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Pak Fok Food Products has improved the flavour and texture of soy milk concentrate while increasing production rates tenfold in a plant that features a Kason Vibroscreen circular vibratory screener.

The process produces concentrate that is whiter, more neutral and free of beany flavour, which is considered undesirable in soy beverages.

Smooth mouth feel, a key attribute, is achieved by removing particles larger than 118 microns from the juice extracted from crushed soy beans using a 122cm diameter Kason Vibroscreen circular vibratory screener.

Producing soy concentrate at the plant involves: de-hulling the soy beans; washing, hydrating and crushing them into a slurry; and extracting, filtering and pasteurising the juice prior to chilling and shipping the concentrate.

In researching methods to improve the extraction and filtration/separation stages of the process, Pak Fok found that a circular vibratory separator could screen to 118 microns at 6,000l/h.

In the former plant’s extraction process, a dual rotary drum filter, followed by a filter press, removed most of the solids from the slurry.

A Kason 76cm diameter screener separated the balance of the solids to 75 microns.

But the flow rate was limited to 600l/h.

A new extraction process increases the flow rate tenfold while increasing viscosity of the feed.

The screener accommodates this volume after a switch to a tough market-grade stainless-steel wire mesh that can be highly tensioned to increase shear, and by optimising the screener vibration and discharge pattern according to the flow characteristics of the soy solution, a service performed by Separator Engineering, of Scarborough, Ontario, the Canadian affiliate of Kason Corporation.

The circular vibratory screener is equipped with an imbalanced-weight gyratory motor positioned beneath the screening chamber.

The motor imparts multi-plane inertial vibration to the spring-mounted screening deck, causing oversize particles to vibrate across the screen in controlled pathways to the screen periphery where they are discharged.

Undersized particles pass rapidly through the screen and fall through the bottom outlet.

Protein and agglomerates clogging the screen are cleared once per hour using a clean-in-place (CIP) system that sprays hot water multi-directionally through perforated, ball-shaped spray nozzles positioned strategically within the screening chamber.

The entire screener is manually disassembled every 24 hours for thorough wash down.

The process is fully automated, requiring only two operators, and is environmentally friendly.

The plant receives soybeans from railcars, eliminating packaging waste, and sells the ‘Okara’ soy bean byproduct discharged from the extractor and screener (consisting of agglomerates, protein, undissolved sugar and fibre solids) as an ingredient for Asian-style soups, vegetable dishes and tofu, as well as animal feed.

The plant also conserves energy by reusing process water and recycling heat energy consumed in various stages of the process.

The soy concentrate is ultimately diluted to produce soy milk, other soy-based beverages and other soy food products.

Kason Corporation manufactures numerous types and sizes of circular vibratory screeners and centrifugal separators for separating virtually any solid from any solid or slurry, as well as powder coaters and circular fluid bed dryers, coolers, moisturisers and agglomerators.

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