POUCHED FOODS – COOL to 40°F. IN HALF THE TIME OF BELT SYSTEMS
Flexible pouches represent the category experiencing the most growth within the overall packaging industry. In fact, global demand for pouches is projected to rise 6.2% annually to $37.3 billion in 2018. Food and beverage markets account for 80% of the total demand for flexible pouch packaging. Pouches are convenient, portable, and environmentally friendly. Products we’ve cooled include spices, sauces, soups, fruit, vegetable snacks, condiments, and desserts. Once the food is processed and put into a pouch, the pouch itself needs to be pasteurized and cooled. Water is the most economical and efficient medium for transferring or removing heat.
Pasteurization means having the pouched food items heated for a given period of time and then cooled. Cooling time depends upon the product, density, weight, and recipe, and can vary between 20 to 120 minutes. USDA Regulations dictate that the final product temperature must be close to 40°F or lower in a given period of time. It is important that pouches pass through the Danger Zone (130°F to 80°F) rapidly where bacteria are most likely to proliferate. Pouches may vary from a few ounces to more than 10 lbs. and in every case, gradual cooling is important so as not to freeze the exterior and end up with a warm core. In 1988 Lyco began cooling refried beans for a restaurant chain in Chicago and since have cooled many other products including soups, chowders, pizza sauce, condiments, and mashed potatoes. That 1988 cooler still operates reliably every week which is typical of Lyco machinery.
Coolers are 72-inch diameter augers that are covered in perforated skin sheets that make them a cylinder that can be as long as 28′. That cylinder resides half-submerged in a tank of water. Pouches enter and exit the cylinder in a first-in-first-out way. During transit through the machine, a patented agitation system gently stirs the pouches which ensure thorough and uniform results. Rotary Drum Coolers are so much more effective than belts, spiral belts, and static cooling tanks of water because of agitation. Cooling times are reduced by 40% to 50% which is a huge improvement in food safety and productivity.
We have test units called “Simulators” which accurately predict process times and temperatures for heating or cooling raw or pouched products. These Simulators are on skid packages which can be sent to your facility with a technician for your own in-house testing.