Pulse Drying of Evaporated Milk

In summary, the goal of the group is to come up with an innovative plant design for infant formula production that is sustainable. They are looking into water recycles, heat exchange networks, and Pulse Drying as potential solutions.
  • #1
Andrew O Regan
Hi Guys,

I'm new to the forum.

I'm an engineering student studying process and chemical engineering.

I am currently a member of a group that has been tasked with designing a plant to produce infant formula.

The goal is to manufacture a ready-to-feed infant formula product, so that the parent of the child would not have to perform a final sterilisation step, as is currently the norm.

The plan is to produce infant formula as usual, but store this in a sachet in the bottle cap. Once the cap is twisted, the sachet will rupture and the powder will fall into distilled water in the bottle. All the parent need do is shake the bottle to aid in reconstituting the powder.

The eventual plant does not necessarily have to be economically viable, as this is merely a design exercise.

We are required to be innovative for the sake of it, and to keep sustainability in mind.

In response to this we will be implementing water recycles, heat exchange networks, etc.

To stray away from the well established infant formula production process, we thought we might substitute a spray dryer with pulse combustion dryer.

The theory of this piece of equipment is readily available, however the method with which to perform a basic design of such equipment is proving difficult to obtain.

I wonder could anyone help provide some insight in how to go about this?

We have a basic pfd of the process with centrifugation, pasteurisation, evaporation, drying etc. etc.

For the moment we are keeping things simple and saying we initially have 1000kg of raw milk entering the plant.

The raw milk leaves the evaporator (the preceding unit op the pulse dryer) as a 'milk slurry' with 50% solids @ 45 degrees Celsius.

This corresponds to 130kg water and 130kg of solids (fat, proteins etc.)

This stream then enters the pulse dryer whereby we want to produce dried milk powder with 4% moisture.

Does anyone have any information or resources on how to design/size a pulse dryer to perform this operation?

Thank you for your help.
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  • #2
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  • #3
Baluncore said:
Firstly, welcome to PF.

Are you aware that, as a dust in air, milk powder is an explosive material?

Now let's get the ball rolling;

Hi Baluncore,

Thank you for your reply.

Yes, explosions concerns were raised. A proposed solution was to use a cyclone after the pulse dryer to grab any 'fines' and remove them from the process, or if we were to go back to a conventional spray dryer, supply them back into the unit op, where they could combine with, and stick to the bigger particles.

Thank you for the web links. I've only glanced at them prior to this reply, but they look to be very informative. I'll sit down and examine them today.
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Related to Pulse Drying of Evaporated Milk

1. How does pulse drying work for evaporated milk?

Pulse drying is a process that involves rapidly evaporating the water from a liquid through the use of hot air pulses. For evaporated milk, the milk is first preheated and then sprayed into a drying chamber where it is exposed to hot air pulses that quickly evaporate the water, leaving behind a dry powder. The powder is then collected and packaged for use.

2. What are the advantages of using pulse drying for evaporated milk?

One of the major advantages of pulse drying for evaporated milk is that it is a much faster process compared to traditional drying methods. This results in a higher production rate and lower energy costs. Additionally, pulse drying can help preserve the nutritional value and flavor of the milk, as it is exposed to heat for a shorter period of time.

3. Is pulse drying safe for evaporated milk?

Yes, pulse drying is a safe method for evaporated milk. The hot air pulses used in the process quickly evaporate the water, which helps prevent the growth of bacteria and other harmful microorganisms. Additionally, the milk is preheated before being exposed to the hot air, which further ensures its safety.

4. Can any type of evaporated milk be used in pulse drying?

Not all types of evaporated milk are suitable for pulse drying. The milk needs to have a certain composition and consistency in order to be effectively dried using this method. It is recommended to consult with a food scientist or expert to determine if a specific type of evaporated milk is suitable for pulse drying.

5. How can I ensure the quality of the evaporated milk produced through pulse drying?

To ensure quality, it is important to closely monitor the pulse drying process and make adjustments as needed. This includes controlling the temperature and humidity levels in the drying chamber, as well as monitoring the moisture content of the milk powder. Regular testing and quality control measures should also be implemented to ensure the final product meets safety and quality standards.

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