Since 2018, North American pet owners have expanded their expectation of wet pet food products. These evolving expectations introduce a host of challenges for wet pet food manufacturing – from sterilization to cooling. Pet owners now look for more recognizable ingredients like vegetables and meat shreds rather than the standard meat emulsions that once made up the majority of the wet pet food market. Research has shown that being able to recognize these ingredients gives pet parents the feeling that wet pet food products are more natural and less processed.
What Challenges Does the Demand for Recognizable Ingredients in Natural Shapes Pose for Wet Pet Food Manufacturing?
Irregular sized meat shreds and vegetables in wet pet food pose sterilization challenges in the retort process. In 2019, DC Norris released its Jet Process system for wet pet food with in-line continuous sterilization. The Jet Process system for wet pet food allows pet food manufacturers to produce ambient stable pet food without batch processing, traditional pressure vessels or retorts.
The Jet Process System is a revolutionary new solution for industrial wet pet food processing. Jet Process can cook, entrain (mix and hydrate hydrocolloids) and sterilize all-in-one complete system. The unique in-line continuous sterilization system reduces the number of processing vessels used, saving time and energy, while improving product quality and profitability.
SAMPLE WET PET FOOD PRODUCTION PROCESS USING JET PROCESS
(CAN BE ADAPTED TO MEET INDIVIDUAL REQUIREMENTS)
POWDERS, GUMS, GELS, VITAMINS & HYDROCOLLOIDS
High-speed system for entraining powders such as gums, gels, vitamins and hydrocolloids. Jet Entrain automatically transfers the hydrated gums and powders to an unjacketed processing vessel where key wet pet food ingredients such as meat, vegetables, water and rice are then added.
Jet Entrainment is able to entrain heat, mix and hydrate 1,323Ibs /600kgs of powder to their required temperature in under 5 minutes.
IN-TANK HEATING & HIGH SHEAR MIXING
DC Norris’ patented Jet Cook in-tank units can be used to heat and emulsify the wet pet food up to 206°F. High shear mixing heads can be used to create the final texture before the product is automatically diverted via Jet In-line units if sterilization is required, or alternatively to a filler.
IN-LINE HIGH TEMPERATURE STERILIZATION IN A SINGLE PASS
The pet food is then heated with the In-line Jet Units from 120°F to 302°F in a single pass in less than 6.5’ with zero burn-on or fouling. As product goes through the units, the process flow undergoes a double phase change and a very rapid transition of pressure and velocity. The in-line units create 7 trillion droplets of water per second giving almost 100% heat transfer to the product, as well as intense, controlled mixing. Any powders, fats or liquids contained in the flow become thoroughly and safely homogenized without a detrimental effect on particulate integrity, along with even heat distribution from steam condensation, giving a 99.8% usage of the steam energy. The product then passes through a series of holding tubes to hold the product at temperature for the required period of time.
EFFICIENT RECOVERY & RECYCLING OF COOLED MAINS WATER
The cooling process is completed using the same line as the Jet Sterilize and holding tubes, bringing the pet food back down to 158°F in a single pass before diverting to the filler or holding vessels. The product is cooled using mains water which can be recovered as high at 158°F for use at the start of the process for Jet Entrainment. This efficient recovery technique, unique to the Jet Process System, saves pet food manufacturers in energy and water usage.
Jet Process is a complete system incorporating the latest ground-breaking technologies from DC Norris. These new innovations are saving energy and reducing costs by minimizing the overall processing times in each phase of the process.
We’re ready to help your wet pet food manufacturing business today. Request a free consultation and custom quote.