Eco-friendly margarine production using CO2
China’s first carbon dioxide margarine production line is up and running. Yihai Kerry Group and SPX Flow have combined forces to deliver an energy-efficient, eco-friendly, state-of-the-art margarine process line in China.
The new processing line for Kerry Oils & Grains (Tianjin) employs SPX Flow Nexus scraped surface heat exchanger (SSHE) technology, which uses carbon dioxide as the refrigerant.
The crystallisation process is critical to the quality of margarine. Heat exchangers are used to cool the margarine to form crystals which influence the final characteristics of the product. Traditionally, these heat exchangers have used cooling media such as ammonia or Freon.
There are many advantages in using carbon dioxide instead of Freon or ammonia. It is naturally occurring, less expensive and has no specific safety restrictions or regulations associated with its use, ensuring a healthier production environment for employees. It is also more efficient at cooling the margarine and so uses less energy, which, in turn, reduces the carbon footprint of the process. Faster cooling of the margarine further creates smaller, more plentiful crystals, which enhances the quality with improved texture and smoother mouthfeel.
The new production line, launched in October 2017, is an expansion to an existing line at the Yihai Kerry Group Tianjin facility, installed 10 years previously. While the chilling process is at the heart of the line with a high-pressure plunger pump, Nexus SSHE, pin rotor machine and resting tube, the line includes all processes from pre-mixing to final product. Its advanced, customised design incorporates high heat recovery and efficient motors, and is engineered to reduce overall energy consumption.
An additional advantage of the Nexus SSHE is its flexibility. The technology is designed to adapt to specific plant and process requirements using individually operated chilling tubes, which enable easy variation of chilling and scraping intensities to produce various final product characteristics. A production pressure up to 120 bar further ensures individual customer requirements are met in terms of properties, such as malleability and plasticity.
The new line at Tianjin efficiently integrates the production of shortening, margarine and pastry oil with automatic control of processes. What’s more, the faster cooling capability of the SSHE means higher production capacities. The line can achieve 15 tons/h for shortening, 5 tons/h for margarine and 3 tons/h for pastry margarine.
The new, eco-friendly processing line at Tianjin is a breakthrough for the margarine manufacturing sector in China in terms of efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, flexibility and quality.
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