Food industry flowmeter
For most people, the classic summer treat is ice cream. According to the International Dairy Association, about 7 billion gallons of ice cream and other related frozen desserts are produced worldwide each year, with peak production (as you would expect) during the summer months. However, the moment you eat ice cream, you probably won’t be surprised how this delicacy is made. To get this great ice cream, a flow controller is often used.
Now the question is, what has a flowmeter got to do with ice cream?
Ice cream contains many different ingredients such as fat, sugar, milk solids, an emulsifier, flavorings and sometimes coloring. But there is one main thing you may not have thought about, probably because you can not see the air. Ice cream is made by freezing and simultaneously mixing air inside the ingredients. So why is air so important?
If you’ve ever melted a bowl of ice cream, then melted it and then tried to eat it, it probably didn’t taste very good. In addition, if you put a carton of ice cream in the hot sun and let it thaw, the volume of ice cream will simply go down. Air makes up 30 to 50 percent of the total volume of ice cream anywhere, so aeration is very important in the production process.
The amount of air in ice cream (often called ultraviolet) affects the taste, texture and appearance of the final product. Higher aeration makes ice cream tastier and softer. One side effect of adding air to ice cream is that it tends to melt faster. Therefore, to achieve the optimal structure of ice cream, having a stable inlet airflow in the production process with a constant cream / air ratio. This can be achieved by using a mass flow controller.
To know the effect of air on ice cream, think about ice cream. Whipped cream – air cream – has a different color and taste than plain cream. To learn more about this process, please read the story of our guest blogger, Hans-Georg Frenzel, from Hansa Mixer, where he explains how air is used to make whipworms.
To ensure the proper consistency and structure that ensures full-flavored ice cream, the cream must contain the right ratio and composition of air bubbles. Hence, aeration mixer manufacturers use a mass flow controller to put the exact amount of air in the cooled mixer. Such a mass flow controller ensures a continuous delivery of air commensurate with the worm flow. The mass flow controller must be able to maintain its function without considering any possible pressure changes. Sometimes, a check valve is installed downstream of the mass controller. In the event of an inlet pressure drop, such a valve prevents ice flow from returning to the device. A pressure meter is also used to monitor the inlet pressure.
The SEM image (Scanning Electron Microscope) (Figure 1) shows the structure of the ice cream. Air bubbles are an important substance. Experts claim that its optimal size, distribution and quantity is one of the secrets of preparing a creamy texture. Therefore, based on meeting such demands, extrusion has provided efficient solutions to enhance continuous aeration processes.
So, the next time you go to the ice cream parlor with your friends, be sure to remember the importance of the flowmeter when reminding you of that delicious taste.
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