Steam generators (steam boilers) are used in many industries, but they are most widely used in food industry.
Food industry, from the earliest times, when the ancient man stopped eating raw meat and learned to cook it at the stake, it is continuously connected with heat treatment. Food is fried, boiled, smoked and heated in many other ways – but with industrial cooking, steam is most often used! This is due to the fact that when products are in process with steam, they retain the greatest amount of vitamins – they do not lose their natural taste, the amount of water contained in products remains practically unchanged.
But steam in food industry is used not only for complete preparation of product – steam is used for a variety of different purposes.
Steam usage in food industry:
Defrosting of frozen food. In food industry, a lot of perishable products are used – for delivery and storage of products such as meat and fish, they are subjected to deep freezing (in camera of shock freezing). But what to do when it’s time to defrost them? Wait until the meat, frozen to -30°C or more, melt itself – is not economically profitable (in industrial volumes, meat will melt for 2-6 days), besides, slow defrosting of meat worsens its quality (meat is absorbed by moisture and loses its taste). Steam generators come to the rescue – steam, which has a temperature of 130-150°C, can defrost meat and fish in a matter of hours. Such a method of defrosting, as a rule, is used in large plants and factories.
Production of sausages. Boiled and boiled-smoked sausages, as well as all kinds of sausage products, are subjected to heat treatment (cooking) in the production process. Most often sausages are cooked with steam – this method allows to achieve cooking of whole batch of products, and also shortens the production time.
Bakery industry. As it is known for any baking, you need to prepare the dough. For preparing the dough, yeast is added to the mixture of flour, sugar, milk and other ingredients. In order of rising the dough, and making bakery from it, it was possible to bake buns, small rolls or other products, yeast needs heat – steam allows to heat the dough to the desired temperature.
The process of baking is also often accompanied by supply of steam in the oven – this allows you to achieve greater softness of finished product, prevents excessive dryness and promotes uniform baking. Steam is also used for making finished baking glossy.
Confectionery and chocolate industry. Various creams, caramels, and many other sweets are cooked with steam. Steam is fed into a steam jacket, located around the tank, in which the process of cooking the cream or sugar caramelizing occurs.
Steam is also used for making chocolate – to get cocoa butter necessary for chocolate, grated cocoa beans are pressed on a heated press. Heating and pressing of press is often performed by steam. Mixing of cocoa powder and cocoa butter (with simultaneous addition of additional ingredients) is carried out at a temperature of about +50°C – steam is also used for heating to the desired temperature. After mixing, the chocolate mass is subjected to ligation – a prolonged physical action (about 72 hours) at a temperature of + 55-60°C, steam is best suited for long-term maintenance of required temperature.
Manufacture of milk and cheese products. As we said in a separate article («steam generators for milk industry»), Steam generator is indispensable for processing milk and making cheese. Steam is used for pasteurization of fresh milk, its folding and fermentation.
Steam is used to clean production lines from harmful microorganisms. The ferry is treated with steam before packing food products – it helps to destroy microbes trapped there and prolong the shelf life of the product.
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