Mühlenchemie develops new dryer in pasta lab

Mühlenchemie’s new pilot dryer simulates the conditions of a commercial pasta dryer, but at smaller scale (Image: MC Mühlenchemie)

Mühlenchemie has reinforced its service for pasta makers with a technology upgrade. Its flour treatment team has taken a new dryer into operation at the pasta lab in Ahrensburg, Germany. This enables simulation of industrial pasta production with almost 100% accuracy, so that pasta makers can test how different flour treatments and process parameters affect product quality under realistic conditions.

Test production runs under realistic conditions

Pasta production is a complex process that depends on many factors. Adaptations to constantly changing conditions, like new consumer desires, different flours, and growing cost pressure, are unavoidable. In the development of new recipes and production processes, getting the theoretically predicted results in practice is a challenge. Tests at industrial scale are typically uneconomical, since they require large amounts of raw materials. The consequences are long, drawn-out development processes with high error and reject rates.

Mühlenchemie’s new pilot dryer simulates the conditions of a commercial pasta dryer, but at smaller scale. Unlike conventional laboratory dryers, the system offers a dynamic environment that exactly replicates the process flow of industrial pasta fabrication.

Individual drying times for optimum results

The new dryer is designed to be flexible for different kinds of pasta, and enables precise control of the drying process. An integrated scale monitors the drying curve in real time and supplies information on drying progress. This data enables Mühlenchemie’s technologists to individually adjust parameters like temperature, moisture, airflow, and drying time, and so improve the quality and efficiency of production.

Mühlenchemie’s flour treatment team unveils the new dryer at the pasta lab in Ahrensburg, Germany (Image: MC Mühlenchemie)

Closing gap between testing and production

In addition, the Mühlenchemie development team can adjust drying times to the specific requirements of their customers. Whether a short 100 minute drying time for short-cut pasta (penne, fusilli etc) or a longer 180 minutes for long-cut pasta (spaghetti etc), the new dryer can address these specifications and the drying equipment available to the customer, as well as to the processes used, from classic to modern. It can also simulate traditional drying times of six hours for customers who prefer traditional methods.

“This is an important addition to our pasta lab and part of our 360° service,” says Jana Russnak, leader pasta applications at Mühlenchemie. “With this innovative dryer from Fava, we can precisely replicate the specific conditions of any pasta production, and so get the best possible understanding of the interplay of raw material, ingredients, and production process. Thus, we close the gap between lab testing and real commercial production.”

Partnership with Fava

The dryer reflects the collaboration between Mühlenchemie and Fava. The two companies have exchanged information as partners, and contribute their knowledge process technology, flour know-how, and an understanding of ingredients, in order to develop solutions for the pasta industry.