Technical design: In order to understand our clients’ requirement, we take the time to go over their entire process so that we are then able to understand what you are wanting to achieve. This may be a combination of air and moisture removal, pasteurisation and rapid cooling then crystallisation / storage or just one of these processes.
Honey drum tipping and pumping: To enable safe and efficient handling / tipping of drums, we have designed a system whereby multiple drums can be tipped at once to allow for a good flow rate for your process. Once the drums are decanted the honey is then pumped to the process plant.
Heat treatment: In our 30 plus years of operation we have developed a considerable amount of expertise around the gentle heat treatment process of various liquid foods. We are proud of our technology and this is our specialist area. We know how to achieve the temperature profiles that need to be met and how to process each individual product in a way that best suits it’s properties. Dealing with such a valuable product such as Manuka honey, several factors need to be taken into consideration to make sure the heating process is carried out in a careful and gentle manner. We utilise carefully designed plate or tubular heat exchangers and holding tubes to completely liquefy the honey crystals to ensure that it can easily pass through not only the plates but also the filtration process to give you a clean, yeast free product.
Moisture Evaporation and Air Removal: Once the honey has completed its heating step it may then go through a moisture evaporation process by forwarding the honey to a vacuum vessel. Remaining at 70 deg C, the honey is exposed to vacuum to aid in the evaporation of excess moisture, at this point the temperature of the honey will immediately drop, owing to the latent heat of evaporation. In the event where minimal water evaporation is required, the vacuum set point can be lowered and minimal moisture removal will take place, but any air incorporated in the product prior to this point will be removed. The temperature control of the honey prior to the vacuum unit is controlled automatically.
Honey Filtration: After the sugar crystals have been liquefied and excess moisture has been removed, the honey then goes through a filtration process. This is done by sending the honey through a self-cleaning wedge-wire stainless steel cartridge at 200μ’s to filter out any yeast spores within the honey. This process helps to increase the time the honey can be stored in between each process allowing the UMF of the manuka honey to mature.
Storage: Once honey has exited the filter it is sent through to a crystallisation tank where the honey is suitably agitated to ensure there is no air incorporation within the product. As this process takes place the temperature of the product is held at a predetermined level and honey starter is added to aid the crystallisation process. Having the honey continuously agitated ensures that only small honey crystals are able to form, creating a nice creamed honey with a great mouth feel.
Electrical Control: A control panel will be supplied which will enable the operator to adjust the processing speed of the product, and turn the process on and off. Pump speed and product temperatures will all be displayed. Operation intervention is very easy and product throughput can be very easily changed and controlled.
Site Installation: Once fabrication has been completed in our Palmerston North workshop we are then able to disassemble your honey process for transport. Once the equipment arrives on site a member(s) of the Thermaflo team travel to site to carry out the onsite installation if required.
Commissioning and Training: We provide a full commissioning and training service to support all of our projects. Depending on how much experience you have with process plant operations, we are able to take the time to train you on how to operate your new process equipment. It does not matter if you are a first time processor, by the time we leave you will be confident around operating your plant by yourself.
After-sales Support: This includes both preventative maintenance service support on a scheduled program as well as on the phone support for the operators and local tradesman eg the electrician.
For more information about how Thermaflo can assist you with your honey processing go to our contact us page to leave a message or give us a call.