For millennia, people have been processing food. For as long as humans have hunted or cultivated crops, we’ve also preserved, dried, milled, and baked raw ingredients. While these tactics began primitively, they’ve steadily become more advanced over the years. Today, commercial food production and processing is a multi-million dollar industry, conservatively, and most of us rely on it in ways we’re not even fully aware of.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the evolution of one crucial piece of food processing equipment – the food grinder – and how it has changed and advanced from ancient times to now.
Food Grinder Evolution: From Ancient History to Now
The Original Food Grinder: The Mortar & Pestle
Featuring a curved lip, deep bowl, and thick, oblong pestle, the mortar and pestle is a traditional type of food processing equipment that’s been used since about 35000 BCE. Used to crush and grind foods into fine pastes and powders, mortar and pestle sets have always played a critical role in global food processing.
Chemists and pharmacists, for example, have traditionally used the tools to grind chemical compounds, while ancient and modern people in the Middle East used massive versions of the vessels to pound meat into kibbeh. These tools remain mostly unchanged today when compared to the versions used by the Sioux, ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans.
After the mortar and pestle came the advent of the stone mill (also commonly called a millstone), which was typically powered by a water wheel or a lone donkey. These mills were popular as a method to grind wheat, spices, and other grains.
Millstones worked in pairs – made of a stationary bedstone and a turning runner stone, which performs the hard work of grinding. These mills were unique in that they crushed the grains fed through them, but kept all parts of the grain, including the germ, bran, and endosperm, intact.
Thanks to their construction, millstones ground materials slowly, which means they produce minimal friction and heat. This, in turn, keeps the germ fat from oxidizing and turning rancid, which can destroy some of the nutrients contained in the grain. Today, some small-batch organizations still use millstones, although they’re much less common now than they used to be.
After the industrial revolution came hammer mills, which were used for grain milling and producing animal feed. More efficient than mill varieties from decades past, hammer mills made it possible to ramp up output without drastically altering the effort or manpower required to make a product.
In terms of construction, a hammer mill is essentially a large, steel drum that houses vertical or horizontal rotating shafts. These shafts provide an anchor point for mounted hammers, which swing freely on the ends of the cross. In some cases, the hammers are secured to a central rotor, which spins rapidly while material filters into the hopper. The hammers pulverize the grains and materials, readying them for the next stage of processing.
Late in the 20th-century food grinding became targeted at human consumption, and sanitation started becoming an issue. As such, new food machinery became made out of stainless steel, which is still the case today.
Today, food processing relies on a complex and varied system of equipment. Crushers, grinders, slicers, and industrial and commercial mixers all play a role in producing the processed and prepared foods we rely on in our daily lives.
There’s also been an exciting shift in the focus of food production equipment: while it began as something ancient people utilized for their purposes and then became a tool used by companies and production facilities on a widespread basis, it has shifted and become a personal pursuit, again.
Today, personal food grinding equipment is standard in virtually every kitchen. Most people own a coffee grinder, mortar and pestle, or personal food processor. This represents the full-circle nature of food processing: what started as a personal pursuit has become personal once more.
Corenco: Manufacturing Top-Quality Food Grinders for Decades
As food grinding equipment continues to change, Corenco is proud to stay on the cutting edge of the industry. Creating top-quality food grinding equipment for use in the commercial sector, our products combine longevity, functionality, and durability into one convenient, accessible package.
Want to take your food processing operation to the next level? We can help. Our team specializes in helping manufacturing operations identify the equipment solutions that will work best for them, their goals, and their customers. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive lineup of commercial food processing equipment and how we continue to drive the industry forward.
Companies that create fruit or vegetable juices need liquid extraction equipment. Liquid extraction equipment recovers valuable soluble compounds from raw materials and makes it possible for these components to be separated and recovered from the liquid. This critical equipment is popular in many applications outside the juice sector, including the following:
For companies that purchase this liquid extraction equipment, there are many significant considerations to take into mind. One of the largest is how long these machines will last, and what a company will need to do to maintain the equipment in the long-term. Here’s what you need to know about the lifespan of liquid extraction equipment and what can extend or limit it.
- The removal of sugar from sugar-cane or sugar-beets
- The extraction of oil from oil seeds
- The removal of coffee and caffeine extract from whole, intact coffee beans
- The extraction of other compounds, including proteins, pectins, pigments, vitamins, oils, flavor compounds, and aromatic compounds from various materials
How Long Liquid Extraction Grinders Last
As is true for all types of extraction equipment, the application has a significant impact on lifespan, maintenance, and potential repairs. No matter what, though, grinders are meant to last for quite some time. Some Corenco grinders throughout the country are at least 35-40 years old, for example. With proper maintenance, a company should get well over twenty years of use from their machinery. While maintenance is minimal, longevity depends on the regular replacement of wear parts, like rotors and screens.
