KANSAS CITY — Sanitation will always be top-of-mind for bakers to ensure the food coming out of their facilities is safe. Although most batter-based products go through a kill step, bakers must still keep the mixer as sanitary as possible. It’s reassuring to have all bases covered, especially for aerated products that don’t travel through the oven.
“What is critically important is aerated products that don’t go through a kill step,” said Kevin Wilkinson, North American sales, Tonelli Group. “If we have a dairy product like a whipped topping that doesn’t go through a kill step, you have to be concerned about bacterial contamination. Therefore, the clean-in-place (CIP) system is critically important.”
Sanitation and ease-of-cleaning has become such a concern that CIP is standard on many batter mixers, and it remains one of the top drivers for equipment innovation.
“CIP cleaning systems are common and frankly standard features in all our equipment,” Mr. Wilkinson said.
The components that come into contact with the batter are CIP. The mixer is built with all stainless steel and sealed water tight enclosures making it easy to sanitize.
E.T. Oakes offers a dual-purpose metering/transfer pump on its mixers that can not only be used for the process but also for CIP.
“We have found this to be a great solution to reduce cleaning and sanitation time and, in many cases, reduce or eliminate the need to take things apart for cleaning,” said Bob Peck, vice-president, E.T. Oakes Corp.
VMI’s mobile CIP system can be programmed to run several different cycles of automatic cleaning.
“For a simple splash, whether cleaning with or without detergent products, the VMI mobile CIP connects easily and adapts to all types of products depending on the complexity of cleaning,” said Terry Bartsch, president and chief executive officer of VMI North America.
Shaffer’s mixers run water through to clean the bowl after batter is drained out through the pump. The mixer’s CIP system can be programmed to automatically clean between cycles or batches of different varieties. A head will deploy from the top of the mixer into the bowl and rotate throughout to clean it.
“As we’re doing that, the agitator can go around and get a very clean bowl,” said Andrew McGhie, director of sales, Shaffer, a Bundy Baking Solution.
Sanitary design should make the cleaning process not only effective but also efficient.
“Sanitary design is important, but the speed at which it takes to clean it is now becoming the next frontier,” he said.
Much of Topos Mondial’s innovation revolves around this idea. The company offers CIP spray balls and a CIP spray head system.
“You can hit a button, walk away and come back later, and the whole bowl and upper head will have been cleaned automatically,” said Damian Morabito, president, Topos Mondial.
Both systems were designed to quickly turn around the sanitation cycle of a mixer.
Other improvements from Topos Mondial include granting the sanitation team access to the mixer’s main column for cleaning. Operators can now remove guards without tools, simplifying that process and speeding it up.
A benefit to VMI’s mobile CIP is its efficiency. The system can clean the mixer three times faster than other cleaning methods, Mr. Bartsch suggested.
“The efficiency of cleaning is an essential aspect for the productivity of this type of process,” he said. “Providing more production uptime, limiting water consumption and detergents, and energy usage are critical points that can weigh very heavily on the profitability of an investment, for processes with frequent changeovers.”