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Tag Archive: 3-A Sanitary Standard

  1. Investing in a CIP system: Here’s what you need to know

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    There are some basic priorities every food manufacturer shares: Make a quality product, minimize downtime and maintain sanitary conditions in the facility.

    Careful planning, strategy and expertise are necessary to accomplish these tasks. They also require an effective cleaning strategy that reaches all the little crevices throughout the food manufacturing process and properly sanitizes all surfaces.

    One much-favored equipment cleaning strategy throughout the food, beverage and dairy industries is the clean-in-place method. CIP systems are very effective in keeping equipment free of fouling and are regarded highly by 3-A Sanitary Standards

    Components of a CIP system

    There are many different configurationsand styles for CIP systems, though there are some features the majority of them have in common, Food Quality and Safety explained. These may include:

    • Pumps to add the chemical sanitizers.
    • Pumps and valves to bring in the supply of water.
    • A supply-side heat exchanger
    • A method of recording data (temperature, start/end times, amount of water and sanitizer used). The method can either be electronic or manual.

    All CIP also have a system of one or more tanks: Some have one tank, which allows for a combined rinse and wash cycle. Others have two tanks to separate the rinse and wash processes. Some CIP systems add a third tank to be used for a recovery process, and others have a fourth tank for alkaline, acid or sanitizer storage.

    “A missed spot may harbor contaminants and become a serious problem in the long-term.”

    Some CIP systems are one-pass systems that require careful chemical dosing; others are multi-pass systems which necessitate an additional tank to hold alkaline, acid or sanitizer – often the reason a fourth tank is included in the CIP system.

    Manufacturers designing CIP systems also have a variety of options for how to distribute the water and cleanersthroughout the equipment, FoodProcessing explained. They can use spray balls, which are more tailored to processes that don’t require very high water pressure. For those that do need highly pressurized water, rotary spray heads are used more often.

    In either case, it’s essential that the entire surface area is reached by the spray method to ensure a total and complete clean. A missed spot resulting from poor design or insufficient components may harbor contaminants and become a serious problem in the long term.

    Flow in a CIP system

    It’s important to consider what flow rate is really needed when designing a CIP system. One might immediately think that the higher the flow rate, the lower the risk for inadequately clean equipment, therefore coming to the conclusion that higher is always better. However, erring on the side of higher pressure can also mean higher energy, water and cleaning costs. It’s best to have it just high enough of a flow to be effective, but to not overdo it.

    If a problem with a CIP system emerges, managers may assume the solution is to increase the flow. However, Food Safety Magazine pointed out that there are alternative solutions that can improve cleaning processeswithout a major impact on costs.

    The most challenging parts of equipment to clean are dead-ends, crevices and corners, such as the bends in a u-tube shell and tube heat exchanger. In these instances, increased flow is often ineffective, as well as costly. Some different approaches to cleaning challenging parts of the equipment include:

    • Pulsating and varying the direction of the flow.
    • Ice-pigging, or pushing an ice slushy through the piping from the CIP.
    • Effervescence in the water, which creates localized wall-shear stresses.
    • Jet cleaning, or directing a high force to a specific area.

    Additionally, draining the processing line before engaging the CIP system may also help. This way, when the CIP is turned on and the water fills the lines, it’ll create a moment of harder force than if the water was already in the line.

    Documentation of CIP systems

    It’s a legal requirement that food manufacturers document their cleaning process Commercial Food Processing pointed out. Luckily, many CIP systems have automated documentation capabilities. However, just because it happens automatically doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be regularly and frequently monitored, or that manufacturers shouldn’t make adjustments or additions to the documentation process.

    “Food manufacturers document their cleaning process.”

    In the past, paper-based chart recorders would document data like temperature using pen drivers and ink supplies. Today, food manufacturers are moving away from this in favor of methods that are more reliable and less costly and time-consuming to maintain.

    Historians are data recorders that use specialized software to document a wide range of process points including flow and temperature.

    Event archiving is also a necessary aspect of having and properly maintaining a CIP system. Event archives include cycle start and end times, wash times and quantities of materials used in the cleaning. In the past, this was done by hand, though manual recording is no longer industry standard, nor does it meet regulatory compliance. Software innovations have been brought to market to address this need as well.

    In addition to the typical information recorded by event archivers of the past, software-based event recorders also include data like whether a process was interrupted (and why); whether an operator took additional steps before, during or after the cleaning process; whether a step was repeated or skipped; and whether the operator paused or aborted the cycle before it was completed. The software can compile all the relevant data into reports that can be printed, as well as import it to databases so it can be accessed more conveniently and compared to past reports.

