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Hygienic design in action

27 March 2017

The hygienic design of food processing equipment is one of the major prerequisites for the prevention of food contamination, as well as for the maintenance of product quality and increase in production efficiency. Bühler’s involvement with the European Hygienic Engineering Group (EHEDG) is, therefore, extremely important to it. 

Bühler is a plant and equipment technology company for the food industry. It has been an EHEDG member since 201, shortly after the dry food industry had experienced challenges and a major change in food safety assurance. High profile food contamination outbreaks associated with consumption of almonds, cereals, peanut butter, chocolate and other low moisture foods, forced the US Government to propose stricter food safety requirements and compelled processors worldwide to start developing new safety measures. At the same, time Bühler also started its own food safety initiative, focused on educating employees, developing technologies to mitigate food safety risks, building knowledge and working with credible partners and customers on the issues of food safety and hygienic design.  

Bühler provides practical know-how and shares its knowledge with a variety of EHEDG groups, including Building Design, Bakery Equipment, Dry Materials Handling, Food Contact Materials, and Foreign Bodies.

“Ultimately, the company is applying best practice to the design and engineering of its own equipment, to provide state-of-the-art technologies to our customers,” explained Edyta Margas, food safety and hygienic design specialist at Bühler. “Well-designed hygienic equipment contributes to the protection, from foodborne hazards, for the final consumer, and also brings tangible benefits for food manufacturers and processors. Not only does it reduce the risk of contamination – thereby minimising the possibility of costly product recalls – it also maintains product quality, increases productivity and contributes to sustainability. Less water, chemicals, time and people are needed for cleaning and changeover.  Furthermore, less product is wasted,” she said. 

Bühler, for example, recently developed a new hygienic frozen fruit and vegetable optical sorter, designed to offer more efficient cleaning and accessibility. The company has also implemented hygienic design solutions to its ready-to-eat cereals and confectionery portfolio. Key hygiene features of its new cereals dryer, for example, include chainless conveyor belt, CIP (cleaning-in-place) cleaning system and a direct drive recirculation fan which eliminate belts, shafts, bearings, and guards, for a clean installation. 

Enrobing, decorating and cooling machines for cookies, biscuits and bars have been redesigned according to the highest hygienic design standards, with a focus on full drainability, avoidance of hollow spaces and minimisation of crevices and harborage sites. Additionally, cleaning instructions have been created in collaboration with the cleaning chemical provider for the equipment. 

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