Easy-to-clean dryer optimizes output for fresh-cut processors, says firm
The company said that Compact Dryer can handle up to 280kg of product per hour and is suitable for small to medium volume fresh produce processors producing products such as shredded and chopped lettuce, leafy salad mix, cabbage, cut vegetables and herbs. The dryer's enhancements such as new electronics in the form of user digital control (UDC) and the replacement of the traditional mechanical lock with a magnetic one were all customer led, according to the US-based manufacturer. "The previous model has been on the market for 15 years. The new features and design elements are in response to market needs, and represent a compilation of inputs from many customers," a spokesperson for Key Technology told FoodProductionDaily.com Fast braking Fast and dependable electronic braking increases production throughput and reduces maintenance, claims the manufacturer. "With faster breaking, less time is spent stopping, which allows the next dry cycle to begin sooner," said the spokesperson. She claims that fully adjustable spin speeds and cycle times as well as preprogrammed settings enable fast product changeovers and assure optimal water removal for each type of product, thus extending produce shelf life. "The Compact Dryer is a unique size but if we compare price in terms of pounds per hour of product dried, then the pricing is competitive," she said. Sanitation Operator injury risk is reduced by the ergonomic design of the dryer, which is low to the ground for ease of loading and unloading, claims the manufacturer. The stainless steel dryer has a 2B finish in product contact areas with no weld pin-holes or laminations and is designed to withstand harsh hot water washdowns, enabling cleaning inside and out, according to Key Technology. "Sharp corners and recessed areas that can trap product and liquid have been eliminated in the new dryer to prevent bacterial growth and enhance sanitation," said the manufacturer. The company claims that the magnetic lock feature of the dryer, with its smooth profile, also improves sanitation and offers a safety advantage over the mechanical version. The spokesperson added that the dryer's portability and small equipment footprint enables it to fit into most food processing plant environments. Market expansion The equipment is currently available only in the US and Asian markets. However, the company said that it will be more widely available from next year: "We expect the Compact Dryer to be CE marked in early in 2009 and then made available in Europe," added the spokesperson.