    Most importantly, using software-based historians and event recorders makes regulatory compliance easier for manufacturers, and can more accurately identify emerging or existing problems in the CIP system.

    If you’re in the market to upgrade your CIP system, consider how a stainless steel shell and tube heat exchanger can help. The knowledgeable engineers at Enerquip know the importance of fabricating exchangers that meet stringent regulations such as 3-A and ASME-BPE.

  2. Frozen custard is a fan favorite, but must be produced properly

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    Frozen custard Frozen custard has specific composition and pasteurization requirements set by the FDA.

    Frozen custard is a sweet treat popular throughout the Midwest. It’s similar to ice cream, but in addition to the cream and the sugar, egg yolk is added to the concoction to create a creamier, richer texture and flavor. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration states that for a frozen dessert to be considered “frozen custard,” it must contain 1.4 percent egg yolk solidsby weight of the final product.

    That minimum is flexible when bulky flavors are added, but once the percentage of egg yolk solids falls below 1.12, the dessert is no longer considered a frozen custard – though it’s still considered delicious by many consumers!

    Safely making frozen custard

    Of course, like any dairy product or food containing egg, it’s important that frozen custard is pasteurized correctly, using the right sanitary shell and tube heat exchangers, before being distributed among frozen custard shops and sold to consumers.

    The FDA has set different requirements for the pasteurization of ice creams and custards than it has for regular milk. Since frozen custard contains higher fat content, milk solids and more sugar or sweetener, it’s a more viscous solution and must be pasteurized at a higher temperature and longer duration than milk. The presence of egg yolk also requires more robust pasteurization conditions.

    Frozen custard should be pasteurized at 180 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, according to the Journal of Dairy Science.

    After pasteurization, the mixture ishomogenized in a pressurized environmentof between 2,500 and 3,000 psi, Milk Facts explained. This reduces the size of milk fat globules, ensures all emulsifiers and other additions are evenly distributed and overall contributes to a smoother, creamier product.

    Next, the mixture must age for at least four hours. Aging is done at 40 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent freezing while still keeping it at an acceptably low temperature. After aging, liquid flavors and colors may be added.

    Finally, it’s time to freeze. For most frozen custards, though, this step is completed at the point of sale using machines that take in the liquid pasteurized product, pass it through a freezer that continuously mixes the liquid and dispense the product into a dish or cone.

    Sanitary shell and tube heat exchangers for frozen custard production

    To keep a dairy operation sanitary for continued use, it’s important to understand the specific risks of the products being pasteurized in certain equipment. According to research published in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, custard products commonly leave behind Bacillus cereus spores


    If B. cereus is included in the final product a consumer could become ill, experiencing vomiting or diarrhea. For this reason, it’s critical that shell and tube heat exchangers are always kept clean to prevent fouling and contamination.

    Standard cleaning-in-place systems were found to be effective in keeping equipment sanitary throughout their life time. The CIP process included a six-minute prerinse; a 10-minute NaOH rinse; a six-minute intermediate rinse; a 10-minute HNO3 rinse; and finally, a concluding rinse for six minutes.

    To learn more about the sanitary shell and tube heat exchanger options available to you, reach out to the friendly engineers at Enerquip

  3. Shell and tube heat exchanger standards: Part 2

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    No matter what industry you operate in, standards matter. They are the measuring stick against which companies and consumers can measure products and choose which ones best suit their needs. They are a way of demonstrating precision and care in the manufacturing of each model of a product.

    There are some industries in which meeting standards is crucial to ensuring product safety and quality. The food, beverage and dairy industries must meet guidelines set by the Food and Drug Administration to ensure products are safe for human consumption. The pharmaceutical industry must also meet these requirements so that each medicine is not only safe, but effective.

    What these industries have in common is more than consumer-facing products and FDA regulations; they also rely on shell and tube heat exchangers to help make their products as safe, effective and consistent as possible. In order for these industries to produce food, beverages and medicines that are of high quality, they must use equipment that meets specific guidelines as well.

    There are a wide range of standards a shell and tube heat exchanger can adhere to. Knowing what they mean and which ones apply to your industry and area of operation are important for successfully moving forward.


    The American National Standards Institute has been coordinating the voluntary standardization system in the U.S. private sector for nearly a century. Groups called standards developing organizations work together to develop and improve upon standards.

    ANSI publishes Standards Actions every week, which include calls for comments on standards proposals. In it, suggestions are made along with what machinery the standard changes would apply to. As of last year, more than 240 SDOs were accredited by ANSI, and more than 1,100 American National Standards were in place.

