amixon® vertical mixers for spice preparation
Scent, taste and effect - spices fascinate
The fascination of spices lies in the combination of essential oils, aromas, antioxidants, colorants, vitamins and minerals. They turn food into a sensory experience. A number of spices have been attributed with health benefits. Others have a preservative effect.
The sensual experience of spices arises from the interplay of the senses of smell, taste and touch. - Through taste, we perceive only the five basic tastes of "sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami". It is the sense of smell that reveals to us the multitude of differentiated aromas of the various spices. The highly volatile aromatic substances are contained in the essential oils of the spices. The sense of touch perceives the sharpness of some spices. Pepper, paprika, ginger, garlic and horseradish, for example, trigger heat and pain sensations. Especially the capsaicin contained in chili, peppers and hot peppers makes us feel a kind of pain pleasure. As the pungent substances stimulate the blood flow to the taste buds, they also act as enhancers for the basic flavor. They stimulate the appetite and improve digestion.
The journey from the producer to the consumer is long and a good aroma can quickly be lost. Therefore, the methods of transportation, sterilization, grinding, sieving, mixing, conveying and filling are adapted to the particular spices.
The sensory experience of enjoying a well-seasoned meal is also closely linked to the health benefits of spices. Just the sight or smell of delicious food triggers pleasure and well-being in our bodies. The water literally runs in our mouths. Many spices even have an antibacterial effect, they can inhibit the growth of pathogenic germs. The antibacterial property is related to the content of essential oils. Anise, basil, chilli, dill, fennel, cardamom, garlic, coriander, cumin, bay leaves, mace, marjoram, nutmeg, cloves, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, peppermint, allspice, rosemary, sage, celery seed, star anise, thyme, cinnamon and onion can therefore be beneficial to health. Antioxidants are considered particularly beneficial to health and can minimize free radicals. They can also extend the shelf life of foods by delaying chemical and enzymatic spoilage. Natural antioxidants are contained in rosemary, sage, marjoram, oregano, thyme, cloves, pepper, allspice and mace.
Basically, a distinction must be made between mechanical cleaning processes and disinfestation / sterilization processes. Mechanical processes include
- washing and soaking,
- screening and sifting (classifying) as well as
- the use of metal separators
Depending on the particular spice, washing and watering are among the first cleaning steps to remove soil and sand from root and rhizome spices, for example. For some spices, the crops must also be watered to obtain the desired raw product. This is the case, for example, with white pepper, which is obtained from pepper berries that are about to turn red and are soaked in gently flowing water for about eight days. For all cleaning steps with water, it is important to thoroughly dry the product again directly afterwards.
Sieving and sifting are used to separate dissimilar particles. They perform two functions in spice production: Plane sieves, centrifugal sieves and tumbler sieves classify the spice particles according to their particle size. Aspirators, centrifugal and air classifiers separate spice particles according to different densities. The above-mentioned separation processes serve on the one hand for raw material input control and on the other hand as classifiers within the milling plants.
Fine particles, accurate dosing and mixing, intense flavor
Not all spices are grinded. Bay leaves - for example - remain completely intact. Sometimes parts of the plant are first cut and then rubbed, that is, the stem parts are removed. In contrast, seeds or fruit spices in particular are often ground.
The mix does not heat up in the amixon® mixer, even if oleoresins or stabilizers are mixed in. The spice blends remain natural, free-flowing and dust-free. With ComDisc® tools, the amixon® mixer can automatically discharge free-flowing products up to 99.98%.
Our DosiFlap® discharge device can be installed on request. DosiFlap® is helpful when the mix is filled into big bags or bulk containers.
Grinding spices means increasing surfaces.
Large surfaces release more aroma and flavour. Therefore, fine degrees of grinding are required. Gentle grinding is crucial for the quality of the spices. The exclusion of atmospheric oxygen and the supply of cryogenic inert gases are quality-enhancing but cost-intensive. So-called cryogenic grinding processes are advantageously used for nutmeg, pepper, ginger, cardamom and cloves. The use of nitrogen / liquid nitrogen also reduces the risk of dust explosions. Please also read: Blenders from amixon® for spice blends, sight spices, culinary herbs and tea blends.
