Mepaco® cookers are designed with ASME thermal jackets. The jackets are pressurized and therefore regulated by ASME standards. The ThermaBlend® Cooker features an ASME stay bolt (also called stay-rod) constructed jacket. Mixer-cooker equipment may also have stay-bolt or dimple jacket construction.
Specifically, ASME engineering and construction requirements include approved calculations, ASME-certified techniques and fabricators, testing, and ASME stamps and documentation.
With indirect steam heating, pressurized steam flows through a wrap-around ASME thermal jacket that cooks the product through conduction. Since the potential exists for burn-on, Mepaco’s patented scraper system keeps the surface clean to maximize heat transfer and mitigate sanitation issues. Product applications for indirect steam heating include stews, sauteed vegetables, scrambled eggs, granola, ground beef, and other food products that do not require additional moisture. The indirect steam cooking option can also provide caramelization if needed for the application.
Stay-bolt rods are individually welded between the inner and outer jackets providing a robust jacket design. Due to expansion and contraction caused by heating and cooling with constant blending agitation, the 90+ psig, ASME-rated stay-bolt jackets are recommended for demanding applications of the ThermaBlend® cooker.
Thermablend® cookers are also offered with direct steam injection (DSI). DSI is quick and efficient and eliminates burn-on and the need for a scraper system. Since steam is directly injected into the product, culinary steam filters provide clean steam for your process. Application examples include moist pet food, thick sauces, soups, fillings, and spreads.
Thermablend® cookers can utilize direct, indirect, or both steam heating techniques. Using both indirect and direct steam options will substantially increase batch cycle cooking efficiencies. The viscosity and make-up of the food product, processing, and production requirements dictate which type of Thermablend® and agitator option is the best solution for the application.
Mixer-Cookers are designed with either ASME stay-bolt or dimple jackets that heat product indirectly. Dimple jackets utilize a thin gauge stainless steel layer welded to the tub shell in a regular pattern. The punched and spot-welded areas are called dimples, which create turbulence of the heating or cooling steam or fluid flowing through the jacket.
Mixers, Pump Feeders, and covered Screw Conveyors may utilize ASME dimple jackets to maintain temperature control.
An equipment nameplate will display the ASME stamp and compliance information, and the final certification will be registered with the National Board and made available to the customer. Pressured stay-bolt or dimple jackets over 15 psi, will require ASME compliance.
Should there be a need for refurbishment or repair, please get in touch with Mepaco®, so your ASME jacket will remain compliant and altered by certified ASME specialists who will validate an R-stamp repair. Mepaco® also has compliance expertise with CRN (Canada Registration Number).
Mepaco® engineers equipment for the specific application in every project, providing high-performance equipment. The ThermaBlend ® Cooker has a lot of customization options to fulfill the production goals of the food processor. In fine tuning the specifications for a cooking solution, Mepaco® provides a consultative approach to the parameters around production, operation, product, process, safety, and automation.
Discussions around production goals will define the capacity and size of the unit. Other considerations that also factor into the capacity of the equipment are mixing time, cooling time, and how long it takes to load and unload the cooker. Mepaco® will consider the total batch time and how many batches in an hour / day can be maximized for the new cooking solution.
Operational considerations are the physical requirements of the equipment. What equipment is loading the cooker? How is it loading and what is the loading height? Are there footprint limitations or existing plant requirements? Which configuration, the single or the double agitator, is best for the application? What equipment will the cooker discharge into and what is the discharge height?
Mepaco® has significant experience in many food processing industries which may influence application direction. Considerations also include product type and size, moisture, protein, density, viscosity, and composition. With new products, Mepaco® encourages customers use our test cooker at their facility to determine the process and effectiveness of the ThermaBlend® cooker.
Next, Mepaco® must discover the processes required for the cooking application. The ThermaBlend® Cooker is a versatile unit that is capable of mixing, blending, cooking, cooling, searing, caramelizing, sautéing. The mixing or blending action and speeds are determined in defining the process. Also, scraper systems may be considered depending on the food product and process. The loading temperatures, cooking temperature, and unloading temperatures are all calculated to determine how the equipment will process the batch. Depending on the application, the process may require vacuum, cryogen, direct and/or indirect steam.
Under safety, Mepaco® will collect food safety and personnel safety requirements for the system. Sanitary design and sanitation requirements are determined, as well as construction materials, exterior and weld finishes, and guarding needs are all added to the project scope.
After the equipment solution is determined, the controls and automation strategy can be developed. Controlled processes, recipe programming, steam, glycol, or water control, and certifications, if necessary, are planned for the controls solution.
The ThermaBlend® Cooker is designed specifically for large-scale batch operations. All components from the tub to the agitators are custom designed to meet the needs of the application. The ThermaBlend® is designed with standard and modifiable options that include:
Start a conversation with one of our consultative sales managers for more information.
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The Mepaco® brand has been around for a long time. The company began in 1932 and operated out of Oakland, California. The name Mepaco® stands for Meat Packers Equipment Company. For the first 40 years, Mepaco® was a significant equipment supplier to deli meat, sausage, and smoked meat processors. Mepaco® offered loaf molds and slicers, cooking and cooling racks, smokers, brine tanks, manual cutting tables and workstations. Mepaco® also offered Mixers. One of their earlier Mixers was called a Buffalo Mixer and was engineered to automate the sausage making process.
