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Contamination & Dusting: Addressing Food Powder Conveying Challenges

July 10, 2015

Two food powder conveying challenges often encountered are the need to prevent contamination and mitigating the problems of dusting. In this blog, we present some tips for successfully overcoming these issues and challenges.

Processors of dry powdered food ingredients are primarily concerned with preventing contamination and cross-contamination of materials in the product stream. It only takes one unclean machine to cause a potential recall on a product resulting in mistrust with a brand. Food contamination is top of mind for all food processors, whether they are in the dry powder processing stage or simply filling the final packaged product. For this type of processing, using a sealed conveyor that does not expose the material to the plant environment can reduce the risk of contamination.

At UniTrak, we offer three sealed conveyor solutions that can be used to successfully address dry food powder conveying challenges. UniFlex flexible screw conveyors and Powderflight aeromechanical conveyors are proven solutions for dry food powder applications where intermittent or batch production is used. These conveyor designs feature fully-enclosed designs that prevent contaminants from entering the product stream while the material is under conveyance. At the same time, the enclosed design of these conveyors contains and alleviates the problems of dusting that can arise when conveying dry food powders.

For continuous production operations, TipTrakTM bucket conveyors are the equipment of choice. This product line is available in three different construction types, each can be enclosed with varying degrees. The TipTrakTM Tubular Open unit, although not dust-tight is offered with removable lexan covers which can help to contain dust and reduce the propensity for contamination. To further ameliorate the problems associated with dusting, TipTrakTM  conveyors can also be outfitted with a dust collection system which can be integrated into the overall plant collection system. See photos below.

Our PEC TipTrakTM construction type, is partially enclosed and constructed of carbon steel or stainless, with such features as key latch access doors, and clean out trays for dusty products.

Another food powder conveying challenge associated with product dusting is the risk of explosion. This risk can arise when conveying certain food materials such as powdered sugar, flour, maltodextrin, and the like. In applications where the risk of explosion must be managed and mitigated, TipTrakTM Monocoque bucket conveyors are an ideal solution.

TipTrakTM Monocoque bucket conveyors feature dust-tight gasketing around all access doors, as well as between all sections. In addition the sealed design has no internal supports where dust can accumulate and cause potential issues. Although all TipTrak’s come standard with  an interlocking bucket assembly, optional electrically conductive assemblies (pictured above ) are also available. Electrical grounding to dissipate static charge buildup is also outfitted on each of the units to assist with this. Further protection against static charge accumulation is provided by the unique rubber beltchain which is a standard feature on all TipTrakTMbucket conveyors. The TipTrakTM rubber beltchain, which replaces a typical metal chain, means that the potential for a spark to ignite due to a charge build up by metal contact within the unit is negated.

If you have food powder conveying challenges to address, our application specialists will be delighted to speak with you to discuss your needs. For further information on any of the challenges or products discussed in this blog, please contact our sales department.

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