Columns

Field Reports: Heat is on for salsa maker

Drew's All Natural increases daily capacity by 33 percent with scraped surface heat exchanger.

At Drew’s All Natural, salsa is quickly brought to temperature and continuously re-circulated in a closed loop from the kettle to the Contherm scraped surface heat exchanger and back to the kettle. When the salsa reaches the right temperature, it is discharged to filling through a three-way valve. Source: Alfa Laval.
TIRED OF WAITING FOR BATCHES OF SALSA HEATING IN enormous kettles, Drew’s All Natural was looking for a faster way to heat product. Traditional kettles had processed the salsa for the past three years, but Plant Manager Joe Brent wanted to speed up the heating process and increase production. He found his answer with a Contherm® scraped-surface heat exchanger.

“With the Contherm, we bring the salsa to temperature rapidly and then cool it quickly instead of it sitting in kettles for hours,” says Brent. “We get the added benefits of fresher flavor, crispier texture, and better brighter color. The Contherm also saves energy and labor since the staff isn’t waiting for the kettles to heat up.”

Drew’s All Natural plant in Chester, VT, produces and distributes three varieties of salsa made with all-natural ingredients. After blending the ingredients and before bottling in jars, the salsa batches need to be heated from ambient temperature to 190˚F. Previously the retention time in the kettle was over an hour while the product was heated during slow agitation. “With the heat exchanger system, we can actually focus on running and packaging the product,” Brent says.

In Drew’s new batch augmentation Contherm system, the salsa is quickly brought to temperature. It is continuously recirculated in a closed loop from the kettle to the heat exchanger and back to the kettle. When the salsa reaches the right temperature, it is discharged to filling through a three-way valve. Gentle product treatment results from features such as a tangential head. Tapered rotor shoulders minimize product degradation. While in the heat exchanger, the salsa has less exposure to shear and particulate damage since it is held in this critical elevated temperature range for a shorter time period. As a result, the onions and peppers are crispy and the tomatoes are a brighter red.

The closed-loop system offers the advantages of a continuous process including consistent product quality as a result of exacting temperature control. It also offers the cost savings over a more traditional batch system by requiring less overall capital equipment.

“We could have purchased a different solution but the ease of cleaning and maintenance convinced us,” Brent says. “The Contherm is easy to take apart and clean on a daily basis.”

Drew’s All Natural was founded by Andrew Starkweather, former head chef at the Deerfield Inn in Deerfield, MA. Every Christmas Starkweather bottled his soy-ginger vinaigrette and gave it as Christmas presents. It became so popular among his friends that he decided to start a business. Drew’s opened its first production facility in 1995. In 1999 Drew’s built a new plant that increased production by 800 percent. In addition to private label bottling, Drew’s All Natural today manufactures 11 varieties of dressing and three varieties of salsa.

For more information:
Jeff Logan, 978-463-6340,
jeff.logan@alfalaval.com

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Plant of the Year 2015

Mars Chocolate was chosen as Food Engineering’s 2015 Plant of the Year. The first new Mars candy plant in North America in 35 years is not only LEED Gold certified, it’s highly automated as well.

Podcasts

Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering April 2015 Cover

2015 April

The April 2014 issue of Food Engineering features the Plant of the Year: Mars Chocolate. The first new Mars chocolate candy plant in North America in 35 years is not only LEED Gold certified, it’s highly automated as well.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Plant Facility/Site Issues

What issue about your current plant facility/site keeps you up the most at night?
View Results Poll Archive

THE FOOD ENGINEERING STORE

Food-Authentication-Flyer-(.gif
Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

STAY CONNECTED

FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit www.foodmaster.com to learn more.