A huge variety of machinery and equipment is used in the food processing industry and all must meet strict quality standards to ensure manufacturers meet food handling requirements as set down in law. Most of the equipment used in food processing is either for measuring, weighing, preparing, storing, packing or cooking.
Equipment for measuring includes items like scales, thermometers, timers and other components of precision measuring. They are especially important in automated systems to ensure the same process can be repeated over and over without complication. Measuring equipment is also used for the purposes of data collection, analysis and to quantify performance figures. These devices are essential during the manufacturing of foodstuffs, as a slight variation in cooking temperature or weight of ingredients, for example, could result in significant changes to the end product.
Machinery used in the preparation and cooking stages include things like ovens, conveyor belts, dispensing equipment, mixing machines and pipes, tubes and transport hoses. Any damage to these parts will cause the whole system to fail, so it’s imperative to have quality components. For Silicone Hoses, visit Good flex Rubber.
Another important stage of the food processing chain is the correct and safe packaging and storing of food. This can range from simple plastic wrapping to vacuum packing and bottling. A food processing unit will have chillers, cold rooms and freezers to keep food at optimum condition for sale or use. Other packing machines could include those that apply tamper-proof caps, shrink wrap, boxing machines and air-tight bags.
Machines that wrap trays in cling film are also used to neatly apply wrapping around food items. These machines combine with other pieces of equipment known as a coiling tunnel or extruder and they assist by feeding the packaging through the machine.
Other equipment likely to be seen in a food processing plant include shredders, slicers, pumps and peelers. There might be can-seaming machinery for the safe sealing of canned goods. Metal detectors are also employed to check finished products for any potential contaminants.
In an industrial food processing unit, heavy duty machinery that cuts and dices meat are also common. They are particularly useful for cutting small pieces of meat for soups or cans of stew. Food safety regulations mean that these machines must be kept separate from machines used for seafood or poultry.
For dealing with aluminium cans, you’ll also see machines that open them, seam them, crush them and eject them.
Another useful automated system is that which removes the juice from fruit. Juicers extract juice for use in beverages and desserts, for example. The same system is used for extracting vegetables, to separate the pulp for example. A press can also be used to achieve the same result.
As you can see, many different machines are used in the food processing industry every day. Almost any task you can think of has been automated. There is a machine for shredding lettuce and another for slicing potatoes into even slices! A machine can also make peanut butter as the whole nuts are fed into the mill, it crushes them and produces a pulp.