Fluid Bed Food Processing Systems
Procedyne is an engineering and equipment manufacturing company that specializes in fluid bed food processing systems designed for batch or continuous processing operations. The primary areas of application involve drying, toasting, roasting or dehydrating.
Typical products processed in our fluid bed systems include starch, sugar, non-calorie sweetener, coffee, sunflower seeds, flavor additives, and salt. The inherent gentle handling of the product and uniform contact between the granular products and the fluidizing gas phase with fluid bed technology, result in higher quality food products both in physical form and taste in some important cases.
In situations where processing contact time is particularly important to achieve the desired results, Procedyne has developed continuous multistage processing strategies in processes like drying, toasting, roasting or dehydrating to achieve a level of uniformity generally unattainable in high-volume continuous processing.
An array of batch and continuous food processors can be custom-designed for each application.
Fluid bed dryers
Procedyne offers a complete line of continuous and batch fluid bed dryers for drying powders, granulates, and some larger particle products depending on the density and particle shape.
Procedyne’s Keyhole Series of continuous dryers are particularly effective when the wet product being dried is difficult to fluidize initially, and when there is a diffusion controlled drying rate as the product nears the required specified final moisture content.
These units are manufactured for food processing with suitable internal polished surfaces and sufficient access for manual cleaning. They are also available with automatic water wash-down where this is a suitable approach for the specific application and product.
At the feed end of the dryer there is a cylindrical indirectly heated first stage where the product is vigorously fluidized at a sufficiently high gas phase fluidization rate to maintain a well-mixed first stage volume. If this is insufficient to maintain a suitable stable degree of fluidization, this first stage is available agitated with a low RPM ‘anchor’ agitator to maintain fluidization.
This first stage is then followed by a linear series of indirectly heated rectangular stages where the product is fed through in a serpentine pattern of side to side flow as it progresses to the final stage and discharge port.
This arrangement typically achieves very uniform drying at favorable energy consumption rates and can be designed in detail to avoid damage to the product.
The other Procedyne fluid bed systems are classical horizontal or vertical fluid bed dryers either indirectly or directly heated and equipped with a suitable distributor for the product being processed.
Multistage controlled residence time distribution food dryer
Of particular importance to some segments of the food industry are continuous thermal processes (drying, roasting, etc.) that require relatively precise treatment times. In these cases, over-treatment or under-treatment will degrade the quality of the product.
In continuous processing, the problem of avoiding these conditions involves achieving a residence time distribution of particle to particle of the processing product in the thermal zone of treatment to be very narrow, i.e. all particles that are in the thermal treatment zone are close to equal.
When processing a food product with a fluid bed strategy, this need can be satisfied by designing the processing unit as fluidized volumes in series, termed ‘volume stages’. Procedyne has developed a design strategy that makes it feasible to manufacture these units as horizontal dryers with stages in series of 20 to 60 stages. Typically, a 60 stage unit would yield a residence time uniformity of approximately ±8% of the average residence time of particles in the unit.
This process approach can be a very effective method to conversion of batch food processing to continuous processing.
Fluid bed technology offers interesting potential opportunities for thermal processing of particulate food products to achieve specific properties. Examples of this potential have been realized with non-sugar sweeteners and various starch products.
The particulate product being processed is subject to a gentle uniform gas flow at a controlled temperature for very uniform particulate ‘cooking’. By changing the fluidizing gas, chemical reaction and/or surface modification, modification can be effected.
There are no moving mechanical parts associated with this technology to damage the particulate form of the product being processed.
For roasting or toasting, the uniformity of temperature is essentially unmatched by other techniques.
Procedyne has a laboratory on-site in New Brunswick, New Jersey, US, to demonstrate the application of most processing conditions for food processing. Please contact our company for any processing strategy you have in mind – our food processing technology and equipment may be just right for you.