David Smith, Director of DJS Process Consulting Ltd., presenting at the Institute of Physics meeting on “Physics in Food Manufacturing“.
(The presentation was on behalf of The Centre for Process Innovation).
The meeting addressed themes in which academia/industry collaborations are likely to make the greatest impact on challenges currently facing food manufacturing. David shared his experiences of the many manufacturing reliability and quality issues encountered in packing foods.
The success of any formulated product is not only dependent upon its formulation but also the packaging within which it is sold. Handling and processing of food powders and particles pose many challenges in food manufacturing. The food industry is heavily reliant on packaging as both the means to present the product to the consumer and as the method of providing protection to the product between manufacture and end use. The powder products industry tends to rely on past experience and/or trial and error with regards to process scale up. The performance of a packing line process is a function of the equipment /process design, the physical properties of the product & the process control strategy employed. Currently a major industrial capability gap in that the behaviour of new formulations is not known until a new product moves to full scale production trials. A pilot scale research facility with a very broad applicability based upon common powder handling and dosing equipment is being set up at the National formulation Centre. This facility would enable to understand the behaviour of new powder and complex particle formulations. The facility could be used by clients to make test runs with new products & packages creating representative packed samples for consumer testing, ship testing or other technical tests.