Products in vacuum packaging, on a wooden board. vegetables, fish meat, dolma, kurza. Quarantine Pandemic

Dry vacuum pumps in the food packaging industry

June 1, 2020

In this blog, Jim Hupp, an experienced technician working in the Midwest USA explains the advantage of dry pumps compared to other pump types in this industry.

Different types of vacuum food packaging: vacuum microwave drying and freeze drying

The food industry faces around 1.3 billion tonnes of food wasted or lost annually worldwide. Vacuum technology helps combat food waste in numerous ways. This includes vacuum packaging that extends the longevity of food by reducing the growth of bacteria and fungi. Additionally, vacuum cooling helps keep fruit and vegetables fresh directly after harvesting by enabling food containers to be evacuated to pressures of > 6 mbar. Vacuum drying helps preserve fresh fruit and meat through Vacuum Microwave Drying. Here the products are heated by microwave to 35-60C while the vacuum pump keeps the pressure around 10 mbar. The water content then evaporates. Through Freeze Drying the products are cooled to -20-40C and the water sublimates at pressures below 0,1 and -1 mbar from the solid phase.

The use of dry vacuum pumps in the food industry 

Dry screw pumps in food industry application are more often replacing wet pumps. Oil-sealed rotary vane pumps were the norm for the food industry. However, these pumps bear risks as the oil could end up polluting the workspace or, even worse, the food items. Dry vacuum pumps avoid these risks and ensure product freshness.

The advantages of dry vacuum pumps for food packaging

  • Lower costs: the reduction in power consumption and heat load that dry pumps enable as well as the use of less oil and water, can make significant cost savings. Additionally, dry screw vacuum systems require less maintenance and fewer repairs versus the outdated vacuum technology still being used in the food industry.

  • Efficient work environment: the reduced noise levels and the low generation of heat into the work area enables you to efficiently keep your production area at appropriately controlled temperature levels. Dry screw pumps with limited oil also reduce the risk of slips and falls due to oil leakage.

  • Improve sanitation procedures: dry screw pumps can be flushed internally with properly selected liquids for cleaning purposes. This also reduces downtime, maintenance and pump repairs. This is particularly useful in the food industry, where product safety is essential.

Overall, dry vacuum pumps provide a low cost and efficient pump alternative for vacuum packaging and processing in the food industry. They also ensure that no dangerous gas molecules can get into contact with the food during processing.  

Leybold employee

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