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Freezing Tunnel Cleaning

cleaning food safety equipment tools

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karemfiori

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 08:29 PM

Hello! I work in the pasta industry.

 

Basically we produce filled frozen pasta, we bought a freezing tunnel where filled pasta (ravioli, tortellini) goes inside a freezing tunnel, the product comes out completely frozen and is ready to pack.

 

The problem we have is with the tunnel because it has several belts (not smooth, those that looks like a mesh) they are  5 belts but they are individual, only one belt the one in the top have a small portion outside the tunnel in order to receive the product.

 

Right know we are trying to figure out how to clean because once we defrost the wet flour becomes a nightmare, it is adhere on surfaces and cleaning takes like 8 hours.

 

I was hoping if someone could recommend any tool, chemical or cleaning tool to remove all debris from conveyors, floor and walls inside tunnel.



SQFconsultant

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Posted 16 November 2018 - 08:54 PM

Check with your sanitation cleaning chemical supply company as there are specialized cleaning compounds that are targeted to this type of freezing application. Midland, Spartan, ecolab, Zep etc all have items for this.


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Setanta

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Posted 17 November 2018 - 03:35 PM

Alternately, you might be able to get a second set of belts, so one is in use while the other is being cleaned. I have no idea how costly your belts are, some of ours are quite expensive. (!)


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012117

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Posted 18 November 2018 - 11:31 PM

Hi, Karemfiori.

 

You have both the tunnel from a reputable supplier? On freezer tunnel I have experienced with, they are also equipped with CIP system  (and drying before resuming operation). On the equipment manual, normally the cleaning scheme is also available. You can then set meeting with your chemical provider to align as well with the equipment manufacturer.

 

Not for flour but my experienced with tunnel (for the smaller one) is we use foaming machine for cleaning. This is also being done only every 3-5 days.



Gerard H.

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Posted 19 November 2018 - 12:56 PM

Dear Karemfiori,

 

An adaptation of the machine and the process in combination with the solutions above could be helpful. You can consider:

  • A sort of shock freezing of the (outside) of the product, just before entering the tunnel, so that it will not pollute the belts anymore
  • An adaptation of the machine to make the parts easily accessible for cleaning
  • Is there "loose" flour on the outside of the product? Is it possible to optimize the process to avoid the need of the "loose" flour?

Please, make sure, that there is no accumulation of dirt elsewhere in the machine caused by the process or by cleaning.

 

Try to involve several departments (maintenance, production, quality, R&D) in the solution of this problem.

 

Kind regards,

 

Gerard Heerkens



Parkz58

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Posted 26 November 2018 - 03:24 PM

Have you checked in to dry ice blast cleaning?  Sounds like it might work very well for you - sublimates upon impact, no liquid involved...but, I also don't know how easy it would be for you to reach every area with the blast nozzle, or how easy it would be for you to sweep/vacuum up the sublimated particles after cleaning.  However, if you are weighing out all your options, it might be worth checking out.



DonnaM

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 04:42 PM

Hi, Karemfiori

 

I have visited facilities that manufacture frozen pasta or ravioli. What I have observed was that large sheet pans were used to place the pasta on and then sent through the tunnel. This might be a solution depending on your current process.

 

This way you do have to keep sheet pans in stock and cleaned regularly but also will avoid a large amount of the debris from attaching to the belts and staying inside the tunnel. Also the fans inside the tunnel should be adjusted properly as to not distribute the flour debris all through the tunnel.

 

Some studies need to be done as to find the optimal settings for the speed of the fans so the freezing temperature is not compromised on the pasta internally.

 

Hope this helps !



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Charles.C

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 06:32 PM

I presume this was a mesh belt.

 

Solid belts are available but take up longitudinal space.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


MrHillman

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 02:08 PM

A lot of good solutions here! I like the spare belt if you can afford it. I've used a dry ice blaster before they work well, and sounds like it would work to clean the surrounding areas also. However keeping dry ice on hand is another task. Most food processing equipment is designed to breakdown easily, we have to remove our belt to clean it.







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