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Food grade heat exchangers for F&B production

2022.08.01 Aggreko

5 tips about food grade heat exchangers for a winning F&B production


Food and beverage plants straddle a tight, tenuous line.

The sector has always been at the mercy of seasonality, availability and weather patterns. But the modern customer poses a new, big challenge for F&B production:

  • Customers have more dietary preferences to choose from than ever before (vegan, keto, organic and more) with an increased focus on identity in our society
  • We are simultaneously more aware of allergies and dietary restrictions. Consumers no longer write off itchy lips, slight GI discomfort or minor headaches as normal.
  • With convenient access to the most information readily available in human history, customers are capable of changing preferences faster and more resolutely
  • Consumerization and digitization of everything has created the same expectations for convenience and availability as a song on our smartphone or ride to the airport

Consumer demands are more diverse and unpredictable than in generations past. But expectations of how those demands are met are universal. So how can food and beverage plants keep up with a widening array of customer demands and narrowing customer expectations at the same time?

The solution starts with dedicated food grade heat exchangers. Here’s why dedicated food grade heat exchangers are your tool for taking a lead in the state of the food and beverage industry today.

F&B production plants are at a crossroads

Food and beverage has the most frequent exposure of any industry to the most informed, selective and dynamic consumers in recent memory.

Everything from gourmet CPGs to bulk grains and produce is held to the highest standards. And while on the surface, consumers may splinter by preference, most share a common characteristic: they demand transparency about sourcing and production.

And while this shift is rooted in ethics, this shift emphasizes two aspects of a plant’s everyday processes:

  1. Is the product stored at temperature and humidity levels to best express its quality?
  2. Are cross-contamination efforts maintained to ensure safety and dietary standards?

Challenges in the food and beverage industry

Consumer behavior change is leading to a cascade of challenges and transformations for F&B productions. The modern plant must be able to meet the exacting demands of existing trends while agilely adapting to emerging ones.

And in an industry with steep competition, high risk of failure and slim margins, the modern producer must also be able to do so without disrupting their current production. To lead the market, you must be able to successfully manage the speed of change, the cost and reliability of your production process and the quality of your output simultaneously.

An inability to strike this balance can lead to:

  • Failure to meet profitability goals and competitive standards
  • Falling behind evolving, values-driven buying behaviors and preferences
  • Food safety issues, including contamination, recalls and liability

But all’s not lost: implementing the right equipment is your swiftest solution.

Here’s how.

Heat exchangers are a go-to in food grade equipment

With a range of evolving demands comes a range of processing and storing standards.

Therefore, a solution that can accommodate and adapt to an array of preferences — without interfering with continuity or production stability — is key. And in the Food sector, there’s no variable more influential and in your control than temperature.

Food grade heat exchangers allow producers to meet existing market trends and adapt to sudden market changes without expending unnecessary or unwieldy CAPEX or incurring sudden shutdowns. Why?

  • Food grade heat exchangers are economic in both size and spend, making it easy for plants to implement them into their production strategy with minimal interference
  • They allow plants to accurately heat products or ingredients without disrupting their overall climate
  • And food grade heat exchangers easily integrate with existing temperature control systems, minimizing the need for downtime or risk of disruption

But not all heat exchangers are created equal. Consider this.

Sanitary heat exchangers are scarce

Without due diligence, a heat exchanger can put your production at risk of contamination and issues with customers and regulatory boards. It’s hard enough to win in this market — and mistakes like this are exceedingly difficult to bounce back from.

A sanitary food grade heat exchanger must be:

  • Safe, always cleaned to food grade protocol and quick to install
  • Flexible for a range of production processes
  • Used exclusively for F&B production purposes

Unfortunately, this makes suitable food grade heat exchangers scarce. Why?

  • Heat exchangers may have been used for other industries or purposes (e.g., temporarily supplementing heat to hazardous chemicals at a petrochemical plant)
  • Heat exchangers may have lacked cleaning and sanitizing for food grade purposes. Gaskets are not replaced with new ones after each use
  • Many providers fail to provide the traceability or documentation to back up safety and cleanliness claims, leaving you in the dark

Your plant can’t rely on subpar food grade heat exchangers to meet market demands, especially in an eagle-eyed generation of food and beverage consumers. One inadequate food grade heat exchanger can create issues in the entire process line, undercut trust in your brand, or worse — harm your customer.

Enter Aggreko

Strategically implementing food grade heat exchangers can help you grow market share while meeting and adapting to the consumer’s evolving palate. And working with a temporary equipment provider allows you to do so without expending excess CAPEX.

Aggreko is the only temporary utilities provider that can guarantee a properly maintained, cleaned, tracked and sanitary food grade heat exchanger with an expert engineering team to work with your production process and design the perfect solution — providing rapid results.

Aggreko’s food grade heat exchangers include:

  • An experienced group of process engineers experienced in working with F&B customers
  • Access to a complete turnkey solution for all your critical energy, heating and cooling needs
  • Certified cleaning procedures completed by third party vendor
  • Exchanger’s pressure tested after each use
  • Fast delivery and implementation

All of our heat exchangers are thoroughly cleaned and pressure-tested between rentals by a third-party vendor – with cleaning certificates and before/after pictures provided – to keep your processes safe and working smoothly.

Read about our solutions for the food & beverage industry

Final thoughts

The F&B production industry is more competitive than it has ever been. Shifting and diverging customer needs coalesce with stricter regulations and shorter attention spans. For plants to succeed today, they must be able to implement a customized temperature control solution in times of adaptation and times of necessity.

Food grade heat exchangers help plants adapt to changing demands and immediate issues, with the flexibility to overcome anything that comes the producer’s way. And with a focus on industry-specific, unparalleled standards, Aggreko is the only solution that can provide food grade heat exchangers — quickly, cost-effectively and safely.

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