Food processing machines refer to the equipment, tools, and systems that are used to prepare, store, cook, and package food products. There are many types of food processing machinery and equipment involved in the food and beverage processing plant. The use of food processing equipment is to ensure the overall manufacturing process can be executed in a safe and effective way. The selection of machines depends on the type of food being produced in the plant and the requirements of the production cycle. For instance, meat and poultry dicers are used for processing meats that are required for heavy volume dicing and cutting. The equipment also can be designed and constructed to handle solid, semi-solid, or liquid food products. Other food characteristics such as the material grade, level of hygiene, sizing, governmental standards, costs, and many more also need to be considered when designing the food machinery and equipment.
Food processing equipment can be categorized in many ways such as the mode of operation, product form, or functions. In this article, we will introduce some common types of food processing equipment by their respective functions. As we know, the production cycle in food processing can be divided into a few steps and each performs a specific function. For example, the primary function of the preparation step is to prepare the food material for further processing. Other steps include food separating, mechanical processing, washing, heating, baking, freezing, preservation, sealing, packaging, material handling, and system control operations.
During this initial operation, the preparation equipment comes into contact with the raw food materials. The purpose of this operation is to separate the desirable material from undesirable material or contaminants which may degrade the food quality. So the manufacturer is able to ensure the uniform and high quality of food products. This operation generally includes cleaning, separating, sorting, grading, and peeling. The equipment used in this operation can be either manual or mechanical.
1. The cleaning process can be divided into two types which are wet cleaning and dry cleaning. The equipment used in wet cleaning includes spray washers, floatation tanks, ultrasonic cleaners, and sterilizers. The equipment used in the dry cleaning includes screening separators, magnetic separators, and air classifiers.
2. The peeling process is help to remove any unwanted materials in order to increase the quality of the final food product. The equipment used for peeling includes rotating blades (knife peeling), pressure vessels (flash steam peeling), abrasive rollers (abrasion peeling), conveyors (flame peeling)
Mechanical Processing Equipment
During this process, the physical form of the food is reduced, enlarged, or homogenized to improve its edibility and quality. This process helps to increase the effectiveness of subsequent processes.
1. The process of size reduction involves reducing the particle size of solid food through compression, shearing, or impact forces. Common equipment used in this process is band saws, roll crushers, meat grinders, etc.
2. Size enlargement is the process of increasing the size of the food through agglomeration, forming, or extrusion with the use of equipment such as refrigerated extruders, high-speed agitators, agglomeration rotating pans, molders, and so on.
3. Homogenization is also known as emulsification which is the process of reducing the average particle size while increasing the consistency of the food item. Commonly used equipment is homogenizers, emulsifiers, colloid mills, and high shear mixers.
Heating Processing Equipment
Heat processing uses direct heat to cause biological, biochemical, and chemical changes to the resulting products. The process can bring alteration to the nutritional qualities of the food and enhance the flavor.
1. The baking/roasting is the process to assist food preservation and ovens are typically used in this baking process for bread, biscuit, crackers, or other flour-based products.
2. Blanching used heated or steam water to reduce the pathogenic microorganisms or unwanted enzymes which may result in food spoilage. This process is most commonly used for fruits or vegetables. 3. Another process is dehydration which is used to evaporate water in the food and reduce the weight of the final food product. The dehydration process can help to increase the shelf life of the product. Vacuum, conductive, freeze dryers, and convective are used during the dehydration process.
4. Pasteurization is the process of using medium-heat temperature to inactivate most microorganisms and enzymes that may cause spoilage. This allows the food product to reach a limited shelf life without affecting the quality and other characteristics of the food. Concentric tube heat exchangers and plate heat exchangers are used in this pasteurization process.
Most of the heating processing operations that we mentioned above also demonstrate preservative qualities. The purpose of the preservation is to increase the shelf life and prevent spoilage of food products. A wide range of preservation methods is available for the process. Natural and non-natural chemicals such as vinegar, acetic acid, benzoic acid, and many more are popular to be used for preventing food spoilage. Another popular way is to use refrigeration which includes chillers, refrigerators, and cryogenic systems to reduce temperature and depress microbial and biochemical microorganisms. Ionizing radiation is another way that uses electron accelerators and isotopes to inactivate and destroy microorganisms.
There are many other types of food processing equipment available for production. We must consider many factors when choosing the right set of equipment as it can affect the overall production flow, operational efficiency, and the quality of final food products. MecHero Malaysia supplies different types of food processing machinery and equipment that meet your project requirement. You can always contact us at +6011-7000 7687 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for an inquiry about machinery and equipment in Malaysia. As a steel and online hardware store in Malaysia, we also supply a wide range of steel materials, general hardware, or mechanical components. Tell us your requirements now and we can advise you accordingly.