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Tag Archive: Pasteurizing

  1. Pasteurization of Raw Milk to Prevent Contamination

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    Raw milk, or milk that has not gone through a pasteurization process, is sometimes touted for its supposed health benefits. Claims of greater nutrition through raw milk may be contributing to its rising popularity.

    As more consumers seek out raw milk, the number of dairies providing this beverage is increasing as the number of states that outlaw its sale decrease, according to Food Safety News. At the same time, instances of foodborne illness linked to raw milk consumption are going up.

    Real Risks of Consuming Raw Milk

    From 2007 through 2012, 26 states reported 81 outbreaks linked to raw milk, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    People who consume raw milk or cheese products are more than 800 times more likely to experience a foodborne illness and more than 45 times more likely to be hospitalized for one compared to people who opt for pasteurized products.

    Pasteurization of Raw Milk Makes it Safe for Consumers

    Foodborne illness can be extremely harmful or even deadly. They can be prevented when food products are treated correctly before distribution to consumers. For dairy, that process is pasteurization, which involves heating the milk to a temperature that kills off the Salmonella bacteria and other illness-causing organisms.

    Pasteurization of raw milk maintains the nutritional value of the milk, the CDC explained. Some enzymes and vitamins are reduced during the pasteurization process, but these often aren’t critical to human health or can be obtained elsewhere, such as vitamin C.

    Contamination can happen at any stage of milk production, even if farmers maintain clean operations and make an effort to test their milk supply for bacteria. Foodborne illness-causing bacteria can enter milk supply in many ways, including: udder infection, insects or rodents near the cows; cross-contamination caused by farm employees, such as that due to dirty clothing or equipment; or animal feces near the milk. Even in operations where farmers strive to prevent contamination, bacterial infection is always a possibility until after the pasteurization phase.

    Incorporating Pasteurization into your Dairy Operation

    An important step in incorporating a pasteurization process into your dairy operation is identifying the right equipment.

    Shell and tube heat exchangers are a popular addition to any pasteurization process, because they provide a high heat transfer rate and are relatively easy to clean. Many fabricators choose stainless steel for the material of construction because it’s not prone to fouling and isn’t difficult to clean, making it an excellent choice to process products meant for human consumption.

    It’s important that pasteurization equipment is designed with the end use in mind. 3-A Sanitary Standards, Inc. is usually considered the industry standard regarding hygienic standards for equipment design and use. Though 3-A has been expanded to provide direction for choosing hygienic equipment for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries, it began as a dairy standards organization in the 1920s.

    Enerquip’s Heat Exchanger Solutions

    When it’s time to add or replace your shell and tube heat exchanger for dairy pasteurization at your facility, reach out to Enerquip. Our sanitary heat exchangers can be fabricated with 100 percent 304 stainless steel and manufactured according to 3-A standard 12-07 to ensure your process is safe and compliant with applicable regulations.

    We have several off-the-shelf heat exchanger models in stock or ready to ship. Need a custom sanitary exchanger, our team of heat exchange experts can design a solution specifically for your operation.

    Request a quote today.

  2. Food Processing and Holiday Favorites

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    Do you know how food processing comes into play with your holiday favorites? The holiday season is marked by traditions, like family gatherings, gift-giving and, of course, seasonal foods people look forward to all year round. Treats like pumpkin pie, eggnog and cranberry sauce bring back memories of holiday feasts and large gatherings for many people. But do you know what it takes to place these traditional dishes on your table?

    Food processing and holiday favorites… here’s how these favorite wintertime dishes are processed:


    Milk products sold in the U.S. must be pasteurized before being packaged and stocked on store shelves. Pasteurization is the process of heating the product to a temperature and for a length of time known to kill harmful organisms like E. coli, salmonella or Coxiella burnetii, which can cause Q fever in humans, according to Milk Facts.

    Eggnog is made by combining eggs with milk or cream. Both the eggs and the milk have the potential to contain dangerous bacteria. To offset the risk, the mixture needs to be heated to either 155 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes for large-batch vat processing, or 175 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 seconds for continuous high-temperature, short-time processing. Eggnog must be pasteurized to ensure it’s free of harmful bacteria.

