3 Ways Agitators Impact Thermal Processing Solutions

The type and
viscosity of food product, thermal processing technology, desired texture, and
cooking/processing cycle times are considerations for the applied cooking/blending solution.
When selecting an agitator or changing an application, review the thermal processing and
blending goals. The proper agitator selection, blending action and recipe controls provide
the highest level of batch productivity and


Mepaco has
engineered several types of agitator configurations. Ribbon style blenders provide a higher
level of shear.  Single or double agitators with paddles provide a more aggressive blend. 

The desired
system expectation is also a factor.  Agitators can be designed to reduce product discharge
waste; designs can also provide suspension to hold product until downstream equipment is

The type of
thermal heat solutions and type of food product will drive the need for scrapers.  Indirect
heating applications typically require scrapers to prevent burn-on during the heating

For more
information about mixing and blending applications, check out our e-book on “Comparing Agitator


The agitator
and controls package for the cooker have been specifically engineered for a particular set
of batch parameters.  It is critical that operators understand the expected performance of
the cooker and blending settings.

commissioning, when a change is made in the food product, temperature, or recipe alteration,
it may affect agitator effectiveness and overall efficiency of the cooker.
If any delays or inefficiencies are noticed, contact the factory to provide a system check,
or provide system adjustments to the application


It is vital
to keep agitators well maintained. Flexed or stressed agitators do not perform efficiently,
and in some cases, minor efficiencies turn into critical downtime scenarios when not
maintained properly.

If plant
personnel make a repair to an agitator, it is important to schedule an after-event service
call to make sure the repairs hold up to stainless welding fortifications and proper
straightening to prevent future issues.

systems may degrade over time. Check scraper assemblies during maintenance intervals, and
replace scrapers that become ineffective. Worn scrapers are a liability to food safety and
product quality that can cause a critical shut-down if scrapers crack or break up into the
food product; or become ineffective due to excessive

Agitators are
one part of the overall solution for cooking and blending. Visit our web page to learn more
about thermal processing equipment.