Sterilization is health protection
Spice sterilization and disinfestation is health protection. Sterilization processes include(d)
- Fumigation with ethylene oxide, ozone or carbon dioxide
- Heating for example with steam, microwaves
- Exposure to ionizing radiation
Criteria for the selection of suitable treatment processes are always the following: Sensitivity of the spice and its ingredients, the required germ count reduction and the subsequent use. Some of these procedures require labeling, such as irradiation. Others have not progressed beyond the experimental stage and still others are banned in the EU. The variety of processes shows that the sterilization of spices is complicated. The goal of killing microorganisms conflicts with the requirement to preserve spice ingredients such as essential oils, vitamins and flavors. Spices sterilized by irradiation are also permitted for consumption in the EU, but must be labeled. Ionizing radiation such as gamma, X-ray or electron beams are permitted. For organic spices, sterilization with ionizing radiation is excluded. The facilities for sterilization by irradiation must meet special requirements and be approved and monitored by the respective state authorities, according to the Federation of German Consumer Organizations.
Disinfection by infrared light
According to literature, infrared light should effectively sterilize leaf spices such as parsley, but also cumin, vanilla, pepper and chili. The uniform heating kills salmonella, mold, E. coli, enterobacteria and other germs, among others. The germ count can thus be significantly reduced.
Dried spices have a longer shelf life.
If spices are aseptic according to their specification, it is important to store them hygienically and dry. Food technologists distinguish between water content and water activity. The latter influences the growth of microorganisms. The water content after harvest is about 80 percent. However, spices have good storage properties only when the aw content is at 10 percent. Drying spices is energy-intensive and expensive, especially if drying is to be carried out gently at low temperatures - as the degree of drying increases, the weight decreases and with it the price for the harvested quantity. Fair regulations between producers and buyers are needed here.
Even small orders are ideally mixed
The amixon® powder mixer type EM produces ideal mixing qualities. It was developed for small orders. The mixer rotates at low speed and works gently. Even liquid additives (oleoresins, liquid flavors) are ideally and homogeneously distributed in the powder.
The mixer fills and discharges automatically:
1) Standard barrel is moved in with hand pallet truck and fixed with clamping ring.
2) + 3) System rotates. The mixing goods flow from the drum into the mixer.
4a) Mixing process takes place.
4b) Optional operation of the cutting rotor. After that, the entire system rotates to Pos. 1. The homogeneous mixing goods are in the standard drum.
5) Cleaning/Inspection: Mixing chamber floor is opened.
The drum (standardized stainless steel drum of 50, 100, 150 or 200 liters) of the mixer is transported to the mixer by a hand lift truck. It is automatically locked, lifted and forms a gas-tight unit with the mixer. Filling of the mixer is automatic.
Liquid addition in the amixon® mixer
In amixon® mixers, liquid can be added in two different ways during the mixing process. Both methods are shown here in the single-shaft mixer type VM:
e) Liquid addition by means of a single-substance nozzle: The liquid is injected into the vortex zone of the cutting rotor. Wetting is achieved by high energy input at specific points.
f) Two-substance nozzle: The liquid is atomized microfine by means of gas/air. The gas also fluidizes the powder flowing past. Wetting is extremely gentle. No additional energy input is required.
Mixer for large volumes
amixon® mixer of the type Gyraton® were specially designed to homogenize large volumes up to 80 m³. This is done particularly gently and with very low electrical drive power. The mixer can rotate at almost any speed. Nevertheless, the entire volume is homogenized.
Trials in the amixon® test center
Trials in the amixon® test center help to gain many new insights. What are success factors that make the powder blending operation particularly efficient?
- Residual discharge
- Powder mixture remains cold
- Particles remain intact
- Dust is bound
- Pourability is improved
Please feel welcome to visit us with your original product!
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