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'Improved product characteristics at lower cost'

21 September 2011

Drying of fish products using the Drymeister has proved successful, saving processing costs. The multi-function unit is capable of drying, grinding and classifying in one compact operation with close control of the product particle size and final moisture content.

Fish products are notoriously difficult to handle in wet feed, slurry or cake (or even dry product) form exhibiting poor flow characteristics and a cohesive tendency. They are also temperature sensitive. When these difficulties are added to the demand for end products of the right colour and taste it is easy to see how making the correct choice of dryer is critical.

The ability of the Drymeister(DMR), flash mill dryer, to directly transform a slurry into a uniform dry particulate powder in one process, both efficiently and quickly, makes it an excellent choice in the drying of foodstuffs. Compared to conventional processes the DMR can reduce the thermal energy needed by as much as 30%, which is a considerable saving.

Application data
The table below gives examples of a number of applications and their process data as obtained during tests in our pilot plant. As can be seen, the DMR is capable of handling a variety of different food products.

MATERIAL





Model





Input kg/hr





INLET TEMP °c





PROCESS TEMP °c





Moisture Feed





Moisture Product





Fineness In Microns





Fish Meat





DMR -1





60





200





90





67%





4%





≤100





Whole Shrimps





DMR-1





55





150





70





70%





5%





≤250





Fish Slurry





DMR-1





70





200





90





85%





4%





≤100






Typical Processing Examples
The traditional process for fish-meal production is as follows:
Cooking

-A commercial cooker is a long steam jacketed cylinder through which the fish are moved by a screw conveyor. This is a critical stage in preparing the fishmeal as incomplete cooking means that the liquor from the fish cannot be pressed out satisfactorily and overcooking makes the material too soft for pressing. No drying occurs in the cooking stage.

Pressing -A perforated tube with increasing pressure is used for this process. This stage involves removing some of the oil and water from the material and the solid is known as press cake. The water content in pressing is reduced from 70% to about 50% and oil is reduced to 4%.

Drying- It is important to get this stage of the process right. If the meal is under-dried, moulds or bacteria may grow. If it is over-dried, scorching may occur and this reduces the nutritional value of the meal. Two main types of dryer are used: Direct and Indirect.
Direct -Very hot air at a temperature of 200-300 ºC is passed over the material as it is tumbled rapidly in a cylindrical drum. This is the quicker method, but heat damage is much more likely if the process is not carefully controlled.
Indirect-Cylinder containing steam heated discs which also tumble the meal.

Grinding -This is the last step in processing which involves the breakdown of any lumps or particles of bone.

DMR Process Treating Press Cake Directly
The above traditional processing example clearly shows that the number of process steps (and therefore operational cost) is reduced when using a Drymeister.By design the DMR requires less thermal energy per kilogram of evaporated water which leads to further savings and is environmentally friendly.

One Step Advantage
Products obtained from a rotary drum dryer contain unwanted agglomerates, thus requiring additional
milling after drying. This is an additional process step which the Drymeister does in one!

Conclusions
Combining several unit operations in the dryer, will simplify the process and reduce operational cost. With the introduction of the Drymeister even the most difficult of products can now be very efficiently dried and classified in one step to a fine and uniform product.

Closed Loop
Depending on the characteristics of the product, the system can also be operated in closed loop using inert gas as well as designed for Pressure Shock Resistant operation. Hosokawa Micron has the expertise and experience to offer customers a successful and cost saving operational concept. In-house test facilities incorporate a pilot system which can operate under inert gas.


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