    Canned pumpkin

    Did you know your pumpkin pie might be more like squash pie? According to the Food & Drug Administration, it’s perfectly acceptable for Cucurbita pepo as well as varieties of Cucurbita maxima to bemixed together in the can of delicious creamy pumpkin puree you poured into your pie shell this winter. The former is commonly called a field pumpkin and isn’t as bright as the jack-o’-lantern you carved for Halloween, while the latter is firm-shelled, golden-fleshed, sweet squash.

    Regardless of what’s technically in the can, there are two truths almost everyone can agree on: pumpkin pie is delicious, and it’s important that the ingredients are prepared safely to prevent foodborne illnesses. An important aspect in implementing controls in processing to prevent bacterial growth is knowing the product’s pH. Different pH levels contribute to varying levels of bacterial growth; lower acidity, found in Low-Acid Canned Foods, generally means the product isn’t required to go through a hazard analysisor be subject to risk-based preventative controls, according to the FDA. Foods that have a final acidity of more than 4.6are considered LACF; since pumpkin averages a pH of 4.9-5.5, it’s considered a LACF.

    A critical distinction between LACFs and high-acidity foods is thepotential for Clostridium botulinum the bacterium that can cause botulism to grow, according to William McGlynn, a food scientist at Oklahoma State University’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center. pH levels of less than 4.6 don’t allow for this dangerous spore to grow, which means that LACF’s must undergo intensive heat treatments to kill any spores. Pressure cooking inside the can is one effective way to rid the puree from harmful bacteria.

    As Forbes contributor Nadia Arumugam explained, the journey from field to can is a long onethat involves heavy-duty machinery to wash, sanitize, remove the stem, seeds and pulp, chop, steam, condense and finally mash the squash. Each of these steps is critical in creating that consistent texture you imagine when you think of pumpkin pie.

    Cranberry sauce

    While pumpkin has a low acidity, cranberries fall on the higher end of the scale, with cranberry sauce having an average pH of 2.4 and cranberry juice a pH of 2.3-2.5, according to the Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center. While this may mean Clostridium botulinum has a very low chance of surviving in these environments, other toxins like salmonella can thrive in this level of acidity, and pasteurization is necessary to make sure they’re safe to consume.

    According to the FDA, fruit juices need to either be pasteurized or labeled with a warning messagestating that the product has not gone through a pasteurization processand could be a health risk to consumers, particularly those who have weak immune systems. As is dairy processing, heat pasteurization is a common practice among juices and fruit juice products.

    High-quality equipment matters

    When pasteurizing milk, fruit or vegetable products, it’s not just factors like temperature and process duration that makes a difference, but also the equipment in use. Some materials are naturally less prone to contamination than others.

    Stainless steel is one material that is well-suited for food processing because of its resistance to fouling, corrosion and pitting. Alloys that contain copper, which naturally has antimicrobial properties, can also be good choices for food processing equipment, according to Antimicrobial Copper. As such, stainless steel and copper alloys are commonly used in food processing operations.

    If your food processing plant is in need of new stainless steel shell and tube heat exchangers for your pasteurization process, reach out to the expertsat Enerquip.

  3. 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

  4. Custom shell and tube heat exchangers help produce quality honey

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    Honey is a shockingly versatile ingredient. Used in dishes ranging from fried chicken to kale chips, honey can be a nice complement to nearly any meal.

    More people are incorporating honey into their diets. According to Bee Culture, a magazine dedicated to all things beekeeping, the U.S. consumed 1.61 pounds of honey per personin 2016. Just six years prior, that number was 1.2 pounds per person.

    American consumers want clean-looking honey

    As more consumers search grocers’ shelves for this golden ingredient, it’s important that honey producers understand what qualities most consumers are looking for. According to the National Honey Board, most shoppersseek out liquid honeythat has a bright, clear appearance. Generally speaking, consumers don’t want things like pollen or wax, and especially not bee parts, left suspended in their honey.

    Additionally, they don’t want their honey to crystallize quickly. Though crystallization isn’t an indication of anything wrong with the honey (and all honey will crystallize eventually), the look ofsolid or discolored honey doesn’t appealto many U.S. shoppers, NPR reported.

    Filtration and pasteurization produce attractive honey

    Though crystallization will eventually happen to all honey if given the time, the process can be slowed by taking out foreign particles and pollen, and by removing any tiny air bubbles in the product. These goals can be accomplished with two steps: filtration and pasteurization.

