You are on page 1of 1

Fluid Flow in Food Processing

In any commercial food processing plant, the movement of liquid
foods from one location to another becomes an essential operation.
Various types of systems are used for moving raw or unprocessed liquid
foods as well as processed liquid products before packaging. The range
of liquid foods encountered in a processing plant is extremely wide,
encompassing foods with distinctly different flow properties, from
milk to tomato paste. The design of these systems in food processing
is significantly different from most other applications because of the
essential need for sanitation to maintain product quality. The transport
system must be designed to allow for ease and efficiency in cleaning.
In this chapter, we will concern ourselves mostly with the flow of fluids.
Fluid is a general term used for either gases or liquids. Most of our discussion will deal with liquid foods. A fluid begins to move when a force
acts upon it. At any location and time within a liquid transport system,
several types of forces may be acting on a fluid, such as pressure, gravity,
friction, thermal effects, electrical charges, magnetic fields, and Coriolis
forces. Both the magnitude and direction of the force acting on a fluid
are important. Therefore, a force balance on a fluid element is essential
to determine which forces contribute to or oppose the flow.
From our daily experience with handling different kinds of fluids, we
know that if pressure at one location within a fluid system is higher
than another, the fluid moves toward the region of lower pressure.
Gravity causes the flow of fluid from higher to lower elevations.
A fluid moving to a lower elevation undergoes a decrease in its potential
energy, while its kinetic energy increases. With the presence of thermal
gradients, heated fluids experience a decrease in density, causing
lighter fluid to rise while denser fluid takes its place.
Conceptually we may visualize that inside a fluid in motion one imaginary layer of fluid is sliding over another. The viscous forces act tangentially on the area between these imaginary layers, and they tend to