Written by Colm Swan, Dressings & Sauces Market Manager
Mayonnaise can be one of the most finicky food products around. So many things can go wrong, and a manufacturer needs a solid comprehension of the science involved if they are to succeed. If they do not, then troubleshooting batch to batch variation can be infuriating. Mayonnaise needs shear to produce a homogenous and stable product, but too much shear can lead to thin viscosity or even a broken emulsion, rendering the batch useless. Too little shear will also lead to thin viscosity and poor emulsion stability. It is all about finding the sweet spot. When making Mayonnaise, shear is typically provided by way of an inline mill at the discharge of the batch tank. Making shear rate adjustments with conventional colloid mills can be tricky and results are not easily repeatable.
Admix set out to address the inconsistencies that colloid mills produce. Colloid mills usually require an adjustment in gap size to influence final emulsion quality. This is not a user-friendly adjustment and often requires an extremely experienced operator to do correctly. With the Admix MayoMill™ inline wet mill, the gap size is kept constant. Emulsion quality can be influenced by adjusting the mill speed. This is a quick and precise adjustment that produces consistent results batch to batch, allowing manufacturers to preset a speed, with the peace of mind that they will get consistent results every time. Additionally, the MayoMill can be integrated into an automated control system so speeds can be preset for a particular recipe or accurately adjusted from their digital controls.
Another big disadvantage of traditional colloid mills is their inability to CIP (Clean in Place). This leads to significant down time as they need to be taken apart, right down to the seals for thorough cleaning. This loss of time leads to reduced plant output and increased labor costs. In addition to these costs there are significant maintenance costs that come with conventional colloid mills – the seals are very fragile and cost a few hundred dollars to replace.
Prior to transitioning to an Admix MayoMill, many of our clients were replacing broken seals in their colloid mills almost every washdown. As you can imagine, a few hundred dollars to replace a seal rapidly adds up to a significant amount when breakages occur several times a week. The robust seal design of the Admix MayoMill however, makes the ROI period very short and easy for our clients to justify.
The Admix MayoMill is completely CIP’able due to its sanitary design and robust seals that can withstand the high line pressure experienced during a CIP cycle. In addition to this, the more robust seals allow mayonnaise manufacturers to exceed the throughput of their current colloid mills. Colloid mills are usually limited to a maximum of just 40 GPM. The Admix MayoMill can handle up to 110 GPM.