Case Study
Case Studies

Manufacturer cuts 20% Pectin from their formulation by switching to a High Shear Mixer

A food manufacturer turned to Silverson’s mixing experts for help revitalizing their mixing process after it became too expensive to sustain due to the high percentage of pectin in their formulation.

Since switching from an agitator to a Silverson Flashmix powder/liquid mixer the manufacturer has been able to reduce the amount of pectin in their formulation by 20%.

Agitators = agglomerates and wastage

Before getting in touch with Silverson, the food company had been using a conventional agitator to mix Pectin into a base liquid. However, even after over 40 minutes of mixing, the product needed to be put through a filtration stage to remove agglomerated lumps of un-hydrated pectin. The agitator was so inefficient at dispersing the powder that the operators were adding up to 20% more pectin than was needed to account for what was being lost. The agitator could not break down agglomerates once they had formed and did not produce sufficient movement in the tank to stop partially hydrated pectin from sticking to the agitator shaft, blades and walls of the mixing vessel.

The resulting product was a poor quality 5% pectin solution, wasting 20% of the expensive raw materials added. Coupled with the long mixing times, this wastage was costing the company a considerable amount of money. It was evident the agitator was not up to the job and they needed something to change.

A conventional agitator will struggle to disperse Pectin

High Shear = shorter mixing time and better yield

A trial was arranged at Silverson’s Test Center to see what results could be obtained using a Flashmix FMX50 powder/liquid mixer to incorporate the pectin. The Flashmix is ideal for incorporating large volumes of powders, especially gums and thickening agents. With this system, the powder and liquid are introduced straight into the high shear zone of the mixer and subjected to intense mechanical and hydraulic shear in the rotor/stator workhead. This fully disperses and rapidly hydrates the powder, achieving full yield of thickening effect. Powders are added into the hopper at floor level, eliminating the need to convey powder to the top of large tanks. In the trials carried out, 5% of pectin was quickly incorporated into the liquid stream and after a short recirculation period, hydration was complete and the customer got the results they wanted with no need to add excess amounts of powder.

No agglomerates.
No partially hydrated powder.
No filtration stage needed.

Agglomerate-free Dispersion of Pectin
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Money saved and a better quality product achieved

Incorporating 5% pectin quickly and effectively meant a 20% reduction in pectin compared to their previous process. The cost implications of this were huge, so much so that the mixer would pay for itself many times over with the savings made on the raw material. In addition, further money would be saved due to the shorter processing time, and because it eliminated the problems with partially hydrated pectin in the vessel, greatly improved process hygiene.

In this case, achieving the full yield of the pectin was only possible once high shear was introduced into the process. Compared to the agitator, the Silverson mixer produced a higher quality product with greater consistency between batches, while saving money!

Advantages of their new mixer 

By switching from a conventional agitator to a Silverson High Shear mixer for this application, the manufacturer not only saved money, but they have also completely transformed their mixing process. They now have: 

  • Faster processing times allowing for more batches and increased productivity
  • An agglomerate-free mix, time after time
  • Eliminated the filtration stage
  • Maximized yield of the pectin, obtaining the full thickening/gelling effect making for a better quality product
  • Reduced operator error to a minimum
  • Increased Flexibility – the Flashmix can be modified through a range of options to best suit customer needs
  • Reduced cleaning requirements and improved process hygiene

Want to know how high shear can transform your mixing process?

At Silverson we have been providing mixing solutions to customers in the food industry for over 75 years. With our extensive knowledge and one of the most comprehensive product ranges from a single manufacturer, whatever scale you are mixing at, your process could benefit from the advantages of high shear mixers. Click below to arrange a trial with us and see the benefits for yourself.

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