Food Shortages and Inflation

The Covid 19 pandemic and its lingering aftereffects have resulted in massive disturbances in the global supply chain. One area that has especially felt this disruption the most is the food industry. First-world nations have seen an increase in the number of empty grocery store shelves and increases in food prices which greatly outpace inflation. Still, the developing world has been hit even harder by the pandemic’s effects. Some analysts are projecting an increase of 120 million people who will experience life-threatening starvation because of this upheaval on the African continent alone. To combat the increased scarcity in the food industry, companies are looking once again to improve manufacturing methods and speed up processing times.

Companies are looking toward both process optimization and usage of emerging technologies to both relieve the food shortages while still maintaining their profit margins.  Plow mixing is among the newer technologies in the mixer manufacturing market.  It was originally developed for the food industry to improve bakery mixing. These mixers were initially designed to handle materials up to 600,000 cPs which is common for dealing with bakery dough. Due to the high horsepower of these mixers, they also create a fluidized bed in their chambers resulting in mix times 500% faster than other mix technologies currently on the market.  In addition to the mixing time reductions, these mixers when equipped with vacuum drying technologies have been found to be among the fastest technologies currently on the market for drying materials. Some customers have observed drying times reduced by over 400%. The most incredible stat however is one customer specializing in flavor extraction saw their processing time for extraction cut by 6300%.

Plowshare mixers have been shown to be able to aid in everything from making and blending confectionary frosting to the preparation of shiitake mushrooms. The reason for this is plowshare mixers can work not only as a mixer but can be further customized to become vacuum driers, hot melt mixers, extractors, pressure vessel reactors, sterilizers, and coaters. Since vessels can operate as multiple unit operations, plowshare mixers are becoming increasingly popular in the food preparation industry.

Listed below are just some of the unit operations plow mixers have touched and how they have directly improved food manufacturing.

Type of Operation

Example of food industry Effected

Why do customers choose plow mixers

Powder Mixers

Spice Blending

Capable of mixing materials other technologies failed to mix

Size Reduction

Peanut Butter

Use of Choppers to chop of peanuts and blend the material

Hot Melt Mix

Chocolate Nugget

Able to better control temperature of the mixer

Dispersions

Bakery Mixing for Dough

Ability to mix the high viscosity of dough pastes

Sterilizers

Shiitake mushrooms

Greatly Improved process efficiency and combined unit operations

Extractors

Vanilla Bean Industry

Reduction in extraction time from 3 weeks to 8 hours

Chemical Reactors

Starch Industry

Able to react the materials with gaseous HCL and not burn the starch

Vacuum Dryers

Vacuum dried foods

High heat transfer coefficient which reduces cycle times for drying

Granulator

Dry Drink Mixes

Ability to grow particle size and dry material within one unit

Coaters

Self-Rising Pizzas

Able to perform high-speed coating of materials (See attached video)

Processall’s plow mixing technology gives manufacturers a leg up on the competition. Listed below are some of the benefits of moving toward plow mixing technologies for food manufacturers.

  • Creation of a mechanically fluidized bed that reduces the mixing time of the materials
  • Dry powder blending applications have seen reductions of upwards of 500% in mixing times over other mixing applications
  • Vessel jacket allows different media (hot oil, steam, or tempered water) to be used depending upon the thermal sensitivity of the product
  • Versatility because of its ability to mix powders, disperse pigment into liquid systems, and do hot melt blending all within one unit depending upon needs
  • Reductions in drying times up to 4 times faster
  • Mill breaks up clumps and can be used for defining particle size
  • Thermal jackets to allow for optimal temperature controls
  • High-speed mix which can handle materials as fine as dried oats without damaging the material
  • Easy to scale up and predict mix times after lab testing
  • Able to be made a U1 Pressure vessel
  • Can be customized to include choppers
  • Vessels can be further outfitted to increase versatility:
    • Mechanical seals – will allow the vessel to be pressurized as well as reach low vacuum (28 Hg)
    • Liquid lances – allows media to be sprayed onto the substrate
  • Ability to perform multiple unit operations in one unit resulting in:
    • Faster throughputs
    • Reduced energy consumption
    • Smaller footprint on the production floor
    • Less material handling and manpower
       

Current Food Markets that use Plow mixers

  • Chocolate
  • Baking / Bakeries
  • Icing Manufacturing
  • Mushrooms
  • Spice Blending
  • Protein Drinks
  • Sweetener Blends
  • Flavor Extractions
  • Peanut Butter
  • Nutraceuticals
  • And many more


Processall maintains a fully equipped testing facility in Cincinnati, Ohio designed to provide customers with the data they need to develop their process, evaluate equipment, scale-up, and identify the necessary equipment to maintain desired production volumes. We extend an open invitation to all potential customers to bring their product to our test center and get a “hands-on” experience with our technology and capabilities.

We also maintain a rental fleet that customers can utilize to do further testing at their facility or employ to minimize their startup costs for a new process.

Please feel free to contact us with all your material processing questions and our experienced industry professionals will help you find the right mixing solutions for your application.

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