Peristaltic pumps from Watson-Marlow Bredel have been found suitable for efficient product handling during the manufacture of ready meals.
The ready meals market has grown enormously in recent years with an increasing number of high quality products and greater overall choice available for consumers who expect to find various cooked foods in perfect condition.
One of the major concerns of producers of ready meals is the careful and hygienic handling of the product between cooker and dispenser to maintain its consistency and appearance while also meeting the stringent hygiene requirements in the manufacturing process.
Consumers have sound awareness of food hygiene concepts and the damage that can be done to a brand through a food contamination scare means that the producer needs to minimise, if not eliminate any perceived risks within the production process.
Standards of safety at work are also a key issue in food processing as in any other industry. Statistics from the Health and Safety Executive show that the highest number of injuries takes place whilst handling, lifting or carrying in the food manufacturing industry. The safety issue is therefore a key driver towards the automation of handling and prevention of spillage.
Conventionally, lobe pumps are being used as an alternative to manual transport of product in the ready meals segment.
Watson-Marlow Bredel however believes that peristaltic pumps are more efficient in transferring hot or cold liquid based foods and ingredients as they offer a number of clear advantages.
Key advantages of peristaltic pumps in food product handling:
- Ensures gentle handling of the product during transfers
- No moving parts to make contact with the product being pumped
- Product is simply drawn through the tube or hose by a number of external rotating shoes or rollers
- Ability to transfer or meter without damage, food mixes containing soft solids of up to 75% of the diameter of the tube
- High hygiene factor from a clear flow-path through the pump
- Cleaning in place (CIP) can be carried out without the need for a bypass at full velocity and with no dead spots
- Pump need not be dismantled for further cleaning
- Simple maintenance reduces overall maintenance costs and ensures predictability of service requirements
- Minimises downtime during production since only the pump tube needs to be changed after a long and predictable service life
The bakery required an automated system for pumping pie fillings, casseroles and stews that would keep the meat and vegetables intact when transferring them from the Eurobin to the filling hoppers. After evaluating various solutions, Riverside decided on a Watson-Marlow Bredel SPX40 peristaltic pump.
The new SPX40 pump handles the full range of cooked foods without any problems, and also fully meets food safety standards as the operator is able to clean in-situ, quickly and easily.
Watson-Marlow Bredel also offers pumps capable of pumping micro litres up to 80,000 litres per hour at pressures up to 16 bar.