3 Ways to Extend the Lifespan of Extraction Equipment
Cars last longer with proper maintenance. Liquid extraction equipment is no different. Especially under heavy use, this machinery will last much longer with the appropriate care and attention. Here are a few things that can extend the lifespan of liquid extraction equipment:
1. Close Attention to Yield
Extraction equipment is durable and designed to work hard. Because of this, it doesn’t require a considerable amount of routine maintenance. It does, however, need to operate within the scope it was built for. The most significant prediction factor for how long size reduction equipment will last is its application. If it’s working to process the materials it was made to process, and the yields fall within range, it will last far longer than it otherwise would. When a company starts pushing size reduction equipment to boost yield or to process materials that it is not designed for, that will reduce the lifespan of the equipment.
2. Proper Maintenance
Again, the maintenance associated with grinders is minimal. Screens, for example, last around 400 working hours and rotors last upwards of 2,000 working hours. If you’re processing soft fruits and vegetables, the above numbers are very accurate lifespan estimations. If you’re processing hard materials like obsidian, however, the lifespan of these pieces will decrease. If you want to extend the life of your grinder, one of the best things you can do is to replace wear parts regularly. For best results, consult with the manufacturer of your equipment. They’ll be able to provide a recommendation tailored to your use and applications.
3. Proper Application
Size, capacity, screen size, and application are all critical considerations for the lifespan of liquid extraction equipment and grinders. Many times, people will try to size their equipment and select their screens, assuming they need the finest grind possible. This does two negative things, though. First, it makes grinding difficult and inefficient and requires more time. Second, it puts undue stress on the machine and its components, potentially decreasing its lifespan in the long run. If you grind material twice, you can support your machine by using two different screens.No matter what you’re grinding, keeping your machine operating within its application field is a great way to extend its lifespan.
Finding the Right Liquid Extraction Equipment for You
When you invest in liquid extraction equipment, you want to ensure you’re choosing the machine that’s right for you. While understanding your application and yield goals will serve you well, it’s also critical to speak with a skilled representative who will help you find the right fit for your company. Corenco is here to walk you through the selection process and ensure you’re getting the product that’s correct for you. Contact us today to learn more.
Consult With Us! >In the food processing industry you’ll often hear the term size reduction. But how does one exactly define that? This article seeks to introduce you to a term called comminution; an excellent term that’s highly under-utilized in the industry.
Comminution is the process/action of reducing solid materials from their standard particle size to smaller average particle size.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Methods of Comminution
When it comes to comminution, there are many means to an end. Some of the most common processes are cutting, grinding, crushing, pureeing, delumping, pulverizing, emulsifying, and disintegration.
Different products and machinery are used to achieve different results, from a ten dollar food processor to a multi million dollar flour mill.
Size Reduction Equipment to Support Comminution
Now that we’ve answered “what is comminution?”, let’s talk about how it happens. To ensure proper comminution, manufacturers must have the right equipment for the job. Here are a few common types of machinery that food processors use:
Gravity-fed mills, also known as angle disintegrators, are ideal for processing high bulk density products (ex. ginger, apples, potatoes, tomatoes, and horseradishes.) They feature a large inlet and a large production capacity. Each model is ideal for a wide variety of products and can facilitate many different downstream processes.
Screw-fed mills move sticky, moist, or difficult-to-feed materials through a screw conveyor directly into the grinding chamber. These mills offer a metered feed system, which makes processing more efficient by reducing overload potential. The screw-fed disintegrator is popular in the processing of everything from whole pumpkins to leafy greens.
Crushers are used to bring large agglomerates down to a size that can be processed further. These types of equipment are often the first stage in a comminution process. An example would be reducing a 55 gallon frozen drum of fruit juice puree into softball-sized chunks which can be further processed into a final product.
Pump-fed mills are heavily used in the liquid processing industry. Designed to reduce agglomerates and large material in pumpable liquids, pump-fed mills help facilitate comminution in things like soup and soy bases and hummus production. These units are also CIP-able.
Comminution: A Summary
Comminution is a scientific word for size reduction and is an important term to know. When you have the right equipment for your applications you can ensure top-quality comminution.
Ready to add advanced size reduction equipment to your lineup? Contact Corenco today. Our skilled staff will walk you through our selection and help you find or engineer the solutions that are right for you.
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In recent years, the global juice market has blown up to claim a significant share of the beverage industry. In 2019, revenues in the juices segment are projected to reach upwards of $3 billion.
There are currently about 6,000 companies producing high-quality juice in the U.S., and the annual market growth between 2014 and 2019 is 1.8%. As consumers continue to shift toward wholesome, more nutritious eating habits, they’re increasingly interested in fresh, healthy, minimally-processed juices they can grab on-the-go.
