- Miscellaneous: syrup
- Crop Production: food processing
Problem, Novel Approach, and Justification
Centrifugation could provide an opportunity for maple and walnut syrup makers to reduce costs, increase environmental sustainability, reduce health risks, and increase profits. Producers typically use a filter press with diatomaceous earth (DE) as a filter aid (North American Syrup Producers Manual, 2006). This process creates waste in the form of spent diatomaceous earth, niter, and filter paper. Inhaling DE’s minute silica particles during handling also poses a possible health risk to producers. For these reasons, many maple producers would prefer not to use DE. Centrifugation would also make it easier for walnut syrup producers to clarify their product which has higher pectin concentrations that quickly plug up conventional filter presses.
Our hypothesis is that with the proper knowledge inputs and engineering expertise a basket centrifuge can be designed and constructed to efficiently and safely clarify maple and walnut syrup. Further, we hypothesize that this device will be a cost-effective improvement on presently used syrup clarification techniques.
Research findings will be shared with farmers in the maple syrup production business through presentations at trade shows, and national-reaching trade publications like The Maple News and the Maple Syrup Digest. If successful, Project advisors will also facilitate discussions with maple equipment manufacturing companies to launch broader manufacturing and distribution of the new clarification technology.
The project objective is to design, test, refine, and scale a cost-effective centrifugal separator for maple and walnut syrup clarification.
Performance targets from proposal:
To design, test, refine, and scale a cost-effective centrifugal separator for maple and walnut syrup clarification.