5 Considerations When Buying a Bagging Machine for Powdery Food Ingredients
Food safety is one of the most important aspects of food production. Whether it's fresh raw ingredients or ready-made meals, to ensure the integrity of the products and the safety of consumers, manufacturers need to pay close attention to every step of the production line, one of which is the bagging system.
In particular, one food product that requires an extremely hygienic process and clean bagging machines is powdery food ingredients such as milk powder, non-dairy creamer, whey powder, seasoning powder, and food supplements. These powdery bulk materials must be sterilized and evaporated to increase their shelf life, so that they can be stored and consumed at the convenience of the consumers. Therefore, food safety is incredibly important. If neglected, there could be instances of biological hazards (from microorganisms), chemical hazards (contaminants from raw materials or machines), physical hazards (from extraneous materials), or unintended chemical reactions from product aeration which could greatly deteriorate a product’s quality. Furthermore, certain products, such as food formulas for babies and elderly people require much higher sanitary standards than other powdery food ingredients.
5 Things A Bagging Machine Must Have to Guarantee Food Safety
In addition to the high hygiene standards of the raw materials and the cleanliness of the production process, the packing process, including the bagging machine, can not be overlooked when ensuring that your powdery bulk materials are truly sterile and safe to consume.
Milk powder and baby formulas, for example, must be stored in a cool and dry place. As such, the packaging should help slow down any deterioration in quality as much as possible. The bagging machine should also be hygienic and help prevent oxidation which could occur when the products are exposed to air. If you’re looking for an automatic bagging machine for your powdery bulk production, there are 5 things you should consider before making a purchase.
1. Sterilized Equipment with Minimum Residuals
It is unavoidable that the bagging machine would come in contact with powdered products like milk powder during the packaging process. Thus, there is a risk of chemical contamination, as well as a potential chemical reaction between the powder and the metal parts of the machine. To ensure the safety of the product, manufacturers should consider the following:
- The parts that come into contact with the product must be made of 316 Food Grade Stainless Steel which combines chromium and nickel with added Molybdenum, making it highly resistant to rust and corrosion from acid, alkaline, and chloride.
- The bagging machine should be designed to have minimum contact with food ingredients to ensure no powdery remnants remain inside the machine that could contaminate the next batch.
2. A Design that Prevents Contamination
During the packaging process, while the bagging machine is moving the bags from one station to the next, the mouth of the bags would have remained open. As such, there is a risk of contamination from extraneous materials within the factory. To reduce this risk, the machine should have:
- A sealed cabinet to prevent contamination from dust or foreign matters. The entire process from filling to sealing should also be carried out inside the cabinet.
- A cover while the bag is moving from one station to the next for additional assurance.
- A sealing feature that can expel the air while ensuring the bag is tightly sealed.
3. Food-Grade Motor Oil
Although the motor of the bagging machine does not directly come into contact with the product, there is still a potential risk of contamination from the engine oil while the production is underway. It is recommended to choose a machine that is germ-free and one that uses food-grade engine oil for optimum efficiency and food safety.
4. CIP (Cleaning In Place) Cleaning System
The CIP (Cleaning In Place) system is a cleaning system that cleans the entire machine without disassembling the equipment. It uses hot water, cold water, and cleaning chemicals for disinfection which is the most suitable process for the food business compared to an air-blowing method that can only blow away dust.
5. High-quality Deaeration System
When it comes to powdery food ingredients, another aspect that needs to be considered is the air in the product, which could cause oxidation, causing the product to deteriorate. Too much air in the package could also make the bags swollen and cause them to break. A good automatic bagging machine should have an air suction system, such as the deaeration system, as small as 1 micron, which helps vacuum the air out of the bag without affecting the product. This also ensures the weight accuracy of the product.
In addition to the safety standards of the product itself, the safety and cleanliness of the workplace is also very important, remember:
- To find a bagging machine with a dust removal system, or one that can connect to a dust collector.
- The machine should allow the bag to drop down while filling with a base for support to minimize dust emissions.
- The machine should have a system that prevents sparks and explosions, which are potential hazards that factories should be aware of.
- If the machine is suddenly opened, it should stop running immediately to ensure the safety of the employees operating it.
If you’re looking for an automatic bagging system suitable for processing powdery food ingredients, we recommend the CHRONOS OML H-BF bagging machine from Premier Tech. It is a hygienic bagging machine with a bottom-up filler designed with food safety in mind, requiring less human supervision and reducing both time and labor costs. Furthermore, we have a local team of experienced specialists who can provide maintenance and after-sales services for our customers.