How to Pump Critical Product With Maximum Food Safety
Preventing health hazards thanks to NETZSCH pumps
Almost daily, we receive reports of recalls due to contaminated food, and the number of unreported cases is much higher. One reason for this is often attempted contamination through the abrasion of elastomers. But what can you do to avoid it?
We will show you how to prevent future contamination through abrasion when pumping critical media in the food industry. As a global specialist in complex fluid management, NETZSCH Pumps & Systems offers you NEMO® hygienic progressing cavity pumps specially optimized for the food industry. This allows you to pump even critical media in compliance with the highest hygiene regulations.
Dangers when pumping critical media in the food industry
Displacement pumps are often used in food production where viscous or difficult products such as molasses, honey, spent grains from beer brewing or chocolate have to be conveyed. These products have to be handled in part very sensitively. Progressing cavity pumps are particularly good for these tasks as they ensure conveying at stable pressure and volume, are gentle on the product and allow high-precision metering. Despite the benefits in handling such products, progressing cavity pumps have the reputation of being only of limited suitability for tasks with product contact in the food industry. The main concerns regard the latent risk of food contamination through rubber abrasion.
How to pump even abrasive and critical media food safe
It is correct that important components of progressing cavity pumps, such as stators and seals, are made primarily from elastomers, i.e. from elastic natural or synthetic substances. Constant wear occurs due to the friction between the rotor and the stator elastomer, depending on the conveyed product, especially for highly abrasive products, but those are rather seldom in the food industry. But even for those rare products there are hygienic progressing cavity pumps available, where only a very low level of abrasion occurs when properly used.In an internal risk assessment conducted on individual pumps, the rubber removed through abrasion was put into relation with the expected total pumped volume during the entire stator operating time. The impurity caused by the elastomers is minimal with a single-figure ppb value and an unacceptable change in the composition of the conveyed product can therefore be excluded. Accordingly, we will use obviously only food-safe elastomer.
How to pump critical product in compliance with all hygiene regulations
The hygienic progressing cavity pumps from NETZSCH, specially developed for the food sector, fulfill the regulations and specifications of several international regulators. First are the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group (EHEDG) and the 3-A Sanitary Standard. This means you can pump even critical foodstuffs in compliance with the highest hygiene regulations. At the heart of all these regulations is the food-safe nature of the materials used and the ability to clean the design. Conventional progressing cavity pumps have been adapted for use in hygienically sensitive areas.
To ensure you can use progressing cavity pumps safely in the food sector, the elastomer used, for example, is specially designed for contact with food. Therefore, only those compositions selected for the food sector that has good wear resistance on the one hand. On the other hand, they fully comply with all food safety regulations of American and European authorities, such as the EU Regulation 1935/2004. This means, by using a NETZSCH pump, you exclude any potential health risk to consumers according to the current state of the science.