Fluid bed drying and processing for food ingredients

At GEA we design fluid bed drying plants that comply with the strictest food processing regulations and meet the highest standards of safety and plant performance. We offer a range of fluid bed designs, and work with our customers to configure each plant to match their requirements for specific product composition and properties with optimal operation.

VIBRO FLUIDIZER 1200x675w

Fluid bed drying is used to evaporate residual volatiles (typically water) from a powdered material to achieve the desired moisture content. Energy is applied to the powder in the form of warm air directed through a perforated plate making the powder particles fluidize. Fluid bed drying is suitable for powders, granules, agglomerates, and pellets with an average particle size between 70 microns and 2 mm. It is ideal for food applications in which product properties need to be preserved. 

Fluid bed technology is a core GEA technology. We supply several types of fluid bed units for food and food ingredients applications from small scale to industrial size plants. Fluid beds are designed for continuous processes and are available for processing powders in open or closed-cycle operations using air, nitrogen or inert gas as drying medium. Our fluid beds are designed for high thermal efficiency and to achieve an optimized drying profile due to the combination of back-mix and plug flow sections. All GEA fluid beds are designed to meet the strictest food industry standards and regulations. They can be delivered with integrated clean-in-place systems designed to ensure fast, effective cleaning with reduced process downtime.

Vibrating and stationary fluid beds

A vibrating fluid bed provides optimal processing conditions and transport of products, even for those that are difficult to fluidize. The VIBRO-FLUIDIZER® is most often applied as a final stage in a spray drying process for post-drying or cooling, but it can also be operated as an individual unit to dry, cool, de-dust or agglomerate powders.

The CONTACT FLUIDIZER™ is a stationary fluid bed. Key features include the optimized use of air and a reduced foot print. The heating panels submerged into the fluidized powder layer make the design unique because of its highly effective method of transferring the heat from the panels to the powder through the fluidizing gas.

Test center

To help achieve greater confidence in the safe and repeatable production of your food ingredients products prior to market release, you can take advantage of our dedicated test center for feasibility testing and process and product verification at a small scale before releasing for larger scale production.

Example applications:

  • Vitamin C
  • Fruit & vegetables
  • Fish feed