Useful Tips for Water Efficient Food Processing
Water is one of the most critical requirements for a food processing unit for several reasons. In many food materials, water is utilised as the primary constituent or ingredient. Most of the food processing businesses use water extensively for sanitising, cleanup, and also as a processing aid. The importance of water conservation is known to all of us. For a food processing business, water conservation means saving money and addressing emerging issues such as rising water costs and potential shortage of this key resource in the future.
Many food processing companies around the world have now started implementing measures to save water because of its rich dividends. Mentioned below are some simple tips for water efficient food processing.
Process, equipment, facilities, and personnel are four broad areas responsible for significant water usage in a food processing plant. Each of these areas can be targeted for making food processing more water efficient.
Process: Water use can be reduced by changing or improving the processes. This can be accomplished in numerous ways.
- Complete or partial recycling of water can help save a lot of water. For example, plants using water as a cooling medium can reduce water usage by using a spray cooler. To facilitate heat rejection, a cooling tower can be incorporated to such systems. Reuse of process water for cleaning purposes or lawn sprinkling can also save plenty of water.
- Use of waterless process alternatives such as dry milling instead of wet milling, cleanup operations using vacuum, dry ice, or sweepers.
- Improved process control to achieve better control of water flow rates
- Improved production scheduling to reduce or eliminate cleaning steps between products.
- Shifting to continuous operations from water intensive batch operations.
Equipment: Consumption of water can also be reduced to a great extent by changing or improving equipment.
- Use of advanced equipment with improved design concepts, materials handling, and controls.
- Use of water usage monitoring and control equipment such as leak detectors, water quality sensors, pressure sensors, temperature sensors, flow meters, etc.
- Use of clean-in-place systems for cleaning and sanitisation of food processing surfaces and equipment.
- Periodic examination and maintenance of equipment that use water.
- Use of manual water hoses with automatic shut-off valves and low-flow nozzles.
Facility: Food-processing facility improvement is another potential area that can help reduce water consumption.
- Strategic use of utility corridors, maintenance alleys and spaces, and other areas to reduce the required wash-down in process area.
- Use of water meters and systems capable of detecting excessive water flow and leakages.
- Elimination of excessive water use by periodically examining and maintaining tanks, gutters, pipes, gaskets, seals, sprung doors, etc.
Personnel: Finally, training and empowerment of the employees is extremely important for reducing the use of an excessive amount of water. A culture of responsibility and water conservation can go a long way in making a food processing unit water efficient.
If you are looking for ways to reduce or eliminate wastage of water in your food processing unit, please get in touch with us at Lumix. Since our inception in 2017, we have been providing state-of-the-art industrial food equipment solutions created specifically for the food processing industry.