Reducing Water Usage in Food Processing

A man cleans apples and oranges at a food processing facility

Water is an essential element throughout the food processing industry, and food production requires vast quantities of this resource. Notably, water is a primary ingredient in many foods. In addition, food facilities use water extensively for processing, cleaning, and sanitizing. However, factors such as over usage, poor management, and climate change threaten the supply of this finite resource. As communities place increased demand on water supplies, food processors have to compete for access to fresh water. Thus, costs associated with water usage increase. As such, higher water costs result in higher costs to manufacture a product, making it more expensive for consumers to access food. Significantly, if there is no water due to scarcity, then there is no product, which means there is less food.

Food processors now recognize there is an opportunity to reduce usage and thereby reduce operational costs. A water audit will help businesses identify inefficiencies within their operations where they can reduce water consumption. However, common areas where water is misused include processes and equipment.

Changing Processes to Reduce Water Usage 

Improvements or changes to processes can facilitate water conservation. Cleaning processes for both food product contact surfaces and non-product contact surfaces account for a significant amount of water consumption. Manually cleaning equipment uses more water than automatic cleaning since an automated process regulates the optimum amount of water for the task.

Improving Equipment to Reduce Water Usage

Improvements or changes to equipment and machinery can also reduce water usage. Process controls such as ball valves can be used on machinery to improve water flow rates. Pressure regulators limit pressure variations and improve flow control. Likewise, water level controllers automatically adjust the water to regulate flow and ensure optimal performance. In addition, steam and water used for heating and cooling can be recirculated back for reuse. Water monitoring features such as flowmeters, pressure sensors, temperature sensors, and conductivity meters provide valuable data for water use optimization. Furthermore, equipment with data acquisition systems can log and track usage data over time to help determine the effectiveness of measures taken.

Better Engineering’s Cleaning Systems

BE designs automated cleaning and sanitizing systems specifically for the food processing industry. Our batch and continuous-process systems incorporate features such as automatic water level controls, flow meters, pressure sensors, temperature sensors, conductivity meters, data acquisition systems, and recirculated spray to help you reduce water usage and save money. Additionally, our sanitary cleaning systems are hygienic by design and feature stainless steel construction, full internal welds, complete access, and compliance with 3-A standards. We work closely with food producers to design a system specific to their application. Our machines optimize production processes while ensuring effective hygienic cleaning of items such as:

  • totes
  • trays
  • crates
  • bins
  • Macrobins
  • pans
  • racks
  • reusable plastic containers
  • buckets
  • drums
  • pallets
  • filling equipment
  • funnels
  • molds
  • other processing equipment

Better Engineering’s automated cleaning and sanitizing machines ensure repeatability of the process flow, increase productivity, lower the cost of human and natural resources, and prevent contamination. Customers can count on Better Engineering to find a cleaning solution that matches their needs. To demonstrate, our test lab will test your parts free of charge. We guarantee the system you choose will always meet your cleanliness standards. Please speak with one of our machine specialists today to learn more about Better Engineering’s washers and how.

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