15 Mai 2017 Food & Confectionery

Cleaning and product changeover in less than 30 minutes – The first CIP conch in the world

Chocolate. The distinguishable taste of cocoa has been known to mankind for a long time. Even the processing procedures have been around for centuries, a little bit like a sacred ritual with secrets of each product that produces this marvelous Feast of the Gods. NETZSCH has established itself as an innovative machinery supplier for plants, and is now taking another step forward with special news on innovative technology that breaks the paradigms. The new NETZSCH Conch is not only efficient and quick to produce high quality chocolate, but it is also extremely flexible and reliable.

NETZSCH has developed a new concept for the conching machine that will replace the successful U-conch. It is to be integrated with the Rumba® chocolate production lines. The ease of cleanability for the new conching machine was considered a high priority in order to help producers meet the highest hygienic requirements. Product safety and repeatability were the basis of the design concept since the first sketch.

Hygienic design with f. ex. smooth inner surface, without screws, sharp corners or edges, holes, surface depression or static parts inside the tank which are potential residual spots and generate “shadows” during cleaning procedure.

The very innovative geometry of the conch provides internal circulation and the optimum emptying with, so far, unseen low levels of residuals. The conching shaft is responsible for the fast mixing and, more importantly, the shear and kneading forces over the mass to develop the chocolate flavor and affect the rheology. Highly efficient process, which demands up to 30-35% less energy than conventional “heavy-weight” machines, provides the best flowability of the final mass since it’s under strict temperature control and combined with the sublevel volumetric aeration with self-cleaning inlets for the already famous low fat dry conching.

A highlight to be mentioned is the fully enclosed design with integrated high pressure Cleaning in Place (CIP) devices, working with fats, water or rinsing liquid. The Sterilizing in Place (SIP) with steam is also possible, as well as operation under vacuum, for example for drying purposes.

The automatic pre-cleaning cycle at the end of the conching process uses 1% of the conch’s volume of fat, and exits in 5 minutes. step incredible low residual under 0.2% of conch volume. – I am unsure of how to reword this. Special developed cleaning heads work together with the shaft’s inner wall “washing” tools to allow full cleaning of Conch, employing approx. 3% of the Conch’s volume of cleaning liquid and finishing in less than 30 minutes! In other words, this is a conching machine that allows fast and safe cleaning for a product switch without manual intervention and without taking days or shifts, but only minutes. In comparison to conventional cleaning systems that are made for two times a week, this could mean the saving of over 600 working hours per year. So, also more production hours are available. On the same basis, the savings on cleaning liquids could achieve thousands of liters, on average over 20 to 30 times the volume of the conch per year.

As only under such favorable conditions, the producer would consider more products to be processed on the same line. There is potential for improving the presence on the market and improving the return on investment. There are advantages even if no product exchange is needed. One example is the shorter residence time of any residual product remaining in the conch if considering the related sanitary risks of long periods of uncontrolled exposition to the environment.

NETZSCH MasterConch and the upgraded Rumba® System offer new possibilities for the production of confectionery masses and are the answer to the increasing hygienic requirements, as well a wider range of product demands.


more about the MasterConch