly method of cleaning complex geometry food manufacturing equipment and ducts with maximum product recovery, using pumpable ice slurries|
|Pages (from-to)||15 - 27|
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Food Manufacturing Efficiency|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|