As a universally applicable gelling agent, thickener, and stabilizer, pectin has become an indispensable component in many products from the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. The use of pectin in the food and pharmaceutical sectors is mainly on the rise, given it is derived purely from vegetable sources, making it a popular choice in light of other market and consumer trends, such as the demand for halal, kosher, vegan, low fat and more sustainable nutrition.
Pectin production has come to rely heavily on separators and decanters, which provide clear advantages compared to other separation technologies. In addition to the importance placed on process technology that gently and efficiently extracts pectin, customers are also paying increased attention to hygienic design to meet the food, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industries’ high standards and requirements. As a global innovation leader in separation technology, Gea has 40 years of experience supporting respected pectin manufacturers worldwide; these companies are increasingly relying on our centrifuge technology, most notably Gea pectinMaster from the new CF decanter series, to support efficient processing in their modern production plants.
Pectin production is a multi-stage extraction process requiring subsequent processing. Decanters and separators are used in several process stages and ensure production plants are economically viable by delivering maximum yield given they optimize several process stages. Extraction takes place at a very low pH value and high temperature, and the processed product can be too abrasive. For this reason, the parts of Gea’s machines that come into contact with the product are safeguarded by corrosion and wear-resistant materials. Because the well-designed gear of the Gea pectinMaster is located externally, it does not come into contact with the product, eliminating any risk of contamination.
In the next step, the pectin is precipitated with alcohol. In this process stage, the Gea pectinMaster, particularly the explosion-proof ATEX version, ensures safe operation. Its hygienic machine design includes several spray nozzles for safely removing product deposits and reliably cleans all decanter areas that come into contact with the product. Likewise, process-specific cleaning procedures consisting of the shutdown and CIP programs ensure maximum machine cleanliness. To ensure all necessary optimizations can be made during the operation, the pectinMaster comes equipped with the patented Varipond system for infinitely variable adjustment of the liquid level in the bowl via compressed air.
Launched eight years ago, the Gea CF decanter series has now been adapted to meet pectin recovery’s specific process needs. It is based on the process experience Gea has gained over many years. The resulting pectinMaster is a machine optimally adapted to customer and process requirements. Several dozen Gea pectinMaster decanters are now on the market, delivering convincing results given their outstanding process performance for many leading pectin producers with whom Gea has developed a relationship based on trust. This was achieved by carrying out successful production scale trials for different process stages onsite by several producers – who then decided to invest in a Gea pectinMaster for their future operations.
The Gea pectinMaster decanter line is available in several sizes, ranging from CF 1000 to CF 8000 (ATEX and non-ATEX), and can be adapted to accommodate specific production capacities.