    3-A Sanitary Standards Inc.

    Standards for equipment design used in the dairy industry first came about in the 1920s. There were three interest groups, or associations, that worked to develop the standards: equipment fabricators, regulatory sanitarians and processors. To highlight the three associations’ collaboration, the standards became known as 3-A.

    3-A Sanitary Standards were created and are maintained to ensure that all equipment used in the food, dairy and pharmaceutical industry is kept clean so that all products coming from them are safe for consumption. According to 3-A, the ideal equipment can be mechanically cleaned through a clean-in-place or CIP system, or can be easily taken apart for thorough manual cleaning.

    API 660

    The oil and gas industry is another area in which standards are crucial. Petroleum is used in nearly every aspect of today’s world. It fuels vehicles and heats buildings, but it is also used in textiles, health and beauty essentials, cleaning products and many more applications.

    In the oil and gas industry, there are several standards companies must adhere to. Often, it is the end user or consultant who creates demand for refineries to follow these standards. The American Petroleum Institute designed standards called API Standard 660.

    A newsletter from the CoDesign Engineering Skills Academy noted that these standards were drafted based on industry experience and practical considerations. They provide specifications for the design of a shell and tube heat exchanger for use in the petroleum industry, such as how thick the tubes can be, the type of exchangers allowed in refineries and how thick the tubesheet joints can be.

    As demonstrated in the newsletter’s chart, API 660 has some similar standards as TEMA, though not always. For instance, under API 660, TEMA type P and W exchangers, which have outside packed floating heads and a floating tubesheet that is externally sealed, respectively, are not allowed to be used in a refinery. However, under TEMA’s standards, these can be used in certain situations.

    It’s important to note the differences in standards when working in an industry where meeting regulations can help define the quality of a product. Knowing your customer base and what they value is also critical, as this will help manufacturers determine which equipment and which standards are right for them.

    If you are looking for a shell and tube heat exchanger for your operations, talk to the experts at Enerquip. Their in-house engineering team will understand your needs and be able to determine which standards your equipment needs to meet.

  4. Enerquip meets 3A Sanitary Standards

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    Enerquip is a leading supplier of sanitary shell and tube heat exchangers. We ensure 3A sanitary standards for construction and cleanability.

    Whether you need an off-the-shelf U-tube unit or a custom straight tube design, Enerquip provides the surface finish, seamless tubing, weld quality and FDA approved elastomers required to give you the peace of mind that your 3A exchangers are in full compliance with sanitary standards.

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    3A-Sanitary Standards
  5. Food and beverage industry will have to adjust to new rules

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    The U.S Food and Drug Administration recently began implementing the rules of the Food Safety Modernization Act, with the final rules going into effect on August 31, according to the Food Processing Suppliers Association. Plus, this past December, Congress announced that $2.72 billion of the $1.1 trillion-spending bill granted to the federal government for the remainder of the year would go toward the FDA, Food Safety News reported. A portion of this would be
    dedicated to food safety activities

    The forward steps the government is taking with FSMA represent a positive change for the food industry. According to Food Manufacturing, 48 million Americans get sick as a result of foodborne illnesses – that’s almost 15 percent of the U.S. population. The implementation of the FSMA rules will put more emphasis on accountability and could reduce preventable food-related illnesses. Plus, the money Congress granted the FDA will help to move the process along.

    “The FSMA rules will put more emphasis on accountability.”

    “We are thrilled,” Sandra Eskin, The Pew Charitable Trusts’ director of food safety, said to Food Safety News. “Congress understands that this is a pivotal year for FSMA implementation and they responded accordingly.”

    Adjusting to the new rules

    Though the progress is good for consumers and companies alike, it also means many people will have to change the way their businesses are run. According to Food Safety News, one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of the rule is actually knowing where exactly food is coming from

    Food is often supplied to a restaurant or other food service operation through distributors or brokers who promised confidentiality to their supplier clients. Because of this, it is difficult to know what happened to food before it reached the buyer. Despite the obstacles, having this information is crucial, especially when dealing with products commonly associated with pathogens like Listeria, E. coli or Salmonella. Food Manufacturing explained traceability works two ways; Companies are also responsible for knowing where the food they work with is going.

    Businesses are advised to make a list of their suppliers and what risk factors they have. For instance, a company that deals with non-risky ingredients – those that aren’t commonly associated with illness and have a good track record – would be on the non-hazardous list. On the other hand, companies that deal with risky foods or have a history of foodborne illness problems should be watched more carefully. If the company is risky enough, a buyer may even want to cut ties with it.