    There are many ways to filter honey. According to NPR, Dutch Gold uses dichotomous earth and a series of large filters that remove:

    • Dust.
    • Pollen.
    • Bee wings and other insect parts.
    • The dichotomous earth.

    This is one of the more common filtration methods, and is very effective in producing a clear, unadulterated product.

    “Heating honey to 160 degrees Fahrenheit is enough to pasteurize the honey and ward off crystallization.”

    After that, the honey can be pasteurized. Sanitary shell and tube heat exchangers are an excellent option for this. Honey is very temperature-sensitive and heating it up too much can scorch the product, affecting both taste and color. By using a shell and tube heat exchanger, which will heat up the honey by way of a heat transfer medium such as water, the honey won’t be exposed to as much risk of heat pockets or being heated higher than what the manufacturer wants. Manufacturers can dissipate the heat, thus decreasing risk of localized heat pockets, even more by adding steam bussels to their unit.

    According to John Skinner, of the University of Tennessee’s department of entomology and plant pathology, heating honey too much will lower the quality of the product and cause the loss of many important components. Heating it rapidly and over direct heat are the most detrimental to honey’s many nutritional qualities.

    However, some heat will rid the product of tiny air bubbles, lengthen the time for which the honey will remain liquid, and ultimately create a more beautiful product. Deb Terrill explained in The Daily Journal of Kankakee, Illinois, thatheating honey to 160 degrees Fahrenheitis enough to pasteurize the honey and ward off crystallization for a while, but still keeps the healthy compounds intact.

    To learn about what shell and tube heat exchangers can benefit your honey operation, reach out to the knowledgeable engineers at Enerquip

  5. 2 Ways Shell and Tube Heat Exchangers can Reduce Energy in Breweries

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    You can read more [ Here ].

    The craft beer industry has taken off in the last few years. Beer drinkers seek out full, unique flavors and variety in their beverages. Craft beer drinkers also like to support local, small and independently owned breweries.

    Fortune reported that the craft brewers increased volume by 13 percent in 2015, making this the eighth year in a row of growth rates of 10 percent or more. There are more breweries than any beer aficionado can keep track of: 4,269 of them, to be exact.

    Another impressive statistic is that, even in a year when the total beer market for the country contracted by 0.2 percent, the craft beer industry managed to grow, now encompassing 12 percent of the market.

    “The figures show there is still strong growing demand for fuller flavored products from small brewers,” Bart Watson, the Brewers Association’s chief economist, explained to Fortune.

    “It shows the premiumization trend that we’ve seen the last few years has room to run,” he continued, referring to consumers’ willingness to pay higher prices for beer that cost more to produce but have fuller flavor.

    Recognizing obstacles in energy efficiency

    As more craft breweries come on the market or expand, owners and operators are beginning to realize some of the obstacles that can come along with beer production. For instance, breweries are extremely energy-intensive operations. Between refrigeration, space heating, packaging and the actual brew house, there are many aspects to a brewery that require either a large amount of electricity, natural gas or both, the Brewer’s Association explained.

    The Daily Energy Report said many breweries have put efforts into reducing their energy use. Anheuser-Busch InBev announced in 2013 it had reduced its energy consumption by 12 percent and carbon emissions by 16 percent in three years. That same year, $100,000 in grants were awarded to five Wisconsin breweries for their efforts to reduce energy use.

    There are many ways to curb energy consumption in a brewery, as with any other entity. The owner can invest in energy-efficient lighting and Energy Star equipment as two surefire ways to begin conserving, Brewers Association explained.

    Reducing energy in wort cooling

    One piece of equipment many breweries have found various uses for is the shell and tube heat exchanger. These are versatile machines with a wide range of applications in the brewery setting.

    “Shell and tube heat exchangers have a wide range of applications in the brewery setting.”

    A sanitary shell and tube heat exchanger can be used in the brewing process for wort cooling. This is a crucial step, and a shell and tube heat exchanger is a great way to achieve this efficiently. According to Craft Beer & Brewing, a shell and tube heat exchanger can cool the wort to the desired temperature in just 10 minutes, and sometimes even quicker. This not only speeds up the brewing process, but it also results in a clearer product in the end. Shell and tube heat exchangers also use less water than some of their counterparts, such as an immersion chiller.

