The first step in the practical application of a cleaning programme in any food processing industry is to render the surface clean through mechanised cleaning systems. This programme reduces the number of microorganisms present to a degree and the surviving microorganisms are subjected to the final disinfecting and sanitizing treatment.
Any loose food material should be removed before the application of cleaning solutions. This may be accomplished by flushing the equipment surface with cold or warm water under moderate pressure. Very hot water or steam should not be used because it may make cleaning more difficult.
There are many methods of subjecting the surface of the equipment to cleaning compounds and solutions. Effectiveness and the economy of the method generally dictate its use. The components of commercial cleaning compounds modify the nature of water so that it may efficiently penetrate, dislodge, and carry away surface contamination (soil). Although energy is put into the system (generally, in the form of heat and applied force), cleaning compounds decrease the external energy requirements by increasing the internal potential energy of the water.
In this respect, cleaning can be done in the following four steps:
- Bringing the cleaning solution into intimate contact with the soil to be removed by means of good wetting and penetrating properties.
- Displacement of the solids and liquid soils from the surface to be cleaned by saponifying the fat, peptizing the proteins, and dissolving the minerals.
- Dispersion of the soil in the solution by dispersion, deflocculation or emulsification.
- Preventing re-deposition of the dispersed soil back onto the clean surface by providing good rinsing properties.
Application of Cleaning Methods
The food ingredients manufacturing sector in India, an export oriented industry, is fast growing and includes dehydrated onion, garlic & vegetable extracts, flavours, additives, emulsifiers, ready made soup mixes, and a range of other similar products.
The dehydration system consists of onion/vegetable washing, peeling, flaxing and an efficient multi deck continuous imperial dryer. Since the water removal ranges for about 50 to 90% of the raw material, 100kg of fresh onion flakes would be reduced to 12kg after dehydration.
Once dehydrated, flakes are directly packed or chopped, kibbled, minced or granulated to required size. The lower quality flakes are made into fine powder. A multi-deck Vibro sifter is utilised to segregate the granules into various size grades.
Said Gusabhai Bhuva, Satyam Dehydration Pvt Ltd, Bhavnagar, “We get three to four grades of products from onion dehydration including wafers. Imperial Automatic Onion Drier machine is used for drying in large quantities. This machine is also used for drying fruits, onion, garlic, vegetables and green leaves. Major manufacturers of these machines are Dodia, Rittal and Buehler of the capacity as high as 6000kg.