    Traceability software is widely available to companies big and small. This can help keep track of various suppliers and aid them in making decisions moving forward.

    Taking accountability

    There are many steps throughout the food-processing supply chain and FSMA affects all of them. It encourages everyone to be accountable for their contribution to the chain, and that means knowing where food is coming from and where it is going. Now that the rules are fully implemented, companies should not only pay attention to how food is handled before and after it reaches them, but also what they can do in their own facility to make sure to improve their own reputation.

    “Not knowing how to prevent fouling can damage a company’s reputation.”

    Using the proper equipment and knowing how to maintain it to decrease risk of contamination is crucial. For instance, proper surface finishes and effective cleaning protocols are critical to the sanitary safety of process equipment. Many companies in the food and beverage industry use shell and tube heat exchangers as a way to pasteurize products, such as dairy or craft beer. However, not knowing how to handle or prevent fouling can seriously hurt their products and, in some cases, damage their reputation.

    Adding too much heat too quickly could bake the product onto the insides of the tubes, leading to cross contamination or fouling. It could also change the color or flavor of the product – something companies in the food industry need to avoid. A feature that can help with this is an annular distributor, which administers steam evenly throughout the exchanger. This prevents uneven heating and pocketing overheating within the exchanger.

    Finding cost-effective solutions, such as the annular distributor, can help companies take part in a greater effort to decrease foodborne illnesses while also boosting their reputation among buyers.

    To learn more about how custom features like annular distributors can help improve your food processing company, talk to Enerquip’s heat exchanger experts at the Northwest Food & Beverage Distributors Expo & Conference

  6. Why equipment design is critical in the processing industry

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    Industrial equipment can be as small as a trash can or as large as dump truck. And when it comes to installing this equipment into a facility, a lot hinges on the size and overall design of the equipment.

    If equipment is too large, valuable space could be wasted with oversized parts. Additionally, if it’s too small, certain equipment can fail or cause errors because it’s trying to do too much.

    According to Fast Company, functionality is the ultimate purpose for all industrial equipment. Simply put, if equipment cannot function properly, productivity, efficiency and safety are all at risk. Also, the placement of equipment is essential because each location in a facility creates different nuances.

    For example, in a food processing plant, the last thing a facility manager would want is to have the final packaging zone near the processing station. Airborne contaminants and other microorganisms could end up on finalized products before they go out for shipment.

    Layout is critical in nearly all processing facilities. And if the equipment is not designed correctly, facility managers could have more problems on their hands with maintenance, throughput and safety issues.

    Understanding the physical properties and clearances of fixed equipment

    In any design or redesign process within a facility, plant operators have to consider the physical properties and clearances of fixed equipment. For example, certain areas of the plant have to be dedicated to fixed equipment, or machines that will not move in their lifespan at the facility.

    For shell and tube heat exchangers, plant operators should know where to best place this equipment for functionality and safety reasons. This fixed equipment is often connected to the building or to a permanent connection to the building’s heating system, Lab Design News reported. Enough clearance must be provided for inspecting and cleaning tubes and replacing gaskets or bundles.

    With this type of equipment, modifications to the facility and its systems are required when moving the machinery to a new location.

    Designed for sanitation

    Another important factor in equipment design is how it’s built to handle sanitation. One of the most common bacterium found in cold or wet places within a processing facility is Listeria the North American Meat Institute reported. The bacterium grows from damp areas in the building or within the equipment over time. And once these microorganisms enter the equipment, if they are not cleaned, they will last through the production process.

    Listeria is a dangerous and sometimes fatal bacteria that can affect pharmaceutical or food manufacturing. Products such as meat, cheese, dairy, nuts and other protein products are highly susceptible to Listeria in the food processing industry.

    Since contaminated products can be dangerous for consumption, shell and tube heat exchangers, which can kill bacteria and make the products edible, need to go through thorough cleanings to ensure safety. The design of a shell and tube heat exchanger can mean all the difference for a facility operator depending on what product they are giving heat treatment to.

    Additionally, for shell and tube heat exchangers, the equipment has to be able to handle multiple cleanings. Since these cleanings use highly acidic solutions, most new heat exchangers are built out of stainless steel to limit bacteria growth and handle more powerful cleanings. With cleaner equipment, facilities can reduce downtime and increase overall efficiency.

    Battling airflow problems

    It’s not uncommon for older or out-of-date equipment to experience airflow problems. According to the NAMI, equipment design can make the difference between clean equipment and machinery that harbors bacteria, allowing it survive, reproduce and grow.

