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Energy Efficiency in the Food and Beverages Industry

Energy Efficiency in the Food and Beverages Industry

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Published by Hans De Keulenaer
This Application Note provides an overview of available measures for energy efficiency improvement in the food and beverage processing industry. It is based on examples from theory and practice.
This study is not intended to be an exhaustive description of every operation in the sector, but rather tries to describe the most significant process-specific energy efficiency measures and reinforce these with practical case-studies.
As the food and beverage industry constitutes a vast sector, the technology examples in this Application Note focus on the fruit and vegetables sub-sector.
This Application Note provides an overview of available measures for energy efficiency improvement in the food and beverage processing industry. It is based on examples from theory and practice.
This study is not intended to be an exhaustive description of every operation in the sector, but rather tries to describe the most significant process-specific energy efficiency measures and reinforce these with practical case-studies.
As the food and beverage industry constitutes a vast sector, the technology examples in this Application Note focus on the fruit and vegetables sub-sector.

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Published by: Hans De Keulenaer on Mar 02, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/22/2013

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The conventional steam blancher consists of a mesh of conveyor belt that carries food

through a steam atmosphere in a tunnel (typically 15 m long and 1-1,5 m wide).

The cooling section employs a fog spray to saturate the cold air with moisture. This

reduces the evaporative losses from the food and reduces the amount of effluent

produced. Air cooling is employed as well.

Typically the equipment processes up to 4500 kg/h of food.

Figure 2 – Steam Blancher/Water Cooling

7

Application Guide for Food & Beverage

www.leonardo-energy.org

Figure 3 – Steam Blancher/Air Cooling

Advantages

+ Smaller loss of water-soluble components

+ Smaller volumes of waste particularly with air cooling instead of water cooling

+ Easy to clean and to sterilize

Limitations

- Limited cleaning of the food, so washers also required

- Irregular blanching if the food is pilled to high on the conveyor

- Some loss of mass in the food

€ Common energy efficiency features of modern steam blanchers

Steam seals, which help to minimize steam leakage at the blancher entrance and

exit

- Use of water spray curtain to condense escaping steam: energy efficiency

improvement of 19%

- Food enters and leaves the blancher through rotary valves or hydrostatic seals:

energy efficiency improvement of 27%

- Steam re-used by passing through a Ventury valve and use of hydrostatic seals:

energy efficiency improvement of 31%

Insulation of the steam chamber walls, ceiling and floor

Forced convection of steam throughout the product depth using internal fans or

steam injection which increase the heating efficiency of the product and helps to

reduce the blanching time. Sometimes, in forced convection installations, it is

possible to recover and to re-circulate the steam that does not condensate during

the first pass.

Process controls which optimize the steam flow based on such variables as product

temperature, blanching time and product depth.

Recovery of condensate for use in water curtain sprays or for product cooling

Heat recovery on the exiting condensate if internally recycling is not permitted

8

Energy Efficiency

www.leonardo-energy.org

€ Heat and hold techniques

In traditional blanching, the products are continuously heated by the medium until the

specified core temperature is reached.

In heat and hold blanching, the products is exposed at just the minimum amount of steam

required to heat the surface at the necessary temperature for blanching (heat section).

Afterwards, the product enters in an adiabatic holding section in which the heat at his

surface is allowed to penetrate to his core, which raises the entire product to the required

blanching temperature without the use of additional steam.

⇒ Blanching time reduced by up to 60%
⇒ Blanching energy efficiency improved to 68-91%
⇒ Product blanched: 6-7 kg/kg steam (conventional: 0,5 kg/kg steam)

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