Application Example: Feeding and Material Handling for Dry Infant Formula and Milk Powders

Background: 

The production of dry dairy powders and infant/baby formulas requires extremely sanitary design of the equipment as well as high accuracy in the precise addition of ingredients to the formula blend. The system provided must also offer the versatility to handle a wide variety of difficult flowing and temperature-sensitive ingredients, including vitamins, nutrient additives and even probiotics. In addition, depending upon the type of process and the processing environment, the equipment must be able to be cleaned by either wet or dry cleaning methods. The hygienic designs provided by Coperion and Coperion K-Tron are easily adaptable for all of these requirements. 

Process Options

In the manufacturing processes of infant/baby formula, it is important to produce an end product formulation which meets the needs of the target group. The equipment must be able to handle, transfer and feed such ingredients as whey powder, casein, lactose, maltodextrin and additional minerals.

Powdered infant formula is generally manufactured via one of two different methods: dry blending or wet blending with spray drying. In addition, in some cases the overall production can also be a combination of dry and wet processes, producing the base powder via the wet process and then using dry blending for the final blend of nutrients prior to packaging. The blending portion of these processes can be either via continuous or batch blending methods. In either type of process, Coperion and Coperion K-Tron loss-in-weight feeders, conveying systems and hygienic design rotary and diverter valves are used.