Food Engineering

Conical mill boosts throughput, reduces wear

March 22, 2003
The system generates low heat, thus minimizing degradation to heat-sensitive products

Gold Coast Ingredients, a flavor manufacturer in Commerce, Cal., installed a Quadro Comil conical screen mill in May, 2000, to boost throughput and reduce maintenance in standardizing particle size of heat-sensitive powdered flavors.

The company produces a wide variety of flavor blends including fruit, savory and butter flavors in battered, liquid, and spray-dried forms. According to President Jim Sgro, the Comil delumps and sifts powdered flavors to desired uniform particle size and bulk density at faster speeds and less wear than his previous sifter. The Comil's conical screen, configured "like a V-shaped collander" and enclosing a V-shaped impeller, is designed for heavier duty and is more durable as compared to the classifier sifter. "There's less chance of the screen tearing," says Sgro. It's design also allows more convenient cleaning, he ads.

Powdered flavors discharge from a ribbon blender via gravity into the Comil, where the rotating impeller in the conical screen chamber imparts a vortex flow pattern, pushing the material against the screen with centrifugal force to uniformly reduce particles to screen size. The powdered flavors then discharge directly into fiber drums. Sgro estimates throughput capacity at 2,500 lbs. in 20 to 25 minutes.

According to manufacturer Quadro Engineering (Waterloo, Ontario), the Comil system generates low heat, thus minimizing degradation to heat-sensitive products. Sticky or high-fat materials can be continuously reduced in size at high throughput rates without excessive heat build-up or screen blockage. The gentle action of the Comil reduces oversize particles in spray-dried products such as cheese powders, non-dairy creamers and baby formulas which mustmeet bulk-density targets to provide consistent weight during packaging. The system also reduces fines and dust levels to minimize product loss while maintaining a cleaner environment.

Stainless-steel construction can be polished to surface finishes required for the application and for USDA compliance. Screens can be changed in just two minutes. Eight models are available with capacities ranging from 250 lbs. per hour to 60,000 lbs. per hour. Quadro offers more than 200 different screens and dozens of impeller types, along with interchangeable tools that can be used for various applications on one machine, boosting process flexibility.