Cleaner cocoa butter without losses in a closed and automated filter system

Cleaner cocoa butter without losses in a closed and automated filter system

Cocoa butter is getting more and more valuable and the demands on the quality of cocoa butter are increasing. Therefore cocoa butter producers are looking for the best filtration systems to get the highest quality and yield of cocoa butter without loss of any product.

In the past several systems have been developed to separate the last bit of cocoa powder from the cocoa butter, after the cocoa mass has been pressed. Separation systems like centrifuges, decanters and other separators have been installed all over the world. In the last decades Filtration Group Process Systems (amafilter, LFC Lochem) has developed and installed many alternative and more efficient filter systems for this exact application as well. The filter system we have developed is based on the principle of cake filtration on a filter cloth. Our customers around the globe, confirmed that the quality and yield of the cocoa butter is much higher with Filtration Group’s system, without any exception. Please read below how Filtration Group’s system works.

cocoa butter filtration

Filtration technology for cleaner cocoa butter

The filter system developed by Filtration Group – amafilter – LFC Lochem is a pressure tank with stainless steel cricket elements installed in it. On these stainless steel cricket elements a special cocoa filter cloth are mounted. The cocoa butter is pressed through this cloth and the solids (cocoa mass / cocoa powder) stay on the filter cloth by means of a differential pressure. A layer of solids forms on the filter cloth and this layer becomes a filter media itself as well. The secret for success of this special filter is the combination of the filter cloth and the solid layer together forming the ideal filter media. It is a perfect combination of direct and cocoa cake filtration.

Throughout the years, together with our customers, we have developed a filter cloth that is perfect for this application. The cloth in combination with all the knowledge we have gathered from our in-house Process Technology Development department, engineering, laboratory and pilotfilters on the parameters for cocoa butter filtration makes that we have seen solid contents under 10 ppm and filtration speeds up to 70 to 80 kilograms per square meter per hour filtration area are possible only by a Filtration Group – amafilter – LFC Lochem system.

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Efficient and low cost production

The solids that are ‘caught’ on the filter elements can be discharged from the filter elements by means of back pulsing with a liquid or gas. These solids sediment to the conical bottom part of the vessel and can separately be discharged from the vessel and send back to your presses. Not a drop of product is spilled. Another big advantage of this filter system is that is has no moving or rotating parts. The fact it is a stationary unit has already been enough advantage for some of our customers to switch to this system, saving a lot on maintenance.

The back pulse cricket elements are shaped like a “cricket bat”. With this “cricket bat” shape, the customer is able to make use of more filtration area in the same vessel compared to cylindrical elements, since there is less ‘dead’ space between the elements. For the shape of the elements we have named this filter system ‘Cricketfilter®’. Over the last decades we have provided and/or installed dozens of these Cricketfilter® on all known cocoa (butter) producers worldwide.

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Opportunities

You can benefit from the Cricketfilter® technique in several ways. We can, for example, only provide the filter vessel and the elements. Another option is to let us do all the work for you and put all our knowledge in a skid mounted unit. We also have a plug and play installation including piping, instrumentation, automation and a switchboard with a programmed PLC.

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However if you like to do the hardware yourself and you would like Filtration Group Process Systems to advise you on the installation and processing of the filter, there are plenty of options as well. You can think of engineering support, commissioning and staff training on-site, pilotfilters, laboratory testing. We provide  plenty of opportunities to improve the cocoa butter production and your filtration process!

If you like to learn more about our cocoa butter Cricketfilter® system, please feel free to contact us.

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