Food manufacturing has always been a part of human culture. What began centuries ago with salt preservation, sun drying, and fermentation is now a billion dollar industry with amazing technical advances. One of those advances is the use of mixers. Mixers blend dry or liquid food contents together to create great tasting food in a quick and convenient manner. One of the most important and commonly used mixers is called an impeller mixer.
What is an Impeller Mixer?
Impeller mixers create the desired consistency in food processing by converting energy from the motor in a proficient way, in a short amount of time. This means that impeller mixers (sometimes called agitators) mix food items, whether liquid or solid, in an efficient and timely manner that sometimes includes heating or cooling. Impellers assist with food production through several applications, creating a desired taste and consistency.
Mixing Applications and Flow
The first application is mixing two liquids, for example, milk and water or even water and oil. Impeller blades are able to effortlessly combine the two liquids into a fluid mixture creating optimum mixtures for food manufacturing.
The second application is mixing two solids, usually in a powdered state. By using heating or cooling with the mixing blades, an impeller can easily unite these food products into one form during this stage of food production.
The last application is mixing a liquid with a solid. Impeller mixers fluidly merge and dissolve a solid into a liquid substance, much like a sugar and water. Within all three of these applications, mixers break up gas or insoluble liquids through mixing and transferring hot or cold temperatures evenly throughout the mixtures. To perform the applications of breaking up gas and liquids, impeller mixers have two different mixing flows—axial and radial flows.
Axial flow impellers act in mass motion and increase the volumetric flow during the homogenization process. Homogenization reduces the use of additives, and extends food stability, taste, and shelf life. Radial flow blends two or more liquids that are resistant to mixing and distributes heat or cooling throughout the mixture.
Utilizing a variety of applications and flows, impeller mixers mix and blend all sorts of foods, benefitting the food manufacturing industry by saving energy and time. Due to impeller mixers’ high versatility with solids and liquids, and the economical impact it has in food manufacturing, impellers are and will continue to be a key part in the present and future of food production.