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4 October 2023

Pump Applications for the Food Sector

Industrial Pumps in the Food Industry: What You Need to Know

The choice of pumps utilised in the food industry is solely based on the type of food or drink produced. Different pumps fulfil different purposes. Food grade pumps in South Africa handle everything from viscous materials to solids. Food manufacturers look for certain features for the most effective results. These include hygiene, pressure, flow rate, and others.

Food pump producers should take careful note of some challenges food and beverage producers face. Some challenges include the separation of mechanical elements, driving pump compression, and maintaining the integrity of the product.

Common Pumps Used In Food & Beverage Production:

1. Air Operated Double Diaphragm Pumps (AODD Pumps)

We often refer to air-operated double diaphragm pumps (AODD pumps) as pneumatic diaphragm pumps. They are a type of positive displacement pump, and are sought after in the food and beverage industry. The reason is they are versatile and easy to use. AODD pumps are suitable for a wide range of applications across various industries. One of these is the food sector.This is because of their ability to handle a wide range of fluids. The range of fluids they tackle are corrosive, abrasive, viscous, and shear-sensitive products.

AODD pumps use compressed air to alternate the movement of diaphragms. This creates a suction and discharge action. This action moves fluids through the pump. AODD pumps use compressed air as the primary power source to move fluids.

There are certain considerations when choosing an AODD pump within the food industry. Some of these are temperature, sanitation, and viscosity. Regular maintenance and cleaning processes are important for upholding food safety standards which these pumps offer. AODD pumps boast a hygienic design.

2. Centrifugal Pumps For Food & Beverage Production

The first consideration when choosing a centrifugal pump is the type of fluid the pump will pump. Other considerations include temperature, sensitivity, sanitation, and viscosity. A sanitary and hygienic design are critical factors in the food industry to prevent contamination. Centrifugal pumps tick all the necessary boxes.

Another factor essential for food production is product quality. Centrifugal pumps are sought after in food production as they handle a wide range of liquids. They are easy to maintain, which makes them a sanitary option. They’re ideal for handling dairy products, drinks, and other delicate liquids without compromising their quality.

Food producers use centrifugal pumps to transfer liquids such as juices, sauces, water, and other liquids. Centrifugal pumps are excellent for handling batters and oil.

Functions of Centrifugal Pumps:

  • Beverage production. Centrifugal pumps play a key role in the production of fruit juices, soft drinks, and alcohol. They play an important role in pasteurisation, mixing, filtering and bottling.
  • Food producers use centrifugal pumps for CIP processes. CIP, or Clean-In-Place processes, are important for sanitising pumps without disassembling them. Cleaning solutions are used to clean the equipment and pump during CIP operations. This ensures the right level of sanitation.
  • Food producers use centrifugal pumps for food packaging. Producers use centrifugal pumps for transferring liquids for bottling, canning, and other containers. Centrifugal pumps ensure a constant flow of liquids which maintain accuracy when filling containers. This is essential for product quality in food and beverage production.
  • Food producers use centrifugal pumps in sauce and soup production. Centrifugal pumps are ideal for production lines to move viscous liquids. A good example is sauces and soups.
  • Food Producers use Centrifugal Pumps for Wastewater Management. Wastewater is part and parcel of food processing. The food sector uses centrifugal pumps to transfer and treat wastewater in food production.

3. Peristaltic Hose Pumps for Food Production

Food producers choose peristaltic hose pumps for their ability to handle a wide range of fluids. They are popular for their unique pumping mechanism. They can handle sensitive foods without causing contamination. Peristaltic pumps use shoes or rollers to compress a flexible tube. This creates a positive displacement action. They are ideal for the gentle handling of shear-sensitive products.

Applications of Peristaltic Pumps within the Food Sector include:

  • Transference of beverages and food products. Manufacturers use peristaltic hose pumps to transfer food and beverages like sauces, fruit juice, and dairy products. They are gentle and maintain a high level of quality, preventing shearing and damage to sensitive products.
  • Peristaltic pumps are critical for metering and dosing. Consistency is key to food production. Peristaltic pumps deliver accurate measurements of additives, flavourings, and ingredients during production. They are ideal for flavour injection, adding colour, and blending ingredients.
  • Peristaltic pumps handle high viscosities well. Certain foods, such as pastes, sauces, and creams, fall into the high viscosity category. Peristaltic pumps effectively handle these foods, maintaining their quality.
  • Peristaltic pumps are hygienic. Adhering to the high food safety and hygienic specifications in the food industry is essential. Preventing cross contamination is important. The configuration of peristaltic pumps enables food producers to maintain high sanitary standards.
  • Peristaltic pumps are gentle. Peristaltic pumps are best known for their gentle handling of products. This reduces the risk of product degradation. They maintain the texture and quality of products.
  • Peristaltic pumps handle abrasive particles with ease. Foods with abrasive particles will not damage the components of peristaltic pumps.
  • Food producers use peristaltic pumps for filling. Filling containers with viscous products, liquids, and other products that need precision.The accurate capabilities of peristaltic pumps ensure uniformity.
  • Quick changeover for pump and dump applications. When certain fluids need a fast changeover, peristaltic pumps are excellent for frequent product changeovers and fast cleaning.
  • Peristaltic pumps maintain the integrity of ingredients. High-quality ingredients require careful handling, which peristaltic pumps can offer.

Other types of pumps used in the food industry are progressive cavity, reciprocating positive displacement, rotary lobe, and rotary piston pumps.

Progressive cavity pumps use a helical rotor inside a stator to create a series of enclosed cavities, moving fluids from the inlet to the outlet. They are excellent in the application of fragile or viscous fluids.

Reciprocating displacement pumps use a plunger, piston, and diaphragm to create a reciprocating motion. This action draws and expels fluids. They are best known for their continuous flow.

Rotary lobe pumps operate using rotating lobes or gears to create a pumping action. They are gentle, highly efficient, and versatile for handling a wide range of food products. They are especially useful when handling highly viscous products.

Rotary piston pumps are customisable to suit specific food and beverage requirements. Their hygienic design boasts polished surfaces, an easy-to-clean configuration, and effective sealing systems. All these features will prevent contamination.

Find out everything you need to know about pumps in the food industry. Contact us on +27 12 548 7204 or fill out our enquiry form. Our team of professionals will give you the most updated information about food and beverage pumps.

The food industry is forever changing and is a complex landscape to explore. It requires the reliability and efficacy of pumps for the best results. Our team is here to help you find the best pump for your needs. We can also offer advice on digital control, maintenance, and troubleshooting. We help you find the most suitable pump in food engineering suited to your niche industry.

Industrial Pumps in the Food Industry: What You Need to Know – Littlegate Publishing

Do you still have questions? Give our AQS Liquid Transfer team a call on +27 12 548 7204 or fill out our enquiry form, our friendly team will get back to you with first-hand expertise on how to select a borehole pump for your needs.

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