Yihai Kerry Group and SPX FLOW combine forces to write a new chapter in energy-efficient and eco-friendly food production in China with a state-of-the-art margarine process line.
Shanghai, CHINA, 5 November 2018 – Originally created in the 18th century, margarine is today used in the production of a wide variety of foods. The word ‘margarine’ originates from the Greek word ‘Margarites’, meaning pearly and reflecting the lustrous characteristics of the product. Compared with animal fat and butter, margarine is a cost-effective, tasty and a flexible ingredient, making it popular with food manufacturers.
Increasingly stringent standards and more rigorous processes for food production in China, mean safe, energy-efficient and eco-friendly production has become a focus for food manufacturers. Yihai Kerry Group, part of Wilmar International, is a diversified Chinese enterprise, integrating grain and oil processing and trade, oleochemical, and grain & oil technology. In 2008, it was the proud, sole supplier of exclusive edible oil for the Beijing 2008 Olympics. It is a leading, forward-looking company committed to serving China and advancing the industry by providing high quality grain and oil products that are more nutritious, healthier and safer to consume. Its desire to set the standard and pioneer new production techniques in China has led to a long relationship with a leading food processing expert, SPX FLOW.
Making margarine with reduced environmental impact
The crystallization process is critical to the quality of margarine. Heat exchangers are used to cool the margarine to form crystals which influence the final characteristics of the product. Traditionally, these heat exchangers have used cooling media such as ammonia or Freon. The new processing line for Kerry Oils & Grains (Tianjin) Co., Ltd., however, employs innovative SPX FLOW Nexus scraped surface heat exchanger (SSHE) technology, which uses carbon dioxideas the refrigerant. It is the first company in China to build a processing line based on this state-of-the-art technology.
There are many advantages in using carbon dioxide instead of Freon or ammonia. It is naturally occurring, less expensive and has no specific safety restrictions or regulations associated with its use, ensuring a healthier production environment for employees. It is also more efficient at cooling the margarineand so uses less energy, which, in turn, reduces the carbon footprint of the process. Faster cooling of the margarine further creates smaller, more plentiful crystals, which enhances the quality with improved texture and smoother mouthfeel.
The new production line, launched in October 2017, is an expansion to an existing line at the Yihai Kerry Group Tianjin facility, installed 10 years previously. While the chilling process is at the heart of the line with a high-pressure plunger pump, Nexus SSHE, pin rotor machine and resting tube; the line includes all processes from pre-mixing to final product. Its advanced, customized design incorporates exceptional heat recovery, highly efficient motors and is engineered to reduce overall energy consumption. Yihai Kerry Group’s strong desire to take margarine production to new levels in China reflects the wider dedicated commitment of Wilmar International to “giving priority to environment friendliness”.
An additional advantage of the Nexus SSHE is its flexibility. The technology is designed to adapt to specific plant and process requirements using individually operated chilling tubes, which enable easy variation of chilling and scraping intensities to produce various final product characteristics. A production pressure up to 120 bar further ensures individual customer requirements are met in terms of properties, such as malleability and plasticity. The new line at Tianjin efficiently integrates the production of shortening, margarine and pastry oil with automatic control of processes. What’s more is the faster cooling capability of the SSHE means higher production capacities. The new line can achieve 15 tons/hour for shortening, 5 tons/hour for margarine and 3 tons/hour for pastry margarine, offering incredible potential for future business expansion of Yihai Kerry Group.
The new, eco-friendly processing line at Tianjin is a breakthrough for the margarine manufacturing sector in China in terms of efficiency, reducing carbonemissions, flexibility and quality. Based on more than 100 years of expertise in oil and fat processing from its Gerstenberg Schröder brand, the Nexus SSHE is just one example of the innovative, revolutionary technology developed by SPX FLOW for the food industry through its continuous research and development programs and in-depth understanding of the industry’s needs.