Best Practices for Agitators in Mixing Applications

Proper agitator design and selection will provide the best performance of the mixing and blending equipment. Considerations for specifying the agitator and overall mixing solution include:

Ingredient Considerations
• Size of ingredients
• Condition or fragility of ingredients
• Ability to dissolve
• Weight of ingredients and mix
• Viscosity

Process Considerations
• Product recipes used in the equipment solution
• Mixing, blending and/or cooking process
• Product performance during cooking

There are numerous designs and configurations of agitators that Mepaco uses in Mixer-Blenders, ThermaBlend Cookers, and Mixer Cookers. Here are highlights of two application extremes:

Single or double thermal screws offer very gentle cooking and blending. Thermal screws are specified in cooking applications requiring additional heat transfer surface in contact with the food product. It is driven by chain and sprocket with a rotary union for steam or hot/cold water to be circulated through the shaft and cavity of the flights. Cooking applications include slurries, pastes, pet food and similar products. (Above photo on the right.)

Agitators with double shafts and overlapping paddles work in unison with a bottom discharge screw. Applications include ground or emulsified beef, pork, chicken and turkey. Double overlapping paddle agitators are used in Mixers and Blenders, in applications that require quick mixing of proteins that require accuracy and protein extraction. (Above photo on the left.)

E-bookGuide to Agitators
Check out our new e-book guide “Comparing Agitators.” In a side-by-side guide, we’ve highlighted eight configurations of agitators, including equipment type, best practices, and application information.

• Single Shaft with Dual Ribbons
• Single Shaft with Ribbon / Paddles
• Single Shaft with Dual Paddles
• Double Shafts with Ribbon
• Double Shafts with Ribbon / Paddles
• Double Shafts with Paddles
• Double Shafts with Overlapping Paddles
• Single or Dual Thermal Screws

Here’s a link to the guide for more information.