Mass Balance Food and Beverage Processes

by , , | May 18, 2020 | Food & Beverage, Sustainability


  • Jim Cahill
    Chief Blogger, Social Marketing Leader

In an earlier post, Optimizing Food and Beverage Machinery Performance, I discussed with Emerson’s Marcus Parsons about the role of advanced analytics in monitoring the health of machines used in production and packaging of foods and beverages.

The process begins by examining the current operating performance of the machines. Often, adding sensors beyond what is required for control and safety can enable machine optimization efforts.

For example, by implementing real-time concentration, temperature, conductivity, pH and density measurements, manufacturers can eliminate expensive product recalls and wasted production and sampling time. In fermentation processes, manual density tests are often performed periodically to aid in manual temperature adjustments.

By adding sensors and transmitters to existing equipment, operators can gain real-time measurement of density and enable improved fermenter temperature control. For beer brewing processes, improved temperature control can drive a 20% increase in production per cycle.

In dairy processing, additional measurements for performing mass balance calculations help to reduce product waste. In this short, 2:28 YouTube video, How to Optimize Dairy Operations & Eliminate Product Waste, Emerson’s Tom Belling describes how these reductions can be achieved. He opens noting that product losses of 1-2% per day are typical.

By adding Micro Motion Coriolis meters, mass flow, density and temperature can be measured in real time. Diagnostics can monitor and alert for entrained air in the fluid. These air bubbles will cause erroneous readings if not identified and corrected early. This condition can cause erratic flow rates and quality issues.

Specific to the cheese-making process, having accurate measurements in the separator provides accurate mass balances of the cream and whey components. Accurate measurements help determine the efficiency of the production process and identify how well the separator is performing.

For food and beverage producers, accurate mass balances of the production inputs and outputs helps identify optimization opportunities or address issues which may have cropped up.

Visit the Food & Beverage section on for products and solutions to drive improved operational performance to increase productivity and reliability while ensuring quality and sustainability.

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The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the authors. Content published here is not read or approved by Emerson before it is posted and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Emerson.

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