The question, then, is how juice processors can create those as efficiently as possible. High quality juice is challenging to make seeing as it contains so many different ingredients that must be processed in ways that do not compromise the nutritional quality of the finished product.
The amount of information out there can be overwhelming but this article can serve as on overview of the basic types of equipment involved in juice manufacturing. Here is what companies breaking into the juice industry need to get started.
The 6 Critical Pieces of Juice Processing Equipment
Regardless of the type of juice a company wants to produce, most commercial facilities will need the following types of juice processing equipment:
1. The Wash Line
The wash line is the first point of contact for the raw, bulk, ingredients that eventually become juice. They enter a factory and go through a wash line, which cleans them, removes traces of dirt and pesticides, and prepares them for processing. Wash lines have a wide range of what they filter out of the passing product that is determined by the downstream requirement.
Once the ingredients leave the wash line, they are moved by a conveyor belt system into a grinder.
2. The Right Size Reduction Equipment
The grinder is the key piece of machinery that facilitates this process. Grinders can prepare fruit, veggies, and other ingredients for extraction. Grinders come in many sizes and capacities. The grinder a company chooses will depend on their desired rate of processing, the size of the incoming product, and the desired particle size of the ground product. In the juice industry, screw-fed disintegrators are a very popular type of grinder since they integrate controlled feeding with grinding. This direct feeding has eliminated many issues with difficult to feed products such as leafy greens, melons, and root vegetables; as well as reducing the labor required by manual feeding.
Once the material moves through the grinder, a pump transfers it to the extraction equipment.
Pumps come in a wide variety of designs and sizes. Finding the right type for your process is critical in keeping your line operational. The most common types of pumps in juice processing are progressive cavity pumps and lobe pumps. Progressive cavity pumps have a slightly better capability of dealing with products with large particles or high viscosity. Lobe pumps are better suited for products with high acidity and low abrasiveness. Keep in mind that the pump should only be transferring the ground product to the next stage, not performing any size reduction.
Juice extractors come in many different styles depending on what fruit or vegetables you’re processing and what your end product objectives are. belt presses, screw presses, rack and cloth presses, and centrifuges. In some cases, a production facility may use several types of equipment to process their product fully. Extraction equipment requires correct size reduction to work optimally. While some extraction companies do offer size reduction equipment accessories, the lack of versatility compromises yield. Failure to bring product to the correct size before the extraction stage is literally throwing money away.
5. Mixing Tanks
Mixing tanks are critical to the juice production process when multiple ingredients are involved. These tanks make it possible to mix concentrate, fruit pulp, preservatives, water, flavor, color, and more. They come in a large selection of sizes, materials, and price ranges.
Pasteurizers kill potentially harmful microorganisms in the fruit juice before it goes out for human consumption. These pieces of equipment are critical, as unwanted organisms make the juice taste bad and can make people sick. A pasteurizer kills dangerous bacteria and promotes healthy, great-tasting juice.
Additional, Optional Equipment
- Water Treatment equipment, which serves the purpose of ensuring the water being used is filtered to the highest standards
- Concentration equipment, reduces extracted fruit juice to concentrate for sale or other purposes, like long-term storage
- Homogenizers combine liquids in uniform ways, making them ideal for sale or blending
- Pulp Collection Tanks for long- or short-term storage. These are often insulated to keep their content’s temperature
- Bottle filling and capping equipment eliminates hands-on time and processes materials for sale
Finding the Right Juice Processing Equipment for You
As you can see, there are many types of juice processing equipment available. Choosing the right machines for your company means taking a close look at the kind of juice processing you want to do, the ingredients you use, and your optimal yield.
At Corenco we have a wide selection of high-quality, USA made, size reduction (grinding) equipment designed to be durable, efficient, and easy to maintain. For over forty years Corenco has engineered solutions to optimize industry processes. Contact us today for help finding the ideal piece of equipment for your application.
If you run a business that requires you to chop, grind, pulverize, or puree food to make products, you’re probably familiar with industrial food grinders and other size reduction equipment. Designed to facilitate heavy vegetable prep (while also making chopping and pureeing easy to scale), industrial food processors serve many purposes.
When it’s time to invest in your first machine or purchase a replacement machine, here’s what you need to know.
Who Uses Industrial Food Processors?
Industrial food shredders are versatile. People who own juice bars, for example, use these machines to grind produce and prepare it for extraction. Industrial food grinders can also shred frozen materials, create slurries, and process hard items, like wheels of dense cheese. Grinders can either generate a finished product or play an integral role in the reduction process.
These machines can be custom-engineered to support your applications and processes. This versatility is ideal if you process various products daily.
