What is the Role of Size Reduction in Food Processing
If you’ve ever thought about food processing, you’ve probably considered food size reduction equipment. While it doesn’t get nearly as much recognition as it deserves, food size reduction equipment plays a critical role in food processing of all kinds. By grinding, pulverizing, and modifying food and other materials, size reduction equipment makes it possible for companies to process food and produce finished products.
Here’s what you need to know:
What is Food Size Reduction Equipment?
Size reduction equipment comes in all shapes and sizes. There are choppers, grinders, screw-fed mills, and disintegrators all designed to suit different needs and objectives. Here are a few of the most common types of size reduction equipment:
Each type of machine serves a different purpose and processes particular kinds of whole foods more effectively than others. Common in commercial kitchens, production facilities, hospitals, and more, size reduction equipment plays a variety of roles many of us have never considered.
- Gravity-Fed Mills. Gravity-fed mills, also known as angel disintegrators, are mounted on a 30-degree angle base. They have large inlets designed to accept oddly-shaped whole materials like carrots, apples, meats, and more.
- Screw-Fed Mills. Screw-fed disintegrators are ideal for ingredients that are too difficult to feed into gravity-fed mills. They’re great for bulky products like dried fruit, paper, leafy greens, and more.
- Pump-Fed Mills. Pump-fed disintegrators reduce agglomerates and oversized material in pump-able liquids. They’re common for processing tomato paste, water, and other agglomerates.
- Crushers. Designed initially to crush whole melons, these machines use gravity to feed heavy items through a milling chute, wherever they’re prepared for further reduction.
- Shredders. Shredders are mostly used in milling cheese for pizza toppings. These machines are capable of processing 5-gallon pails of material and more.
The Role of Size Reduction Equipment in Nutrient Absorption
One thing many people don’t think of when it comes to food size reduction equipment is how making food smaller improves nutrient absorption of food. When you consume food, you aren’t technically absorbing the nutrients until they’re taken into your GI tract. This means that the way we deliver food to our GI tracts matters.
If you’ve ever heard that you should chew each bite of food 32 times before you swallow it, you’ll have some background in this. While chewing 32 times might seem excessive, it serves an essential purpose: for your stomach to absorb your food correctly, the food must be thoroughly disintegrated by your teeth and steeped in saliva. Sound appetizing? That combination makes nutrients more readily available for your body.
If you’re not interested in excessive mastication, there’s another way: food size reduction.
When food is reduced in size before it passes your lips, it’s much easier for your body to enact the processes it needs to undertake in order to digest the food. Small particles of fruits and veggies, for example, are easier to break down than huge chunks. Meanwhile, certain types of food, like wheatgrass and barley, are virtually impossible to digest until their tough cellulose outer layers have been broken down by size reduction equipment – either through grinding or juicing.
From Whole Foods to Finished Products
Whole foods are a great way to ship and put things on grocery shelves. Unfortunately, they’re not a great way to support people making recipes. For that, you need processed foods.
Smoothies are a great example. Smoothies take whole foods (whole fruits, vegetables, and grains, for example), reduce them to different forms, combine them into another way, and make them something people want to consume.
Baby food and soup are two additional examples. Food processing makes food easier to consume, easier to absorb on a nutritional level, and easier to prepare. Hospitals, meanwhile, use food reduction to equipment to grind up materials to feed people through feeding tubes.
Processed Food is Becoming Less Processed
Today, people want to particulate in their food and food production. While the U.S. as a whole is consuming more processed foods, consumers are also looking for processed foods that feel decidedly less processed. Take particulates in juice, for example. Unheard of eleven twenty years ago, sediment-filled extracts indicate quality and health today.
While the goal of food production used to be a homogeneous product, that objective has since shifted. Today, people want high-quality products that look and feel homemade. It’s food processing differently, and it’s changing the way manufacturers approach food size reduction.
To access efficient, effective food size reduction, having the right equipment is critical. Here at Corenco, we specialize in producing high-quality, reliable food size reduction equipment you can count on. To find your perfect match today, contact our team or browse our selection.