    Reducing energy in wort boiling

    Prior to the process of cooling the wort, there is a significant amount of energy used to heat up the mixture of water and malt. Chris Riphenburg, head brewer at Madison, Wisconsin-based Ale Asylum, told Craft Brewing Business that it’s essential to have the correct heating source for the kettle or hot liquor tank. There are three options brewers can choose from, though there is one clear choice if the brewer is hoping to reduce energy use and operating expenses. Three options are to use:

    1. A burner, which is an older method not used as often anymore.
    2. A steam jacket, a method adopted by many modern breweries today.
    3. A shell and tube heat exchanger, which can significantly reduce energy costs.

    According to Riphenburg, a shell and tube heat exchanger can be as much as 80 percent more efficient than a burner and 50 percent more efficient than a steam jacket.

    In addition to its environmental and financial benefits, a shell and tube heat exchanger also has the advantage of not having any moving parts and is easier to clean than other heating devices. This means brewers can spend more time making beer and less time worrying about equipment issues.

  6. Enerquip Attends Craft Brewer’s Conference in Philadelphia

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    Brewers Association
    Learn more about this conference [ Here ].

    Craft beer has been a fast growing trend for several years now. According to the National Brewers Association, even as overall beer sales and production dropped 0.2 percent in 2015, craft beer profits went up. Sales of craft beer spiked 12.8 percent while production increased 13 percent.

    Over the past two years alone, various types of craft beer businesses have grown immensely. In 2015, there were:

    • 19,079,780 regional craft breweries
    • 3,927,063 microbreweries
    • 1,281,991 brewpubs
    • 234,181 contract brewing companies

    This represents the addition of more than 7 million regional craft breweries, upwards of 1.5 million microbreweries, more than 300,000 brewpubs and nearly 58,000 contract brewing companies, all in just a two-year time span.

    Celebrating craft brewing

    With so many people dedicating their careers to craft beer and many more becoming enthralled with the trend, it makes sense that industry leaders and budding entrepreneurs alike should come together to discuss all things hops and barley at the upcoming Craft Brewer’s Conference.

    CBC is an annual event that brings brewpubs and packaging breweries together. This year, it will take place from May 3 to 6 in Philadelphia.

    According to Communities Digital News, many locations around the city will be celebrating the craft brewing industry. A wide variety of venues will be showing off their best brews throughout the week. From the National Museum of American Jewish History putting on the Amber Waves art exhibit highlighting the art of brewing to the International Beer Run, there is no shortage of activities for craft beer-loving adults to take part in.

    At the conference

    Despite much of Philadelphia celebrating the CBC, the actual conference’s events are off-limits to anyone not officially in the brewing industry. The first day will offer attendees information about accurately measuring wort gravity and counting yeast cells, while the three following days will give participants a wide variety of educational sessions focusing on everything from brewing operations to sustainability to marketing.

    While each of these points is important, it is crucial that craft brewers know how to produce a safe product that meets all requirements set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Errors can result in distributing a potentially dangerous product.

    When shell and tube heat exchangers are important

    There are many aspects that go into creating an enjoyable craft beer that also meets the requirements set by the FDA. According to the National Brewers Association, all craft brewers must follow Good Manufacturing Practices for Craft Brewers, which include the following guidelines:

    • Using only quality raw materials
    • Maintaining lab tests that can be trusted
    • Establishing standard operating procedures and educating staff about them
    • Recognizing and researching deviations in product quality
    • Creating a good quality management system
    • Packaging and labeling the product according to guidelines
    • Meeting sanitary and processing requirements

    Sanitary shell and tube heat exchangers are important in regards to the last GMPCB. Heat exchangers serve an important purpose in cooling the wort (the early liquid that’s later fermented into beer) to the necessary temperature to begin the actual brewing process, though if they are not properly cared for or graded to meet sanitary requirements, they aren’t worth much to a brewer.

    “All craft brewers must follow Good Manufacturing Practices for Craft Brewers.”

    It’s important that brewers are aware of the standards their equipment needs to meet. This is why conferences like the CBC are so important – they give everyone in the craft brewing industry unique opportunities to learn more about the requirements they must adhere to when brewing.