5 Primary Types of Industrial Food Shredders
- Angle Disintegrators. Angle disintegrators are gravity-fed mills that are popular among customers for their flexibility and longevity. A standby in both the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, these machines also process products ranging from vegetables and fruits to frozen material, cooked meats, dry solids, and slurries.
- Screw-Fed Disintegrators. Screw-fed disintegrators are most common in the juice industry since they process sticky materials efficiently. They also have applications in other sectors which require precise metering. The disintegrator is excellent at handling leafy green veggies, as well as larger items, like melons, ginger, squash, and cabbages.
- Pump Fed Disintegrators. Pump-fed disintegrators process pumpable liquids. Initially designed for protein recovery purposes, these machines are now standard in the dairy, tomato, and bean industries.
- Crushers. Crushers are ideal for processing frozen, bulk materials. Users can empty a five-gallon bucket of frozen materials into the machine, and it will pull the pieces through a comb, preparing it for further reduction.
- Shredders. Shredders are most common in establishments that need to shred large quantities of cheese (as pizza topping, for example). These machines can also be used to process blocks of frozen or hard material so it can be freeze-dried.
What to Look for in Industrial Food Equipment
Insist on these traits as you start your search for an industrial food shredder:
Is it User-Friendly?
If you’ve never used an industrial food shredder before, it’s natural to have some reservations about the process. After all, these machines seem large and intimidating. Set yourself up for success by seeking a model that’s simple and user-friendly. The fewer moving parts, the better. Not only does this streamline operations and help you avoid injuries, but it makes the machine easy to clean, reduces maintenance requirements, and keeps the grinder running for years.
Are the Screens Easy to Change?
Industrial shredders are a “buy one, get everything” solution. If you need to grind or chop things to different sizes, you can do it all on one machine – you just have to swap screens out before you change applications. If the screen exchange process is not easy, you might consider shopping for a different machine.
Ideally, you should be able to change screens easily and quickly, without tools. Machines that offer this keep your workflow running and reduce delays in production. Regular screen changes can also increase your yield, which translates right into a bigger bottom line.
Is it Well-Built?
Your operations rely on your food shredder, so you need something high-quality and reliable. Before you purchase a grinder, consider its construction. Is it made from durable materials? Do the machines have a reputation for longevity? What’s the average lifespan of the model you’re considering? How much maintenance will you have to do throughout that lifespan?
When you invest in a high-quality model at the outset, it will save you time and money down the road.
Is it Powerful Enough?
The difference between ground and unground (or whole) products can be huge. In some cases, you can save as much as a few dollars a pound by investing in whole ingredients and grinding it on your own. Before you can do this, though, you need to ensure the model you want is powerful enough to handle your raw materials. While gravity-fed disintegrators are made to process lighter materials, like leafy greens and fruits, other models are powerful enough to process large volumes of frozen material. Make sure the grinder you select offers the power you need.
Is it Affordable?
A good commercial grinder is an investment, but it shouldn’t break the bank. Look for grinders that are within your budget and have a reputation for quality. Take some time to consider additional factors, like maintenance and accessory expenses, as well.
Bonus: How’s the Customer Service?
Your business is your pride and joy, and you deserve a buying experience that reflects that. As you search for your ideal industrial grinder, look for a brand that offers outstanding customer service. The sales team should work closely with you to help you find the solutions you need, and make sure you’re getting the most from their piece of equipment.
Additional Purchasing Considerations
Here are some other factors to keep in mind as you shop for grinders:
- Size. What size machine do you need? How much space do you have available in your kitchen or production facility? Will the grinder fit where you need it to go? If not, can you make additional space?
- Capacity. You want a grinder that has enough capacity to handle your current needs while also scaling with your business. Consider buying up in size, so you can continue to use the grinder for years.
- Screen size. It’s common for business owners to purchase several different screen sizes for their grinders. This is particularly true in applications where materials require preparation before grinding can take place. If you’re not sure what screen size you need, the sales representative should be able to help you decide.
- Application. Industrial food grinders are deeply application-specific. What works for someone who needs to process potatoes will not work for someone who wants to juice roots. With this in mind, consider both your current and future grinder applications. What does your company do now? What do you imagine you will expand into in the coming years?
Finding the Right Commercial Food Shredder for Your Purposes
Commercial food grinders play a critical role in processing raw materials and helping your business create quality products. It’s easily one of the most essential pieces of equipment you own, and you deserve quality, longevity, and reliability.
Corenco specializes in high-quality, durable grinders that will increase your output and help your business grow. If you’re in the market for a new Corenco disintegrator, our reps will work with you to help you find the perfect solution. We’ve been in business for 42 years, and we’re here to manufacture solutions that work for you. Contact us today to learn more.