    “A more open airflow design allows for better cleaning processes.”

    With a more open design to industrial equipment, airflow can limit the growth of bacteria. Additionally, a more open airflow design allows for better cleaning processes.

    It’s also important to know that cleaner equipment helps prevent recalls where items have been found with bacteria. While most people only think this affects food and dairy industries, chemical, pharmaceutical and gas processing facilities can also have their products affected by bacteria growth in the equipment.

    Working with a trusted partner

    In all, the equipment design plays a critical role to how sanitary and safe the facility and the products are in the plant. Working with a trusted shell and tube heat exchanger provider can help facilities with their equipment design and facility layout to improve efficiency.

  7. Cheese industry still concerned with possible FDA rulings

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    Over the summer, the artisanal cheesemaking industry faced a serious issue from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that would ban century-old practices that age cheese on wooden boards and shelving
    Forbes reported.

    FDA reclaims previous statement

    The statement from the FDA caused a flurry of responses and written concerns from the cheese industry since it could severely alter many businesses that use the old method to age its products, the source stated. However, the cheesemaking altercation got the FDA to clarify that they were not banning wooden shelving for cheese aging.

    “The FDA does not have a new policy banning the use of wooden shelves in cheese-making, nor is there any FSMA requirement in effect that addresses this issue,” the report stated. “Moreover, the FDA has not taken any enforcement action based solely on the use of wooden shelves.”

    Gordon Edgar, an artisanal cheese expert, explained the early comment from FDA scared American cheesemakers, but luckily for this ruling, it gained enough attention to attract public awareness, Forbes reported.

    The worry was more so about the public health and the equipment used in the cheese making process. Equipment like stainless steel shell and tube heat exchangers are preferred because they are easy to clean and are highly efficient at keeping cheese products safe.

    Keeping equipment clean

    The FDA explained its concerns about wooden materials and the ability to collect bacteria since the boards could not be properly cleaned or sanitized. Bacteria can colonize in wooden surfaces, but many cheesemakers will explain that the process has been followed for ages without causing serious bacteria outbreaks when done correctly.

    Necessary heat in production

    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations explained in its energy requirements report for milk processing that in the production of cheese, yogurt and milk packaging, shell and tube heat exchangers are an integral requirement to stabilize different temperatures The FAO stated that heating temperatures can run at different degrees for condensed milk, cheese and yogurt.

    To comply with FDA guidelines, cheese producers need to ensure that their processing and ageing equipment is both sanitary and efficient. Sanitary stainless steel equipment provides assurance of both.

  8. Why heat is vital to the dairy pasteurization process

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    Pasteurization is a necessary part of handling most dairy products and processing facilities depend on the highest quality equipment to help eliminate harmful organisms. According to Cream of Creams, heat temperatures have to be applied to products just below the boiling point to get rid of certain bacteria and organisms. This also helps products keep their shape and taste.

    Each dairy product requires a different heating temperature when pasteurized by the shell and tube heat exchanger. Specific heating equipment provides different temperature variations, and it’s necessary to know what heat exchanger is needed for each dairy product.

    As for pasteurization, there are two main reasons behind the process, which include making products that can be consumed by humans and to increase the quality of milk products. Certain products can spoil easier than others and shelf life can be as limited as seven days.

    Critical heat treatment methods

    Heat treatment is needed for a dairy product before it reaches the final container to be shipped to consumers. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, heat treatment is needed for most products that are either refrigerated or frozen.

    While the heat treatment process reduces bacterial pathogens from the product, it also significantly limits the total spoilage bacteria that exist in pasteurized items, the source reported. Bacteria can continue to grow after the product has already been pasteurized to make the product edible. Mold and other bacteria will eventually grow on dairy products after their shelf life is over.

    Certain products are pasteurized and immediately filled in their packaging to reduce oxygen around the product until it is opened. This also helps reduce the amount of harmful bacteria entering the food product, the source reported.

    However, most pasteurization processes heat the product and then immediately cool it to a certain temperature. Michele Jay-Russell, a food safety specialist for the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security at University of California, Davis, explained that vat pasteurization heats milk to 63 Celsius for 30 minutes, but most pasteurization processes last around 15 seconds at 72 degrees Celsius, Food Safety News reported.

    Flash pasteurization or high-temperature short-time (HTST) is the quick process that many food processing facilities use. Jay-Russell added that certain products are not as prone to contamination, but dairy items can be a hotbed for bacteria growth.