Solid powder performs like a fluid under certain conditions. The science of mechanical flow is known as rheology. Find out what rheology can teach us about the microscopic characteristics of powders and how they influence mixing and cleaning. What’s more, learn which are the trickiest powders and how to handle them. Our experts also reveal five secrets on how to handle powders that you may not find published anywhere else.
All this expertise plus insights into key trends in the infant formula market are given below.
Consumers have an insatiable appetite for new products. New trends create a lot of different powder recipes to handle and the need to clean a mixer very frequently. Tetra Pak® Air Jet Cleaning system for Powder represents a new cleaning paradigm using air jets to do the cleaning.
Jets of compressed air are used to dislodge powder particles stuck to steel surfaces. When they are airborne, the particles can be extracted from the mixer through the outlet thanks to a vacuum system. Watch the film and read the articles to see how it works.
Before and after a cleaning cycle
See how clean the surfaces are after the use of Air Jet technology! The first photo shows a trial with a 2,000-litre batch mixer with milk powder remaining after discharge. The second and third photos shows the same mixer after a 30-minute cleaning cycle using Air Jet technology. Only a small trace of powder remained on the entire surface area: about 50 ml compared to a minimum of 70 litres of milk powder left after discharging without the Air Jet cleaning cycle.
Each nozzle contains four jets
A unique feature of the system is the pop-up nozzles that are integrated into the ceiling. They have been developed using CFD computer simulation models. Each nozzle head has four specific jets pointed in different directions in order to clean every zone in a mixer. The whole system is automated with specific sequences which can be optimized according to powder properties and customer requirements.
There are a lot of different consumer trends such as preferences for nutritional, plant-based and gluten-free ingredients. All these trends can lead to a lot of different recipes to handle and the need to clean a mixer frequently – perhaps 2-3 times a day. Our Air Jet technology cleans fast with minimal residual powder so that you can switch hygienically from one recipe to another quickly. If allergens are an issue, talk to us and we can advise you.
To avoid the risk of contamination where food safety is a concern, you should aim to minimize manual intervention in a sealed food system. Tetra Pak® Air Jet Cleaning system for Powder is a hygienic solution using filtered compressed air for cleaning and it can replace manual cleaning completely. With more limited intervention by operators opening the mixer, there will be a significant decrease in the bacterial risks and the associated microbial swab testing when restarting production.
Flushing – short blast with air jets
This technology is not just for cleaning, but can also be used for flushing for a few minutes at the time of discharge. This has a dramatic effect. The first photo shows a 2,000-litre batch mixer after regular discharge of milk powder without flushing whereas the second photo shows the same mixer after discharging with flushing at the same time. In the latter case, an extra 50 litres of powder could be saved due to the flushing action.
More sustainable than wet CIP
This technology really comes into its own when replacing wet CIP. You can reduce your environmental impact and costs because no water, chemicals and detergents are needed. Furthermore, no drying is needed after cleaning because the equipment never gets wet. This avoids the risk of microbial growth from moisture remaining on surfaces. If allergens are a concern, operators can wipe with a cloth and alcohol after a cleaning cycle with Air Jet technology.