Flow control; indispensable in chocolate production

July 6, 2021 Sandra Wassink

Dosing system with automated pump dosing

Have you ever thought about how you can further optimise your process by automating the dosing process of ingredients - such as flavourings - into the production line? We often see that chocolate manufacturers, or in fact the entire confectionery industry, still use scales to dose additives into the process. Whereas you can automate this by using a dosing system with flow meters. The latter method has several advantages:

Flow controllers for chocolate production
Chocolate production

Advantages of dosing system with flow controller

  • Accurate dosing of liquid ingredients; this allows you to make efficient use of the raw materials, resulting in less wastage.
  • More flexibility: changing recipes with a flow meter is easier than with a scale, so you can respond more quickly to the customer's wishes.
  • Good reproducibility: a dosing system with flow meters can be used in multiple batches, even simultaneously, so that all batches are identical.  
  • Good traceability: all data in the dosing process are logged and are traceable so you can guarantee the quality of the product.

And.... It is not very complicated to integrate a dosing system in your process. In this blog, I will explain the advantages one by one:

Flow meters and dosing systems for the confectionery industry

As customers demand more and more diversity in their chocolate, such as new and exotic flavours, but also healthier options, the flexibility of the process becomes increasingly important. Changing recipes and different batch sizes must be considered. There is also an increasing emphasis on less wastage of raw materials and a longer shelf life of products. And above all, the strict requirements in the production process regarding hygiene must be met... All in all, a challenging job for the manufacturer.
Our flow meters and dosing systems can help. How? Our flow instruments make it possible to accurately and reproducibly measure and control liquid ingredients in the process and allow for short changeover times so that you can realise a flexible system. The most ideal situation is to combine your flow meter with a pump. In this way you measure the liquid flow (the amount of additive) that the pump moves, and you can also adjust this amount directly with the flow meter. We call this 'direct pump control'.

Flow meters versus weighing scale

In the confectionery industry, the production process must meet strict requirements, to guarantee product quality and reproducibility; after all, all batches of chocolate should taste the same. For this process, often a weighing scale is used for the dosing process. However, an inline flow meter can do this job perfectly for you. Especially when you combine it with a dosing pump, you have a perfect dosing solution. Read our blog ‘From weighing scale to in-line weighing’ to find out more about the differences between a scale and a mass flow meter.

Blog: Weighing scale vs Flow meter
Coriolis flow meter dosing block to add flavours to the chocolate
Dosing block with Coriolis flow meters to add flavours

Automated pump dosing solution with a flow meter

For your dosing process you have several options: you can use a flow controller as a single instrument or combine it with a dosing pump. Dosing pumps move a known volume per unit of time, but do not measure the flow that goes into the process. If you solely use a dosing pump, it is difficult to dose very accurately. A pump becomes less accurate due to wear and tear, air bubbles in the system and fluctuations in pressure and temperature. If you combine the pump with a flow meter, you can measure the amount of liquid very accurately and, if necessary, adjust it during the process. This results in a perfect dosage of additives, better product quality and allows you to save on raw materials and your measuring results are traceable

3-A authorisation and hygienic flow meters

In some processes it is mandatory to use hygienic instruments. In that case, you can use our ultrasonic liquid flow meter (ES-FLOW series). In the designing process of this flow meter, we looked at the requirements of the food industry. The hygienic standards have been considered in the construction of this flow meter (straight tube, without any dead volumes), making it suitable for sanitary applications. The flow meter has also received a 3-A authorisation. The ES-FLOW can be combined with a dosing pump.

Video about dosing solutions in the chocolate industry: Additive dosing using direct pump control

Would you like more information?

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