The growing popularity and ever-expanding range of fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies on the market means manufacturers must now look for equipment that is efficient, fast and reliable at a production scale. Seeing an increase in enquiries from customers in this market Silverson produced a ‘how to’ video demonstrating the advantages of high shear mixers for the production of smoothies.
Smoothies are produced in a wide range of batch sizes, from individual portions in catering establishments to bulk production. A major problem producers face when manufacturing smoothies is that there is no production scale equivalent of the smaller blending equipment commonly used for this application, such as kitchen blenders. Although many manufacturers use purées in their formulations, for those using whole fruit, several different pieces of processing equipment may be required for chopping and puréeing the ingredients before they can be blended together. It can therefore be quite difficult to find the correct equipment to transform an idea created in the test kitchen to production on a large scale.
The blending equipment traditionally used requires long mixing times to achieve a uniform mix, and powdered ingredients can be difficult to incorporate, especially when added to higher viscosity smoothies. Poor processing can lead to unsatisfactory texture and mouthfeel where fibrous strands, seeds or other “bits” may remain in the mix. Unhydrated powdered ingredients could also remain in the mix if they haven’t been properly dispersed. This makes repeatability between batches difficult to obtain and product quality is inconsistent, varying from batch-to-batch.
A Silverson mixer can help to overcome these problems, producing a uniform, smooth blend in a fraction of the time taken by conventional methods. Silverson offer a range of high speed, high shear mixers for this application including in-tank Batch mixers for producing smoothies on a larger scale.
Silverson also offer a specially designed Blending Plant which can handle the whole smoothie making process. The complete system is capable of disintegrating large solids without pre-treatment, so additional cutting equipment is not required. The high speed, high shear action of the plant can rapidly disintegrate smoothie ingredients; including large and frozen fruit and vegetables, down to their desired consistency in a single operation. It can also be used to incorporate additional powdered ingredients.
The plant consists of an adapted Bottom Entry mixer working in conjunction with a high shear In-Line mixer. The Bottom Entry mixer provides the initial disintegration of the solids while the In-Line mixer then further refines the product. Interchangeable workheads from coarse disintegrating heads to ultra-fine screens are available, allowing the user to obtain their desired consistency. As with all Silverson equipment, the plant can be customised to suit individual requirements.
For smaller scale mixing, Silverson Laboratory mixers are also available for the manufacture of smoothies. Ideal for R&D work these mixers are built to the same tolerances as production scale models and provide an easy and accurate means of scaling up. Results are consistent across the entire product line so batch-to-batch consistency is guaranteed.
Using a Silverson mixer for the production of smoothies is advantageous for the following reasons:
- Rapid disintegration and pulping of solids and incorporation of any powdered ingredients.
- Capable of blending liquids of widely differing viscosities.
- Interchangeable workheads available from coarse disintegrating heads to ultra-fine screens, allowing the user to obtain the desired consistency.
- Consistent, repeatable results.
- Scalable results across the entire Silverson product range.
A ‘How to’ video specifically on the manufacture of Smoothies, available on the Silverson website, demonstrates how the blending plant is able to rapidly disintegrate and pulp solids so there is no need for pre chopping of ingredients – fruits, vegetables and other raw materials can be added whole and blended quickly.
To find out more, contact Silverson today.