Peter de Jong - Articles and news items
Issue 2 2010 • 12 May 2010 • Martijn Fox, Coen Akkerman, Han Straatsma and Peter de Jong, NIZO food research
Most of the powder products available on the market are produced using a spray drying process. Drying processes are known to be the most energy consuming processes used in the food industry. For example, the Dutch dairy industry required 1.4 PJ for drying its whey and milk powder in 2007. Therefore, a reduction of the energy consumption in drying processes will result in large cost savings, a better carbon footprint and a more sustainable production chain.
Drying processes in the food industry often operate at a suboptimal level. The most important reason for this is that to obtain optimal drying, a complex balance must be found among variables such as energy costs, product quality, dryer design and safety. Therefore, there is a need for a systematic approach and concrete solutions. NIZO food research has developed a step-by-step optimisation approach that not only makes use of process and product scans, but simulation techniques such as CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics).
In the food industry the operation costs are governed by fouling. Typically, processes applied in the dairy industry that operate below 80°C are limited by adherence and growth of micro-organisms in the equipment. Above 80°C the run time is limited by deposition of proteins and minerals. Besides the limited run time, bio-fouling may have implications for product spoilage.
Adhered spoilage organisms may be released to the product during processing. For example, the adherence and release of bacteria and bacterial spores in a milk pasteuriser may lead to defects such as excessive openness or late-blowing in cheese or taste deviations.
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