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Condensation control in comminution processes, i.e., product milling?

condensation milling mill comminution quality control

Best Answer Jpainter, 11 April 2019 - 05:59 PM

I am not very familiar with the dietary supplement manufacturing process, forgive me. The reason I mention cooling before going into barrels is that product may take 5 minutes to cool to a manageable temperature if it is spread in a thin even layer vs up to 12 hours when it is all massed together in a barrel. If you are able to dissipate enough heat to be within about 20 degrees of room temperature before going into barrels I believe your condensation issue would go away.

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#1 matthewcc

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 10:45 PM

Hello all,

 

Do any of you have any good ways of controlling condensation in comminution processes, i.e., product milling?

 

Product gets hot in the process of milling to a smaller size.  Milled product is collected in plastic drums with new food-grade liners.  The dilemma we sometimes have is that we want to have the milled product covered, but when we cover it, there can be considerable condensation on the inside of product bags at the top.  If we don't cover it, then there is less control over contamination that might get in.  Product takes hours to cool off to being near room temperature; it can take overnight.

 

Right now we are trying to reach a happy medium and have tried leaving the bags open but folded over so moisture can mostly escape, but we still see condensation occurring.  We would like to mitigate the condensation further.

 

We are manufacturing dietary supplements in the United States and are under 21 CFR Parts 111, 117, 121, etc.

 

Thank you,

Matthew



#2 EagleEye

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 08:36 AM

You accidentally posted this in Food Microbiology section?

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#3 Jpainter

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 02:55 PM

Your cooling process worries me. Dietary supplements are usually at such a low water activity that microbiological growth is not an issue. However, you mentioned condensation forming so your product is in serious danger for potential microbiological contamination. Because your product isn't stored under refrigeration, you risk unmitigated biological growth if contaminated while cooling overnight. As far as the condensation, I believe if product was cooled before going into the barrels on a processing line you would eliminate not only your condensation issue, but also potential microbiological issues by keeping the product at a low water activity. 



#4 matthewcc

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 03:56 PM

Thank you to both of you.

 

EagleEye - It didn't seem to fit in the Cleaning, Sanitation & Waste Management category or any other category that I could see, but I'm open to moving it to a different category if it makes sense.  Let me know if you have any ideas.  This category seemed to make the most sense to me based on the risk of microbiological growth due to moisture.

 

Jpainter - The starting material moisture being usually below 10% (and water activity always being below 0.60) means that we rarely see significant current condensation on the inside of the bag under our current procedures.  When we do, though, those materials are ones that we need to further mitigate condensation risk.

 

We don't have a processing line set up for the product post-comminution.  It's collected either in barrels directly below the milling machine or after a sifter.  The sifter could be the best way of dissipating the heat though.  Maybe that's what you meant?



#5 Jpainter

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Posted 11 April 2019 - 05:59 PM   Best Answer

I am not very familiar with the dietary supplement manufacturing process, forgive me. The reason I mention cooling before going into barrels is that product may take 5 minutes to cool to a manageable temperature if it is spread in a thin even layer vs up to 12 hours when it is all massed together in a barrel. If you are able to dissipate enough heat to be within about 20 degrees of room temperature before going into barrels I believe your condensation issue would go away.



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#6 Scampi

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 01:19 PM

it really seems like you're process needs an adjustment.....

 

However, in the interm, can you cover and secure the barrels with fine mesh netting?  That way the moisture can dissipate without allowing any contaminates in


Because we always have is never an appropriate response!


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#7 matthewcc

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Posted 12 April 2019 - 07:11 PM

I think those are all good thoughts and we'll put into place one or more of those ideas.  Thank you again.  Matthew







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