Liquid Processing Can Add Product Value
2nd March 2007
Fast expansion of the UK's food processing industry is inevitably leading to increased competition among the plethora of companies active in the sector, with the current accent firmly on provision of the value added products coupled with efficient processing techniques.
Some ways for companies to provide added value are to enhance their offerings by including speciality sauces in ready meals, whole fruit into desserts and other custom designed products for the discerning consumer. For food companies to produce these on-site often requires the installation of liquid processing equipment and this is the main route, that a large number of food-based companies are now travelling. However with the high price of energy it is vital that smarter processes and new technology are utilised to keep processing costs to a minimum.
Many of these installations are supplied by CPS, the Dorset-based enterprise, which has been supplying the UK’s hygienic processing industries for over 80 years.
In fact 80 is a highly significant figure for CPS as the latest statistics show the company's market share in certain segments has reached 80 per cent. For one company to have such a strong lead over the competition might appear surprising. But, given the diverse range of installations available from CPS – and the experience and expertise garnered over the years - it is not really all that extraordinary.
For CPS can provide everything needed to produce successful liquid food products, whether it is just one of the recommended six components – intake and storage, separation and homogenisation, pasteurisation and heat treatment, mixing and blending, process vessels and storage tanks, and cleaning in place - or the whole lot.
Paul Griffin, CPS Business Development Manager says, "We look on what we have to offer as a series of building blocks. Customers can pick and choose from these blocks, building them up into a full system if that is their need, or choosing just one or more to suit the particular application."
Whatever the choice CPS engineers will design it, build it and carry through its satisfactory installation. This includes intake and storage systems ranging from complete turnkey solutions including tanks, pipework, automation, and commissioning all provided. Alternatively, CPS offers an upgrade on existing systems, providing cost-effective solutions to suit the individual customer's requirements from a single line or tank to a fully integrated and automated system.
Separation and homogenisation systems can be supplied either stand-alone or incorporated into complete process systems and can cope with products as diverse as milk and food oils, chocolate and syrups, desserts and sauces and ice cream and honey. Automatic, self-cleaning separators are available for a variety of disciplines including milk or whey skimming, milk standardisation or clarification and fruit juice clarification.
Custom-designed pasteurisation and heat treatment equipment have been staple stock-in-trade throughout CPS's 80-year history with more than 300 successfully installed in the last 25 years alone. A Fischer plate heat exchanger is at the heart of every CPS continuous pasteuriser, all with the capability of coping with a full range of products from desserts to sauces. Full PLC controls can be incorporated along with a modem for remote software support from company headquarters in Sherborne. Pasteurisers are also available with tubular or scraped surface heat exchangers for handling more viscous products.
For mixing and blending systems, CPS is a pace-setter in equipment which can be somewhat complicated and which therefore needs to be handled by expert engineers. Different liquid products need different mixing and blending techniques to achieve the right levels of consistency, and this is where the company's expert team comes into its own. One of the key parts of the process is the agitation and CPS is able to offer five types – turbine, propeller, shear, gate and scraped-surface – either individually or in combination.
Stainless steel tanks and vessels nearly complete the picture. CPS has the depth and breadth of experience and expertise in design and fabrication having started in 1948 when the use of stainless steel was in its infancy. Standard and custom made modes are all available with a wide variety of options.
Finally, cleaning in place is yet another CPS speciality, with experience going right back to the 1960s, giving processors the ability to move from one product to another – or just clean the plant without any time-consuming stripping down, thus keeping non-operational time to the minimum.
Satisfied customers include some of the UK's top names like Rowse Honey and Mackie's Ice Cream. The honey company installed seven processing vessels, using CPS on the recommendation of a supplier, and liked what it got so much it went back for a homogeniser and other equipment. Scottish ice cream experts Mackie's meanwhile had a new production line developed by CPS engineers and was delighted with the professional and efficient way the project was handled. And still north of the border, Bogany Farm is processing its milk with a new pasteuriser - which has replaced a 30-year-old one bought from the same source – a separator and a homogeniser.
At Cott Beverages robustness of equipment was one of the main reasons that it too made a decision to put its trust in CPS. The company, a world leader in the supply of branded carbonated soft drinks, has installed a CPS pasteuriser to handle a new range of milkshake mixtures. The new unit is just one of over 300 CPS pasteurisers operating daily on a vast range of applications across the food, beverage and dairy industries.
A broad range of solutions then, capable of satisfying the most discerning of customers and meeting the hygiene and safety needs of processing sectors in which they are paramount. "We're currently the market leader in our field and we intend to remain there through research, development, product excellence, top quality service and value for money – not forgetting an ongoing commitment to meeting each individual customer's specific needs," concludes Mr Griffin.