    Another way shell and tube heat exchangers are used in large-scale operations is for waste heat recovery. This can be applied to operations in a wide variety of industries, but for smaller companies, such as a burgeoning craft brewery, it’s important to keep operational costs low. Energy is expensive, but heating and cooling the product to the right temperature at the right time is crucial to producing a high-quality product.

    The energy required to create heat takes time and money, and without the right waste heat recovery method in place, it is only used once before it is released. Collecting and reusing that heat can make an operation more environmentally friendly as well as more economically sound. Shell and tube heat exchangers are great pieces of equipment to achieve this goal.

    For brewers who know their craft better than anything, but don’t know much about what makes a shell and tube heat exchanger food grade, Enerquip’s in-house engineers can be a big help. This is why Enerquip will be attending the CBC. Anyone involved in craft brewing who wants to know more about how a shell and tube heat exchanger can improve his or her operations, or about what kind of configuration will benefit their operation most, can stop by Enerquip’s table to gain some information.

  7. Shell and tube heat exchangers are used to cool wort in craft brewing

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    Making beer is a complex art. Each process involved needs to be executed precisely for the final product to be of high quality.

    One of these processes is the wort cooling. This stage comes after wort boiling and just before fermentation, which is when the yeast is added to produce alcohol. This sometimes overlooked step is important for several reasons, according to Brew Your Own, a magazine dedicated to home brewing.

    Importance of wort cooling

    Cooling the wort brings the liquid down to a temperature at which the yeast will function best. Ale yeasts flourish in temperatures between 68 and 72 degrees, while lager yeasts prefer temperatures between 45 and 57 degrees. This is a far cry from the high temperatures the wort boils at. According to Beer & Wine Journal, wort boils at above 212 degrees – the exact temperature depends on the liquid’s specific gravity.

    Production of dimethyl sulfide is slowed when the wort is cooled. While DMS is intentionally left in some commercial beers, many beer makers want to eliminate its presence from their brew. It has a tendency to smell like cooked corn.

    “Dimethyl sulfide production is slowed at cooler temperatures.”

    Sometimes wort contains contaminants that affect the taste of the final product. Brewers want to be sure they have bacteria in their wort under control and rapid cooling helps slow any growth. Bacteria can’t reproduce well in high or low temperatures, but once the wort cools below 160 degrees, it flourishes. This is why it’s important to cool it as quickly as possible, to reduce the amount of time the fluid spends in this zone.

    Finally, rapidly cooling the wort will maximize the cold break. According to Brew Like a Pro, the cold break occurs when proteins, tannins and other materials solidify in the wort. The quicker the wort is cooled, the more cold break will form. By increasing the amount that solidify, fewer will be transferred to the the final product. Their presence can make the beer cloudy and affect the taste.

    How to cool wort

    There are several ways to cool wort after it’s been boiled, though some are only efficient for small quantities. For instance, an ice bath might work for a home brewer, but would never be used in a craft or commercial beer setting. A shell and tube heat exchanger, sometimes called a counterflow chiller in the craft beer industry, is widely considered an efficient method for wort cooling.

    The benefit of using a shell and tube heat exchanger rather than other options is how quickly the wort will be cooled. The exchanger can have the wort down to the desired temperature in 10 minutes, according to Craft Beer & Brewing. This is ideal for several reasons. The quicker you can cool the wort, the quicker you can add the yeast and the sooner your brew will be ready. Also, by minimizing the time it takes to cool, DMS will have less time to produce and bacteria won’t be able to multiply as well.

    Comsol pointed out that this method is also an efficient one because the heated water can then be used for the next batch of wort.

    “Maximizing the cold break will make a clearer beer.”

    The cold break will still be in the wort when it goes through the shell and tube heat exchanger. Brewers will be able to clearly see this when the wort that leaves the exchanger is cloudy. The solution to this is to direct the exchanger’s exit to a sanitary vessel and let the cold break settle at the bottom. After this, transfer the liquid to the fermenter and add the yeast.

