AVEKA was approached by a food grade company to process high-melting phytosterol flakes into spherical, round beads less than 500 microns. The customer desired a spherical material to provide flowability and ease of handling through metering and conveying systems, as well as a better mouth feel when the material is consumed.
In order to handle the higher melting phytosterol, AVEKA had to modify several aspects of the prilling system. For this project, the material had to be heated to >138 C to reach its melt point. With additional engineering, AVEKA was able to convert the jacketed steam heating system to an oil jacketed system. There were additional processing risks once the material was molten and atomized, so AVEKA upgraded the system to a nitrogen purged system. The nitrogen purged system eliminates oxygen, which provides an additional layer of safety and removes possible degradation of certain materials. By adding these improvements, AVEKA successfully scaled the process from 750 liter test run to multiple truckload quantity production.