Filling without Foaming
Effective product deaeration is a key performance factor in juice filling. Good filling valve performance depends on reliable product deaeration. The new swirl infeed nozzle on the VarioSpin product deaeration system is a benchmark development.
Dr. Roland Feilner, Product Manager in the Process Technology Business, was heavily involved in development of the new nozzle.
Dr. Feilner, how does the new Variospin deaeration system differ from previous systems?
We have designed a swirl nozzle which feeds the product in as a thin film which flows onto the container wall. The thin film facilitates quick diffusion of the gas bubbles from the product into the gas phase of the container. Because the product film immediately forms on the container wall, we have been able to reduce the size of the deaeration container. Our deaeration system is 30 percent smaller than comparable systems.
Of course a reduction in the size of the deaeration containers is reflected in the capital investment costs. There is another aspect to consider, namely the maintenance and repair costs. In contrast to other systems, there are no dynamic seals or interior assembly parts on the VarioSpin. Maintenance costs are much lower and the system is much easier to clean.
Looking at the swirl nozzle, why is the part made of plastic?
This material is used for all filling valves and it has a proven track record. The nozzle is patented and is installed with a predefined tolerance. When the product flows through the nozzle, the plastic expands, creating a tight seal at the point of contact between the tube connection and the container fitting. The product flows only through these grooves and is guided directly to the container wall.
What feedback are you getting from users of the deaeration system?
35 customers are now using the system in the production of dairy and juice products which have a range of different viscosities. All of the feedback we have received has been positive. Deaeration is becoming an increasingly important step in the process. When hotfill products have long hold times, high oxygen content leads to oxidative processes in the product. Customers are constantly looking for better performance from the hotfill process, so it is important to minimise foaming.