What is a valve?
A valve is a device that is designed to regulate the flow of liquid, gas or air via a pipe, duct, etc. It is a device that allows movement in just one direction.
Which types of valves are used in the food industry?
Food processing is one of the most important components in the food industry due to the amount of activity created to meet supply and demand expectations. In this regard, food processing necessitates a variety of systems, technology, components, and processes, but it must also provide complete cleanliness and health assurances. Food processing is only the first stage of a long process that culminates in product distribution and preservation.
Specific industrial requirements must be satisfied for successful processing, which are defined based on the features of the product to be generated, the temperatures required for processing, and the material required for said task.
Milk and dairy products, as well as bread and baked items, are all part of the food and beverage business. As a result, a limitless array of material must be processed; having a notion of what you need to process these media is critical. Valves are critical components in all food and beverage processing systems. The type of the food and beverage material heavily influences the valve selection. As a result, understanding the qualities of the media you will be processing is critical in selecting the best valve for your purposes. Aside from the material’s nature, there are several factors to consider. The valves are also chosen based on the temperature, pressure, viscosity, and elements to which they will be exposed. To get the desired results and assure safe food and beverage processing, the best valves on the market must be used.
The microbiological safety and quality of goods in the food and beverage manufacturing process are heavily influenced by the quality of the valves. Valves used in the food and beverage sectors are divided into two types:
• Valves with direct contact
• Utility Services Valves
Direct contact valves
Direct valves, as the name implies, are those that come into direct touch with food or beverage products, whether milk, drinks or anything else. To prevent microbiological contamination, direct contact valves must comply with strict hygiene requirements.
These valves are subject to national and international regulatory requirements set by a variety of independent agencies, including the FDA. These valves are made with great care to avoid the entrapment of food and product particles, which allows germs to grow. Valve materials should be inert or non-reactive to both the product and cleaning agents. Additionally, the valves must be corrosion-resistant and nontoxic. In general, stainless steel is an excellent material for making direct contact valves for the food and beverage industries.
Utility Services Valves
In the food and beverage business, utility service valves are also commonly used. These valves do not come into direct touch with food or drink goods. Instead, they control the supply of steam, water, and other non-food and non-beverage elements required for food and beverage preparation, packaging, and delivery. Despite the fact that they do not come into touch with food or beverages, these valves must meet sanitary standards. Sanitary valves for the food industry
The sanitary valve, as the name implies, is a type of valve that meets strict health and safety regulations for applications in the food and beverage sector. The purity of the consumable food products that pass through these sterile valves is critical. The body is often made of stainless steel, particularly SUS304 and 316L, which meet stringent health regulations. Although brass and plastic are acceptable, stainless steel is the recommended material. To prevent bacterial growth, sanitary valves must be free of voids and crevices. All components that may come into touch with the fluid, gas, or slurry have been mirror polished. Furthermore, the level of polishing and cleanliness should meet the health criteria established by its industrial purpose.
Purpose of sanitary valves
Sanitary valves are used in the food and beverage industries to connect and control conveyance pipelines. Because they are made of stainless steel, they protect the purity, stability, and quality of fluids during transportation. Furthermore, sanitary valves are simple to disinfect and clean in order to keep them neat.
Types of sanitary valves
• Solenoid sanitary valves
• Sanitary ball valves
Solenoid sanitary valves
Due to its stainless-steel construction and ability to function in corrosive and humid environments, sanitary solenoid valves are ideal for use in the food processing industry. They are typical in the ready-meal, salting systems, fruit and vegetable canneries, meat, and meat processing industries.
Sanitary ball valves
In the beverage business, ball valves are preferred because of their excellent rangeability and dependability. Compared to butterfly or globe valves, the ball valve’s regulating component is less complicated.
Factors need to be considered while selecting valves for the food industry
The major parameters user needs to be considered while selecting valves for the food and beverages industry are:
• Valve Types
To begin, food is a large-scale product that provides nourishment to millions of people. As a result, the quality and state in which they are prepared and consumed have a direct impact on customers’ health and quality of life.
In other terms, they are things that have a limited shelf life. Dairy goods, sausages, oils, fats, and liquids with additional characteristics such as flavoured waters, sodas, and alcoholic beverages are available.
In terms of cleanliness, all items must have their specific quality certification. As a result, the food processing sector requires unique and specialized mechanisms and systems to function.
In most cases, hygienic pumps and hygienic valves are employed, allowing for the manipulation and elaboration of various goods while ensuring safety and health conditions. One of these devices’ distinguishing features is that they are built of a specific material, which could be stainless steel. This prevents the appearance of various agents such as viruses and bacteria, which can affect and contaminate the fluid contained in the systems to some level. Another feature that emerges in these devices is their ease of disassembly, which facilitates cleaning and sanitization following certain operational processes.
Each party involved in food preparation must rely on different machines and components. The decision between the two is decided by the tasks to be completed and the procedures that they suggest. That is why there are several types of sanitary valves. One of them is relief valves, which prevent a given installation from exceeding a predetermined pressure limit.
Another example is valves that control the flow of a certain fluid within a system. Within them are the ball valves, which totally open and close the channel, and the globe valves, which allow it to be managed through varied degrees of opening in addition to these capabilities. There are centrifugal pumps in addition to other types of valves. They allow hydraulic fluids to be pumped and moved from one level to another within the same system by using centrifugal force. Furthermore, they enable functioning at high flow rates and low pressures.
Beyond the operation and mechanical properties of hygienic valves and pumps, it is critical to consider the material they are constructed of, as well as all of the variables that allow them to handle and regulate various types of fluids. Basic hygiene conditions are thus ensured throughout food processing.