A new, revolutionary technology that reduces sauce chilling time from hours to minutes is now available in South Africa from Afrox. Developed by Linde, Afrox’s parent company, the patent-pending ACCU-CHILL® SC inline sauce cooling technology uses liquid nitrogen to rapidly chill pumpable hot liquid foods for the ready meals sauce market. This inline process rapidly chills hot sauces within minutes instead of hours, increasing production capacity and improving product quality.
“Linde has been developing and trialling this new technology for some time and it is now ready for global roll-out. The ACCU-CHILL® SC inline sauce cooling technology is available in South Africa exclusively from Afrox,” says Hendrik Pretorius – Applications Specialist at Afrox. Pretorius is part of Linde’s specialist global team that develops new applications.
High viscosity sauces such as gravies, pasta sauces and soups need to be rapidly cooled down to minimise bacterial growth and maintain product quality. Traditional cooling methods rely on water immersion techniques or jacketed, tubular, scraped-surface heat exchangers.
The ACCU-CHILL® SC inline sauce cooling technology is a streamlined, cost-effective alternative to traditional heat exchangers that are very costly, take up a large amount of space, and have lengthy chilling times.
The system uses cryogenic injector technology to inject extremely cold liquid nitrogen directly into hot, cooked sauce in a mixing container. The low temperature of the liquid nitrogen cools the sauce immediately without freezing it. The subsequent mixture of gas and sauce is transferred to a degassing vessel where the nitrogen is vented, before being pumped into packaging.
“In addition to reducing the cooling time which reduces bacteria growth during processing, and a lower capital investment cost for the processing line, the ACCU-CHILL® SC inline sauce cooling technology eliminates the use of water in the cooling process and reduces sanitation time due to elimination of heat exchangers,” explains Pretorius. “Furthermore, cryogenic cooling eliminates the variation in cooling times with traditional methods, and thus prevents overcooking and improves nutritional value.”
Pretorius adds that the ACCU-CHILL® SC inline sauce cooling technology will complement future inline cooking processes that are currently being developed.
The major components of the ACCU-CHILL® SC inline sauce cooling system are a manifold, phase-separator and chilling injector that is connected to the hot sauce production line. Gaseous nitrogen is used to purge the lines and the injector after chilling to ensure that no product residue remains in the system.
The application will be tailor-designed by the global specialist team to suit customers’ specific processing needs following an investigation of customers’ existing processes. A local team from Afrox will install the application and will provide support and training. Afrox will recommend the pump system and supply the control system, which will be linked to Afrox’s PLC (programmable logic controller) communications.
“As part of the Linde group, Afrox has access to leading technology to provide innovative solutions to challenges faced by the food industry. While Afrox is a gas company, we offer real solutions, not molecules,” says Pretorius.
For more information about the ACCU-CHILL® SC inline sauce cooling technology available from Afrox, contact Hendrik Pretorius on +27 11 490 0570 or hendrik.pretorius@.