The increasing popularity of yogurt in recent years-requiring greater production capacity and efficiency-has brought about a need to “re-think” just how best to feed raw materials into mixing and blending systems, and into filling machines.
Initially, in most European and U.S. plants, the mixing of milk, yogurt culture, and additives was essentially a hand-batching process. This required many large and expensive containers, and a considerable labor force.
Now, by incorporating in-line static mixers and metering pumps to blend various liquids, the mixing process can be conducted on a continuous or semi-continuous basis, including automated production. Flavoring and fruit additives can be mixed with a high level of consistency into the yogurt with no tank settling issues.
This new concept saves time and labor, reduces space requirements, and achieves control over the yogurt production process. The in-line mixing system not only minimizes waste, but also assures exact measurement of ingredients for consistent product quality.
After long pre-tests at Milchof Herne, Herne, West Germany, using metering pumps and Komax static mixers for continuous manufacture of yogurt, this plant was run for six months in shift work-producing up to approximately 1300 liters of yogurt milk/hr.
Accompanying diagram and caption explain the workings of this plant, which controls all metering and mixing functions.