Turn melts into powder by spray cooling

Turning a melted food ingredient such as a fat, oil or emulsifier into a powder makes it easier to handle, transport, dose and store. For these reasons, spray cooling (spray congealing) is a useful technique employed throughout the food ingredients industry to create free-flowing powders with accurately-controlled particle characteristics.

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At GEA we supply spray cooling plants for bulk products and for more specialist advanced applications. Our spray cooling technology can also be used for matrix encapsulation of oxidation-sensitive material or for controlled release applications. We have four different plant concepts for spray cooling that can be applied to your individual product specifications and particular requirements. Our experts have the know-how and experience required to ensure the essential product consistency is achieved. Our spray cooling plants are hygienically designed to meet the strict requirements of the food industry. The plants run continuously, can be used for the manufacture of a wide range of products and allow rapid product changeovers. Effective cleaning and maintenance ensure minimal downtime.

How does it work?

The process operates similarly to a spray dryer but uses cold, rather than hot air. The melt enters the cooling chamber through a rotary atomizer or pressure nozzle and can be processed in either co-current or fountain mode. Here, the fine mist is cooled into a solid form under carefully controlled conditions to achieve the required powder characteristics. A fluid bed, using chilled air flowing through a perforated plate placed under the cooling chamber, provides additional cooling to achieve the desired level of solidification and crystalline structure as required. Spray coolers provide a flexible method of converting melts into powders with particle sizes of up to 500 microns. Larger particles, up to 2000 microns (known as prills), can be made on a spray cooler using a low-speed atomizer

Faster time to market

We have extensive experience (more than 100 installations built since 1960) in spray cooling and provide customers with technical advice and process know-how to ensure that the powder characteristics are achieved in the most efficient and cost-effective way. Customers wishing to develop new products can take advantage of our test center for feasibility testing, and process and product verification. Thereby, you can reduce process risk and time to market for a quick start up.

Spray cooling applications

  • Emulsifiers (distilled monoglycerides, propylene glycol ester, mono- and diglycerides)
  • Encapsulated materials (e.g. Carotenoids, omega-3 and 6 oils) 
  • Fats 
  • Stearic acid
  • Waxes