Feb 23, 2017
More changes are coming to the food and beverage industry as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to crack down on ammonia safety.
The EPA has launched a three-year, nationwide enforcement and compliance initiative focused on reducing the risks of chemical releases from facilities that use extremely hazardous chemicals, including those that use ammonia as a refrigerant.
What two credit interpretation rules mean for temperature-controlled plants
Nov 22, 2016
Food processing and cold storage facilities have historically faced challenges when pursuing LEED certification. Refrigeration and process systems require a lot of energy, and there has never been a specific path or program for these types of facilities under the LEED umbrella. However, LEED v4 and its two specific credit interpretation rules are now making the path to certification more achievable.
May 19, 2016
Quick chill systems are a viable option for hog chilling thanks to improved efficiency, product quality and yield. But to achieve these benefits, and peak performance, your system must be designed correctly.
How quick chilling works, improves pork product output
May 12, 2016
There are more than 68,000 pork producers in the United States alone—competition is fierce. So how can your hog facility remain competitive? By producing the highest quality product possible for consumers, efficiently. And an effective chilling system is key to facilitating the most premium product for your consumers: a flavorful cut of meat with appealing color, firmness and moisture levels. The faster a carcass is cooled after slaughter, the better quality the meat will be. Quick chill systems, specifically, reduce chill time and produce a better cut of meat. While they may be a significant upfront investment for your food plant, this method offers significant advantages and long-term ROI.
Mar 24, 2016
Your food processing facility’s commitment to safety starts with being prepared. How do you prepared to be… prepared? With your food plant’s emergency action plan (EAP): a required Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) document that defines employer and employee actions during workplace emergencies. While emergency action plans that meet minimum requirements may include emergency information and procedures, they still may not contain enough detail to ensure the safest response to dangerous situations. Your plan must be comprehensive, eliminating all confusion and hesitancy in case of an emergency. A non-comprehensive plan — one lacking extensive instruction or failing to address each emergency — may add confusion to the situation.
The best options with ROI in mind
Mar 17, 2016
Achieving sustainability in a food processing plant is no easy task. Upfront costs and expenses associated with energy-efficient solutions, such as equipment and building materials, can be difficult to justify. How do you know which energy-efficient options will provide the best return on investment?
Part 2: Process freezing series
Feb 18, 2016
Many food plants rely on freezers and refrigerators to store and ship their products. In last week’s post, I outlined four variables food processors must understand during process freezing. This week, I want to take a look at freezing methods and equipment, and the applications they’re best suited for. Depending on the type and quantity of food, certain freezers are more useful than others.
Part 1: Process freezing series
Feb 11, 2016
Food plant owners who work with frozen products must have a thorough understanding of the freezing process and what it does to food. Freezing, done well, preserves nutrients and provides a good-as-fresh product for the customer. Done badly — well, we’ve all pulled a forgotten, frost-encrusted steak out of the bottom of the freezer before. It’s not very appetizing. This two-part blog series will take a look at best practices for freezing and the applications of various types of freezers.
Feb 4, 2016
CO2/NH3 cascade systems offer food processors a practical way to increase efficiency. By using two centralized refrigeration systems working in unison to provide cooling temperatures, they maximize the effect of carbon dioxide and ammonia. The high-temperature system pulls heat away from the low-temperature system, which in turn uses recirculated liquid to cool the evaporators.
Cascade systems that use CO2 as a secondary refrigerant offer unique advantages. Carbon dioxide is nontoxic and nonflammable, and is also less likely to damage food products in the event of a release. For food plant owners, CO2/NH3 cascade systems offer six key benefits, which are detailed below.
Packaged refrigeration equipment series
Jan 28, 2016
For the past two weeks, we’ve discussed packaged refrigeration equipment: a system that uses ammonia or CO2 and a secondary refrigerant, allowing facilities to reap the benefits of ammonia while also minimizing the charge and risk. We’ve already reviewed the various ways these systems can benefit food processors and discussed the five different types of these low-charge chillers available. However, if you decide to introduce packaged refrigeration equipment into your food manufacturing plant, there are some key questions you must answer before installation to ensure an efficient, smooth installation process.