Turmeric, a healthy spice used in curry dishes, has become a popular herbal supplement in the U.S. due to its potential antioxidant properties. For centuries, it has been used in Southeast Asia as a treatment for digestive disorders, inflammation, arthritis and infection. Today, it is often taken in capsule form as a dietary supplement.
Recently, a major U.S. herbal company manufacturing turmeric capsules was experiencing mixing issues that led to unnecessary processing time, downtime and maintenance costs.
Originally, the processor was using a top-entry high-speed dispenser blade blender in a tank to disperse 600 lbs of turmeric and other dry powdered ingredients into 92 gallons of liquid lecithin.
Too often their in-tank mixer would leave undissolved solids in the turmeric mix, plugging the filler tip on the encapsulation machine. This required them to shut the line down to clear the clog. The batch would then be filtered to remove any small solids prior to restarting the encapsulator.
The processor found that with this system, the only way to ensure the product was blended properly was to extend their mixing to 6 to 24 hours per batch.
They were already using other Fristam pumps in their plant with success, so when they learned about Fristam’s mixing and blending line, they reached out for a better solution. Fristam recommended their Powder Mixer model 20-53 with variable frequency drive, so the processor could control the amount of shear applied to the product. The Fristam Powder Mixer provides quick, even blending of wet and dry ingredients into a fluid stream by integrating the uniform powder induction of an FZX Liquid Ring Pump and the thorough blending of an FS Shear Blender into a single easy to use system.
An onsite trial, with Fristam reps and the local Fristam distributor, was scheduled. With the Fristam Powder Mixer the processor was able to pour the bags of powder into the Powder Mixer’s funnel where they were pulled directly into the liquid stream of the lecithin and mixed quickly and thoroughly with no lumps or fisheyes. The total processing times dropped from 6-24 hours per batch down to 1-3 hours per batch, and the product quality was excellent.
With the end result being a better end product and reduced processing time, the processor immediately placed an order for its own Powder Mixer. They are quoted as saying, “The new machine is running 2-3 times a week with great results.” They estimate it will pay for itself in about 2 months.