Early catalogs highlight that the mixer was also offered as a customized solution to include a heat jacket. The company would develop more equipment products around mixing and cooking in the years that followed.
Apache purchased the Mepaco® brand in 1993. The assets were moved to Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. It was an excellent fit for Apache’s fabrication specialists because of our expertise in manufacturing stainless steel original equipment for processing industries.
With a background in heavy industrial stainless equipment manufacturing and ASME expertise, Apache influenced the equipment designs, especially processing equipment like mixers, cookers, and blenders. The equipment transformed into strengthened frames and components. Heat transfer technology was engineered to the level of expectations within Apache’s critical industry processors. Under Apache’s ownership, Mepaco® processing equipment began serving red meat, dairy, poultry, baking and processed foods industries.
Today’s Mixers, Cookers and Blenders designed by Mepaco® are highly engineered and highly controlled systems for large-scale batch operations. It is not uncommon for batch sizes to reach 8000 lbs. in Mepaco®’s Mixers and Blenders. Mepaco®’s equipment solutions are seen in more industries including pet food, plant-based products, and prepared foods.
The ThermaBlend® Cooker, debuted in 2006, is a trademarked brand. A highly efficient cooking/blending solution, the ThermaBlend® has a massive heat transfer benefit with highly efficient agitators and a patented scraper system that proves fast processing times. True to Mepaco®’s value to processors, the ThermaBlend® Cooker is engineered for specific customer goals, and is capable of cooking, searing, caramelizing, chilling, sautéing, and blending.
Celebrating 90 years in 2022, Mepaco® is known for its formulating and thermal processing solutions. Our value to processors is our ability to modify and adapt designs, functionality, and controls technology to solve processing problems. The need for this level of customization has grown into engineering entire processing room systems. Mepaco® has designed coordinated systems integrated with high-performance equipment for small and growing processing companies as well as Fortune 500 food manufacturing corporations.
The Mepaco® team, works every day to provide:
What does the future hold? Through interviews, conversations, and surveys, we are listening to customers and learning about what they need from our company. We are looking at new equipment products and making improvements in service support and resources in 2022, a direct result of recent customer survey feedback. To our customers, thank you for your business and the valuable feedback that helps us strengthen our partnerships.
Mepaco has a new test cooker for processors who have new products or recipes that require cooking and blending. The test cooker is a 75-gallon ThermaBlend® unit with steam injection, vacuum, pneumatic covers and doors, and dual ribbon agitators.
The ThermaBlend® is designed specifically for large scale batch operations. All of the components from the tub to the agitators are custom designed to meet the needs of the blending application. It is designed with wrap-around steam jacket, fabricated by ASME certified welders, which offers massive heat transfer efficiencies.
Inquire about a trial of this test cooker in your facility and experience:
The controls provided on the test cooker provide flexibility for a rigorous test, including:
Contact a sales representative today to schedule a test!
Introducing our newest video: Comparing Kettle Cooking to the ThermaBlend Cooking Process. This video explains the heat transfer differences between a traditional kettle cooker and the ThermaBlend. It also highlights some of the capabilities of the cooker that make it such a versatile solution for large batch cooking, such as:
Learn more about the ThermaBlend Industrial Cooker here!
In the process of manufacturing fruit pie filling, the ThermaBlend™ first cooks the product to 185°F; then cools it to the proper filling temperature of 75°F.
The cook step and the chill step take approximately 30 – 40 minutes each, which is critical to maintaining product integrity and reaching the production goals of this application.
While focusing on production, yields and product integrity, the ThermaBlend™ provides an effective solution with key features, including:
More information on the ThermaBlend™.
The above illustration shows the direct and indirect steam capabilities that exist with both the single and double agitated ThermaBlend™ batch cookers.
In the process of indirect steam heating, steam is injected into the ASME thermal outer jacket and heats the product through conduction. Since there is no added moisture to the product, the potential exists for product burn-on. Both the single agitated and double agitated ThermaBlend™ cookers feature Mepaco’s spring-loaded scraper system. By eliminating burned on product, the patented scraper system allows maximum heat transfer and allows for more effective sanitation. Applications for indirect steam heating include: stews, sauteed vegetables, scrambled eggs, granola, ground beef and other types of food products where additional moisture is not desired. The indirect steam cooking option can also provide caramelization if required for the application.
Thermablend™ cookers also have a direct steam option. When additional moisture is required for the product, steam is modulated and added to the food product. Advantages of direct steam cooking include reduced batch cooking times and reduced burn-on. Application examples include: moist pet food, thick sauces and soups. Direct steam is often used when the product is more viscous or has heavy particulates.
Direct, indirect or both steam heating techniques can be used in Thermablend™ cookers. Utilizing both indirect and direct steam options will substantially increase batch cycle cooking efficiencies. Viscosity and make-up of food product, processing and production requirements dictate which type of Thermablend™ and agitator option is best utilized for the application.
Follow this blog for upcoming articles on Thermal Screws, and other thermal processing solutions from Mepaco.
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