Fruit Pieces Handling

A DUE has developed considerable experience in process technologies for the preparation of fruit juices containing pieces or cells, also through collaboration with the leading research institutions (Universities, Technology Centres, Experimental Station for Food Processing and Preservation).

This type of drink usually consists of fruit juice with the presence of orange cells or fruit pieces up to a maximum of 10%.

The fruit juice is made up of fruit at a percentage ranging from 15 to 50%, minor ingredients (acids, aromas, etc.) and thickeners (usually pectins).

The particulate matter has variable dimensions depending on the type of fruit: the orange cells range from 3x1mm to 8×2 mm, whereas the fruit pieces (mango, pineapple, strawberry, etc.) go from 4x4x4 mm to a maximum of 10x10x10 mm.

For this type of product the correct preparation of the phase containing cells and pieces, its mixing and the homogeneous supply to the filler are of fundamental importance.

For this purpose A DUE has developed a technology which is able to prevent mechanical and heat damage to the product, while ensuring maximum flexibility both in relation to the type of cells and pieces and to the packaging technology.

In doing this A DUE makes use of special simulation and control software (e.g. T.I.Be.Na., Fluent, etc.)

Special Mixing design for sensitive product (Fluent® SW analysis).

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Fruit cells, pieces and dices are counted and dosed in a special system where they are mixed and pasteurized if necessary.

The system consists of tanks, namely horizontal axis, heated, low volume mixing tanks. The tanks are equipped with special slow turning stirrers, which ensure perfect mixing homogeneity of the solids in the liquid with slight stirring to preserve the integrity of the pieces.

The double stirrer propeller is arranged asymmetrically with the blades skimming the walls to avoid sedimentation of the pieces.

Three of the four feet of each mixer are arranged to receive loading cell constraints.

The process parameters are monitored with a vibration probe, a maximum level alarm and an internal product temperature control probe.

A complete set of loading cells serves each mixer, each one consists of three compression loading cells, an electronic control group to run recipes of up to six products, with a remote output towards a PLC.

The clear juice is loaded in the mixers and the finished product is unloaded through two food piping systems equipped with appropriate pumps, valves and sensors.

The product loading to the filler and the washing cycle return delivery are run by a multiway plate.

A magnetic flowmeter to control product dosages and recovery, two mixproof valves to transfer product from the syrup room to the mixers deviating to the pasteurizer feed circuit complete the system.

The system is also equipped with an electric control panel to automatically control the preparation process, including a PLC, a Touch Screen and electronic, electric and pneumatic instruments to control the process data, to control and protect the motors, to run the signal exchange, for integration with the CIP unit and to the syrup room.

The mixing process can be hot or cold.

For the hot process, the mixers are arranged with:
 insulation,

 trapcold honeycomb heating space on the wall, suitable for heating the product at the required temperature,

 auxiliary preparation and circulation section of overheated water at 110°C, with a double circuit to optimize the flows.

For the cold process, the product is pasteurized in line or in a tunnel.

svuotafustiThe cells and dices are delivered in aseptic or frozen drums. Then they are emptied and dosed through positive-displacement pumps that are suitable for transferring the product without damaging it.

The systems used to empty the drums are: semiautomatic drum-dumping robots or automatic drum dumpers with four heads.

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