GEA, a technology supplier for the food processing industry based in Düsseldorf, Germany, has received a patent for its GEA Clean Purge system for food and dairy spray dryers. The patent covers the process of purging feed nozzles while swapping feed systems to ensure a continuous ow of feed material to a spray dryer, which allows the process to operate nonstop while maintaining safety and efficiency during feed line swaps.

Food and dairy dryers often operate continuously by using multiple feed systems, which typically consist of two or more feed lines upstream from a spray dryer. Sanitizing these feed lines commonly requires a 2- to 4-hour daily cleaning process to ensure safety and prevent bacterial growth, but the new patented system’s high-pres-sure operation atomizes and purges the remaining material in the feed lines to the spray dryer to prevent loss of the concentrated feed product. This process also prevents an equipment operator from manually removing a spray nozzle that isn’t properly emptied, which can lead to a serious safety issue if the material drips into the spray dryer or deposits onto the spray nozzle positioned in the air dispenser’s hot air zone as it could potentially cause a fire or explosion. 4-21