Case Study: High Solids Fruit Drink Ingredient Blending

An Alternative to High Shear Mixing to Maintain Texture

The quality of a beverage often depends on the size of its ingredients’ particles. Whether these are minute pieces or large chunks can be determined by the shear rate of mixing during production. Beverages such as sports drinks or vitamin waters made using powders are best manufactured with high speed mixers. In the case of pulpy formulations or drinks with high solids content, high sheer mixing can masticate ingredients, destroy consistency, and reduce the overall product quality.

The Challenge: A New Invention

An entrepreneur needed a custom designed and fabricated system to make fruit smoothies at a low to moderate production level. The company had several pulpy, high solids, smoothie formulations and needed to maintain a natural texture, which eliminated using high shear mixing as a tool. They contacted the engineers at Placer Process Systems for assistance.

The Solution: A New Blending System

Placer Process Systems designed and fabricated an in-line, semi-continuous ingredient blending system that preserved the natural taste and feel of the pulpy fruit concentrates. The new system easily integrated into the existing co-packing facility, allowing raw ingredients to be handled in a controlled environment.

Features and Benefits

  • The features and benefits of the new system created by Placer Process include:
  • A metered flow path to the blending tank verifying proper quantities of ingredients.
  • Juice concentrate transfer using a sanitary air-driven diaphragm pump
  • Flexibility to add juice concentrates, from small boxes and pails to large barrels
  • Capability to hydrate dry ingredients prior to in-line mixing
  • Sanitary design with integrated CIP capability
  • Custom modular construction of a sanitary design
  • High solids recovery using high transfer velocity rinse and hold-back water
  • Design allows raw ingredients to be handled in a controlled environment

Conclusion

Placer Process Systems understands the delicate nature of food and beverage processing. Years of experience in this industry gives our engineers the knowledge needed to design custom ingredient blending systems that create a controlled environment for easy ingredient addition, transfer and blending. Our formulation-conscious designs preserve the desired taste and texture of a product, avoiding high shear mixing when needed and using inline mixing techniques whenever possible.

Contact Placer Process Systems to see how we can add value to your equipment and processes.