Packaging Lines for Jams and Jellies
Packaging Lines For Jams and Jellies
Packaging jams, jellies or preserves - like almost any other product - can create some unique challenges when designing packaging equipment. These products will often include chunks or particulates of fruit, and as a food product, may have a limited shelf life and require sanitary packaging. For filling purposes, not only is it a challenge to get the fruit into the container, but it can be a challenge to keep the fruit from settling on the bottom of the supply tank.
CONTAINER CLEANING EQUIPMENT
When dealing with food products, container cleaning equipment becomes very important as a means to protect the product from contamination. Rinsing machines for jars or other containers can be used to remove dust and debris from the containers prior to filling, removing the possibility of producing contaminated products or reducing the shelf life of a batch. Different container cleaning machines exist that allow the use of clean air, water or other cleaning solution to be used for the rinsing process.
Filling machines for jams, jellies and similar products will normally consist of either a pump filling machine or a piston filler. These fillers are better equiped for thicker products and products with particulates such as seeds or even chunks of fruit. Extremely thick jams may simply be to viscous to flow through a filling machine. In these cases, the jam or jelly can often be heated to achieve a more liquid, less viscous product that can be run through the machine. Of course, the entire product pathway, from the supply tank, through the tubes and down to the fill nozzles, must be kept at a constant temperature to ensure that the product flows evenly and the fill can be consistently and reliably repeated.
The other issue with filling jam and jelly type products comes when particulates are introduced into the product. These particulates may be seeds from strawberries or chucks of strawberries, apricots, apples or various other food products. The particulates have a tendency to settle on the bottom of the supply tank or product supply when introduced to the filling machine. This settling still results in the filling of containers, but without the particulates or products that are meant to be included. Product agitators can be added to supply tanks to constantly stir product and keep these particulates from settling, thus allowing the filling machine to pull both product and particulate from the tank.
CAPPING MACHINES AND COOLING CONVEYORS
The type of capping machine used for jams and jellies will depend on the type of container and cap used to package the products. In all honesty, once past the filling portion of the packaging system, jams and jellies will often be capped, labeled and otherwise packaged without special considerations. However, if dealing with a heated fill to increase the flow of the product, it may be necessary to include a cooling conveyor between the filling equipment and the capping machine. A cooling conveyor may take many different forms, from a multi-tiered serpentine conveyor to a simple extended conveyor. These conveyor systems allow the product to cool before moving to the capping machine, ensuring that the cap is applied correctly and consistently without worrying about product or container expansion and damage after capping a heated product. Otherwise, spindle cappers, chuck cappers or even snap capping machines may be used to seal containers of jams, jellies and other similar products.
Like the capping machines, labeling machinery for jams and jellies will probably not require any special modifications. Labeling machines are available to apply labels on the front of containers, the front and back of containers, wrapped around containers or just about any other configuration necessary. Again, the only concern would be with heated products. Containers should be cooled before applying the label to avoid wrinkles or the peeling off of the label.
Again, like any other product, jams and jellies can present unique issues when using automatic packaging machinery. These issues are easily handled by choosing the correct packaging equipment to handle the unique charactieristics of these products. If you have questions about the best packaging machinery for your unique project, do not hesitate to contact Liquid Packaging Solutions, Inc. toll free at 1-888-393-3693.