Flour is an essential ingredient in many food products. However, during processing, it can easily be contaminated by metallic dirt like iron. Because this contamination poses a significant health risk to consumers, the EU is looking to better regulate flour processing. “As regulations become more stringent, the European flour mill industry will need new solutions to ensure the safety of their products,” says Mathias Beguin, founder and CEO of MagneSys, a Swiss company that makes systems for removing iron particles from food processing. With the support of EU funding, MagneSys is answering this need with a new, automatic filtering system for the milling and food processing industry.
A high-gauss filter
The main outcome of the Magnesys project is the development and testing of a high-gauss filter (HGF), a magnetic filter designed to automatically remove iron magnetic contamination from powder-based foods. “The HGF works at a high flow capacity to filter and eliminate waste automatically,” explains Beguin. “The free flow section allows production to run at a high flow rate without any obstacle slowing the product.” Once installed, the powder flows vertically through the filter. With the magnetic circuit placed outside the flow section, the iron parts are attracted perpendicularly in two trapping areas, one located on both sides of the filter. After a defined period, the trapping areas move linearly to evacuate the dirt. The whole movement is done automatically using two pneumatic cylinders and a controller that delivers the electrical signal. As a plug and play device, the MagneSys HGF solution can be easily adapted depending on the type and particle size of the powder. It is also remarkably easy to install and operate, with the machine running on 230 V electrical power and a minimum of three bars of air pressure.
A large return on investment
According to Beguin, the MagneSys HGF solution offers customers a large return on investment. “During testing in real industrial conditions, our magnetic filter removed 99 % of all particles – a significant improvement over what the filters currently on the market can do,” he adds. “Needless to say, we’ve received great feedback from potential end users.” This is good news for Europe’s 3 800 flour mills – an industry that employs over 45 000 people and represents turnover of more than EUR 15 billion. “Our solution ensures that these companies are able to comply with stricter regulations, provide safe food for EU citizens, and improve their global competitiveness,” concludes Beguin. Based on successful test results, the company has filed for a European patent and is working to further develop and market the technology.
Magnesys, magnetic filter, flour processing, powder-based foods, flour, flour mill industry, food processing industry