    Keeping all equipment clean is crucial to craft, commercial and home brewers alike. Fouling can be detrimental to a batch of beer and to a company that sells tainted product. Because of this, brewers must do everything they can to prevent contamination. All equipment should be cleaned properly after use. The shell and tube heat exchanger should be examined periodically to detect any leaks or deformities. Stainless steel shell and tube heat exchangers are easy to clean and more resistant to fouling. To get a quote on an exchanger for your brewing practice, contact Enerquip.

  8. How shell and tube heat exchangers benefit the agriculture industry

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    Agriculture is an ever-important industry in the U.S. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, this sector and others related to it contributed $835 billion to the nation’s economy in 2014. Farms alone contributed $177.2 billion.

    The U.S. is home to more than 300 million people, according to the Census Bureau. For the average household, 12.6 percent of their monthly budget is dedicated to food. But agriculture is more than just our nation’s produce, meat and dairy. Agriculture also lends a hand to adjacent industries like textiles, forestry, food services and drinking places, among many others. In 2014, the agriculture industry offered 17.3 million jobs, accounting for about 9.3 percent of all employment.

    Beneficial research and development

    Though this industry holds great importance to the nation, there are many obstacles it faces. Margaret M. Zeigler, the executive director of Global Harvest Initiative explained in an article for The Hill that there are numerous challenges to the industry, including:

    • Persistent drought in agriculture-focused states like California
    • Health- and nutrition-related issues
    • Diseases that can affect livestock, poultry and crops
    • Fewer people opting to study agricultural sciences
    “Shell and tube heat exchangers ensure agricultural products are safe.”

    However, she also pointed out increased research and development can lead to a more productive industry that is able to overcome these obstacles. Zeigler noted that it was research and development efforts that grew the agricultural industry’s productivity to the point it is now. From individual farmers seeking better ways to be more productive to large-scale efforts to find solutions that can accommodate a wide range of people in agriculture, research and development has been key in pushing the industry further and making it as productive as possible.

    Shell and tube heat exchangers are critical to the ways the agriculture industry ensures its many goods are produced safely and quickly. They are heavily relied upon in the dairy industry, as well as the food, beverage and biodiesel industries.

    Dairy, food and beverages

    Generally, milks, cheeses, yogurts and other dairy products need to be pasteurized before they are available for purchase.

    Raw milk has a reputation for spreading disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, unpasteurized milk is 150 times more likely to cause an outbreak of disease than its pasteurized counterpart.

    Like dairy products, juices and ciders need to be pasteurized to ensure they are free of harmful bacteria and safe for consumption. Again, these foods are at risk of carrying bacteria that can lead to foodborne illness. To address this risk, the Food and Drug Administration published a rule in 2001 that required businesses to create and implement Juice Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point systems. These systems follow specific rules about how to pasteurize various types of juices and purees made from fruits and vegetables.

    Pasteurization, for any of these products, entails heating up the product to a high enough temperature that will kill off any harmful bacteria. For juices and purees, this temperature is between 160 and 180 degrees, depending on how long the pasteurization process lasts, according to Pennsylvania State University. The quicker the process, the higher the temperature needs to be. For instance, if a processor decides to heat the juice to 160 degrees, it would take at least six seconds for pasteurization, but only 0.3 seconds at 180 degrees.

    Dairy products take much longer to pasteurize. According to Milk Facts, a batch of milk is usually heated to 145 degrees for 30 minutes, though depending on the dairy product and the length of time of pasteurization, the temperature varies.


    Beyond producing food and beverages, the agriculture industry is also key in creating biofuels to use as alternative fuel options. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, biofuels are primarily made of either biodiesel or ethanol.

    “Shell and tube heat exchangers are used in the distillation of biofuels.”

    Ethanol is made in a fermentation process using starches and sugars. However, industry professionals are working to find ways to use cellulose and hemicellulose in its production. Most plant matter is made of these fibrous materials. Biodiesel is made of a combination of methanol and a fat, like cooking grease or vegetable oil. Biodiesel is sometimes used to reduce vehicle emissions.

    Shell and tube heat exchangers can be used in the distillation of these biofuels. According to Biodiesel Magazine, biofuels can be distilled to remove high sulfur content or to change the color of the product.

    Research and development brought the agriculture industry these advancements and will bring many more. For information about how a shell and tube heat exchanger can better your business, contact the experts at Enerquip today.

  9. 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

  10. 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.