New Salad Project
Bagged salad producer approaches Prodose.
We’ve just received a new order from a producer of pre-bagged salad. It looks like this project will be an interesting case study for any similar food supplier.
This client currently uses three flume washers to process fresh produce. Each of these washers already has an automatic dosing system based around the use of peracetic acid with residual monitoring and dedicated dosing pumps.
Our engineers visited the site to assess the current process. As with all our consultations, our aim was to focus on understanding what the client needs to achieve. Unless there is a valid reason for making changes to the process, we respect the client’s way of doing things.
Rather than trying to persuade the customer to make changes to their operation so that it fits a standardised method or a particular type of machine, we work to try and reduce costs or improve the overall effectiveness of the existing process. In other words, we create solutions on your terms rather than ours.
Prodose doesn’t have tie-ins with specific technology providers, so we can offer our expertise on a truly independent basis.
In this case, our advice has helped the client to determine that they can achieve beneficial results by switching to sodium hypochlorite, which is generated on site by an Ampro electrochlorinator. Salt, water and electricity are all that is needed to produce this disinfectant.
This will not only create a significant chemical cost saving – it may also help to achieve a longer product shelf life by making the disinfection process more effective. We will also be installing automatic chlorine dosing in order to maintain the free chlorine levels in the washer.
The sodium hypochlorite produced by the Ampro generator has a relatively neutral pH. Nevertheless, it will still be essential to maintain the pH of the water in the washer within a tight tolerance to ensure that the sodium hypochlorite solution has optimum disinfection capability. This is achieved by monitoring and dosing with citric acid when required.
We will also take steps to eliminate a common issue with sampling water from a flume washer. Often, the turbulence in the washer can cause small particles to break off the salad items. These bits of debris contaminate the sample water and can lead to inaccurate readings. For this reason, the sample water being fed to the analysers needs to be filtered.
The client understands the need for this filtration, but gave us a challenge. They don’t want to rely on operators remembering to check and clean the filters.
To meet this requirement, we have sourced and provided a fully automatic self-cleaning filtration package. It is suitable for the low flow rate common in analyser sample water feeds.
These are just a few examples of the ways in which a consultation with Prodose can provide some ideas for improving efficiency and reducing costs, even on systems that already have a good degree of automation and product safety.
Would you like to talk to us? Please call 01536 460 400.
Food washing: Do you monitor your disinfection levels?In the food industry, it is common for food suppliers and processors to disinfect fruit, salad leaves and vegetables by washing them in water that has been treated with disinfectant. This is an essential part of...read more