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Modified Rotating Reel for Malaxer Machines: Assessment of Rheological Characteristics, Energy Consumption, Temperature Profile, and Virgin Olive Oil Quality

1
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Via Amendola 165/A, 70126 Bari, Italy
2
Department of Agriculture, Environment and Food, University of Molise, Via De Sanctis. n.c., 86100 Campobasso, Italy
3
Department of Soil, Plant and Food Sciences, Food Science and Technology Section, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Via Amendola, 165/A, 70126 Bari, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Foods 2020, 9(6), 813; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9060813
Received: 22 May 2020 / Revised: 18 June 2020 / Accepted: 18 June 2020 / Published: 20 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Food Engineering and Technology)
The properties of food products are the result of changes produced in raw materials as a result of process treatments. In the olive oil extraction process, these changes can be observed as differences in quality, nutritional characteristics, taste, and flavor, and are especially due to the time and temperature of the malaxation phase. These parameters are closely related to the mechanical design of malaxer machines. In this study, a new reel model for malaxer machines was designed. The new model was incorporated into an industrial malaxer machine and experimental tests were carried out to study the effects of two different reel designs (modified and unmodified profile) on the rheological characteristics of olive paste, the energy consumption of the plant, and the temperature profile inside the machine. The main commercial parameters of the produced olive oil were studied, as well as the extraction yield and the extraction efficiency of the plant. The malaxer machine equipped with the modified reel showed better homogenization of the paste, which led to improved heat exchange and rheological properties. The results of this study showed that a specific modification of the rotating reel can improve the performance of the malaxer in terms of improving the viscosity of the paste, 127,157.67 (mPa sn) for the malaxer with the modified reel at the beginning of malaxation, reaching a final value of 64,626.00 (mPa sn) at the end. The unmodified malaxer showed an initial viscosity coefficient of 133,754.00 (mPa sn) and a final value of 111,990.67 (mPa sn). This led to a reduction in malaxing times, an increase in the work capacity of the plant, and a reduction in total energy consumption and slowed down the oxidative phenomena responsible for the decrease in the quality of olive oil. View Full-Text
Keywords: olive oil equipment plant; malaxer machine; rotating reel; temperature; viscosity coefficient; energy consumption; olive oil quality; extraction yield olive oil equipment plant; malaxer machine; rotating reel; temperature; viscosity coefficient; energy consumption; olive oil quality; extraction yield
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Bianchi, B.; Tamborrino, A.; Giametta, F.; Squeo, G.; Difonzo, G.; Catalano, P. Modified Rotating Reel for Malaxer Machines: Assessment of Rheological Characteristics, Energy Consumption, Temperature Profile, and Virgin Olive Oil Quality. Foods 2020, 9, 813.

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