5 Pieces of Wet Grinding Equipment you May Need

Wet grinding is a critical part of commercial food production in the United States. Unlike dry processing, which involves no moisture, wet processing requires water activity, both in the products and during the processing of them. This water activity may come in the form of water circulation, steam, pasteurization, or sterilization. Utilized to develop pet foods, as well as foods for human consumption, wet processing involves mixing ingredients and packaging them in a can, pouch, or tray, where they will later be cooked before distribution. While wet food processing has many benefits, one of the largest is that it allows materials to remain shelf-stable for the entire life of the product or until the container is opened. 

What Do You Need to Begin Wet Grinding?

If your organization is considering expanding or entering the wet food grinding industry, you may be wondering what kind of equipment you need to begin. Here’s a breakdown of the five pieces of wet food processing equipment we recommend every manufacturing operation should have:

1. Dicers

2 whole carrots and shredded carrots in black plate on displayDicers are commonly used to make prepared foods, such as veggies and toppings. Take prepared, pre-chopped chicken, for example – it goes through a commercial-grade dicer outfitted with circular blades. This system offers outstanding precision, high output, and less waste.  Dicers also produce visually appealing food products, which can help increase a company’s sales. By supporting faster, more sanitary food production, dicers have quickly become a favorite tool in the commercial food production industry.

2. Shredders

Shredders are a critical part of size reduction equipment. Used to produce materials with uniform thickness, shredders are particularly popular in manufacturing the ingredients for pre-packaged salads and the like. Designed to grate vegetables and other food products rapidly and at scale, shredders can take large blocks of material and quickly reduce them to a size that’s easy to process further. One of their primary applications is in the production of MREs, or Meals Ready to Eat. Shredders make quick work of the various wet ingredients so they can then be packaged and prepared for further production. 

3. Slicers

Slicers are used to reduce vegetables like whole carrots. A critical part of the wet food production industry, slicers are some of the most flexible types of food production equipment and can go a long way toward increasing the output of your processing program.

4. Comminution equipment

Today, many wet food products are pureed. This puree process requires the inclusion of Comminution equipment. Today, comminution equipment is prevalent in the tomato processing industry, for example, and is an integral part of the production of tomato paste, tomato puree, tomato sauce, and more. 

5. Homogenizers

In America, food is homogenized to make it shelf-stable for human consumption. Here’s how the Encyclopedia Britannica defines homogenization: Homogenization is the process of reducing a substance, such as the fat globules in milk, to tiny particles and distributing it uniformly throughout a fluid, such as milk. When milk is homogenized correctly, the cream will not rise to the top. The process involves forcing the milk through small openings under high pressure, thus breaking up the fat globules. Cream and other food products, such as peanut butter, may also be homogenized to produce a stable emulsion, i.e., one in which fats or oils will not separate from other elements. A similar process is used in the manufacture of some cosmetics and pharmaceutical products. As you can see, homogenization is a complex process, and it requires a complex piece of equipment. This is where the role of commercial homogenizers comes in. Designed to serve as the final step in the production process of liquids, including milk, ketchup, mayonnaise, and baby food, homogenizers help protect foods, extend their shelf-life, and deliver value – both to the producer and the consumer. 

Putting Together a Functional Wet Grinding Operation

Wet grinding is a critical part of the overall food production industry. If you’re interested in enhancing your wet food processing equipment, these five crucial pieces of machinery are here to help. Designed to provide a high-quality finished product, improve output, and more, these five pieces of wet food processing equipment are a must-have for any operation.  Not sure what you need for your wet food processing operation? Contact Corenco’s reps. Our team specializes in helping operations identify the most useful pieces of equipment for them, and will be happy to walk you through our selection of products. Let us help you build the wet food processing lineup you need to grow your business.   old food grinding equipment For millennia, people have been processing food. For as long as humans have hunted or cultivated crops, we’ve also preserved, dried, milled, and baked raw ingredients. While these tactics began primitively, they’ve steadily become more advanced over the years. Today, commercial food production and processing is a multi-million dollar industry, conservatively, and most of us rely on it in ways we’re not even fully aware of. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the evolution of one crucial piece of food processing equipment – the food grinder – and how it has changed and advanced from ancient times to now. 

The Original Food Grinder: The Mortar & Pestle

Featuring a curved lip, deep bowl, and thick, oblong pestle, the mortar and pestle is a traditional type of food processing equipment that’s been used since about 35000 BCE. Used to crush and grind foods into fine pastes and powders, mortar and pestle sets have always played a critical role in global food processing.  Chemists and pharmacists, for example, have traditionally used the tools to grind chemical compounds, while ancient and modern people in the Middle East used massive versions of the vessels to pound meat into kibbeh. These tools remain mostly unchanged today when compared to the versions used by the Sioux, ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans. 

Stone Mills

After the mortar and pestle came the advent of the stone mill (also commonly called a millstone), which was typically powered by a water wheel or a lone donkey. These mills were popular as a method to grind wheat, spices, and other grains.  Millstones worked in pairs – made of a stationary bedstone and a turning runner stone, which performs the hard work of grinding. These mills were unique in that they crushed the grains fed through them, but kept all parts of the grain, including the germ, bran, and endosperm, intact.  Thanks to their construction, millstones ground materials slowly, which means they produce minimal friction and heat. This, in turn, keeps the germ fat from oxidizing and turning rancid, which can destroy some of the nutrients contained in the grain. Today, some small-batch organizations still use millstones, although they’re much less common now than they used to be. 

Hammer Mills

After the industrial revolution came hammer mills, which were used for grain milling and producing animal feed. More efficient than mill varieties from decades past, hammer mills made it possible to ramp up output without drastically altering the effort or manpower required to make a product.  In terms of construction, a hammer mill is essentially a large, steel drum that houses vertical or horizontal rotating shafts. These shafts provide an anchor point for mounted hammers, which swing freely on the ends of the cross. In some cases, the hammers are secured to a central rotor, which spins rapidly while material filters into the hopper. The hammers pulverize the grains and materials, readying them for the next stage of processing.  Late in the 20th-century food grinding became targeted at human consumption, and sanitation started becoming an issue. As such, new food machinery became made out of stainless steel, which is still the case today.

Modern Mills

Today, food processing relies on a complex and varied system of equipment. Crushers, grinders, slicers, and industrial and commercial mixers all play a role in producing the processed and prepared foods we rely on in our daily lives.  There’s also been an exciting shift in the focus of food production equipment: while it began as something ancient people utilized for their purposes and then became a tool used by companies and production facilities on a widespread basis, it has shifted and become a personal pursuit, again.  Today, personal food grinding equipment is standard in virtually every kitchen. Most people own a coffee grinder, mortar and pestle, or personal food processor. This represents the full-circle nature of food processing: what started as a personal pursuit has become personal once more. 

Corenco: Manufacturing Top-Quality Food Grinders for Decades

As food grinding equipment continues to change, Corenco is proud to stay on the cutting edge of the industry. Creating top-quality food grinding equipment for use in the commercial sector, our products combine longevity, functionality, and durability into one convenient, accessible package.  Want to take your food processing operation to the next level? We can help. Our team specializes in helping manufacturing operations identify the equipment solutions that will work best for them, their goals, and their customers. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive lineup of commercial food processing equipment and how we continue to drive the industry forward.