The first thing to recognise is that pumping chocolate isn't straight forward due to several factors related to its very peculiar mixture of properties:
- Chocolate is extremely sensitive to temperature; too hot and it will degenerate or even burn, too cold and it solidifies.
- Chocolate's structure is delicate as the cocoa butter and cocoa solids can easily separate if subjected to high degrees of shear.
- Chocolate can be abrasive.
- Chocolate will coat the internal surfaces and sealing areas of a pump.
- Not all chocolate products are the same and can have different viscosities, structures and may contain additional ingredients such as nuts, fruit and dairy products.
- Many chocolate processes require hygienic certified designs.
Positive displacement pumps
A positive displacement pump causes a fluid to move by trapping a fixed amount of it then forcing (displacing) that trapped volume into the discharge pipe. When running at a constant speed, this pump type positively displaces a liquid volume at almost a fixed rate, irrespective of the resistance the flow of the liquid encounters.
Viking has worked closely with many international chocolate producers to overcome the many challenges faced in pumping chocolate throughout all stage of the production cycle. However, it has recognised that processers want a single pump that can accommodate all applications. The result has been the development of the 1224A-CHC pump series which enables standardisation of the pump and spares throughout the production plant.
Viking's 1224A-CHC pump is designed with chocolate in mind. With a Double O-Ring seal, this pump is instrumental in leak-free pumping. Some other applications include Cocoa Liquor, all Chocolates and Pastes (CHC1 models) and Cocoa Butter, Oils, Lecithin (CHC2 Models).
By simplifying the pump's design and minimising the number of components, users can standardise on a single pump series for the majority of their chocolate fluid handling requirements. As a result, maintenance costs and spare parts holding can be reduced, these being critical elements that contribute to greater efficiencies in plant operation.
These AxFlow countries are currently selling the chocolate pump: