Mayonnaise is probably one of the oldest and most widely used sauces in the world today.
Mayonnaise is an oil-in-water emulsion with a high ( 70–80% ) oil content dispersed in a continuous water phase including amixture of egg, vinegar, oil and spices. The egg is used as the emulsifier, which stabilizes the oil droplets in the continuous phase. Low-fat mayonnaises need additional ingredients, like starch and other stabilizers, in order to maintain its stability.
Good stability generally is associated with fine and uniform droplet size, with no air bubbles, which achieves a firm texture and shiny look. The type and quantity of emulsifier, the order of addition of ingredients, and the amount of work done to form the emulsion all influence particle size.
The stability of the Mayonnaise refers to how long the internal phase will stay dispersed under normal conditions of shipping and storage. When the droplets of the dispersed phase coalesce, and the phases separate, the Mayonnaise is referred to as “broken.”
In industrial production of mayonnaise, it is important getting a product of best shelf life as well as a high quality and tasty product. Mayonnaise reaches a peak in texture and a minimum in droplet size and air bubbles presence during mixing, but if a wrong mixer is used, it will never get there.
So, one of the most important issues, when processing mayonnaise, is the use of the right mixer. It is obvious that a vacuum mixer should be used, and with a high shear rotor-stator emulsifier to achieve the goals described above. But is every vacuum mixer with a rotor-stator emulsifier suitable for the job? The answer is definitely NO. Let’s discuss some of the issues that should be considered, when choosing your Mayonnaise mixer:
- Vacuum – vacuum mixing is an obvious item, when discussing Mayonnaise mixer, but the vacuum is not the goal but the means, in achieving air free final product. If your vacuum mixer cannot reach that – then it makes no sense buying it. One of the most important ways to achieve air free desecrating is actually done. If your vacuum mixer cannot circulate the material efficiently enough – then forget it.product, other than having a good stable vacuum rate, is to bring it to the surface, where
- Rotor-Stator Emulsifier – Millions of words were written about this issue. If your emulsifier is not designed, used and tested in the production of Mayonnaise achieving droplet size smaller than 5 Microns, or its tip speed is not around or above 25 M/Sec then look for another supplier.
- Feeding System – One of the key points of a good stable product is the way to feed in raw materials. The possibility of dosing binding dry stuff directly into the dispersing chamber enormously reduces the danger of agglomeration. At the same time it guarantees for a quick and homogeneous repartition. For liquid components, especially for the oil, it means that they are already emulsified when reaching the working vessel, thus guaranteeing that an optimum emulsion is produced. Also, the Mayonnaise production involves the feed of solid and liquid raw materials. Both are either oil or water dissolved, easily wetted or agglomerated when in contact with liquids, and each should be treated differently.
- Cleaning – Anything that will be said and written about the importance of cleaning food product production machines, especially the sensitive ones like mayonnaise, will be enough. The mixer must be build with CIP cleaning abilities ( even if you don’t have CIP today, in the future you might have and the mixer will not be able to be connected ), all its parts must be easily disassembled for better cleaning/sterilizing, and there must be good access to all its parts.
- Fully Automation of the Process – Today more than ever, the automation of the process allows the customer to achieve a consistent final product. Also, the efficiency of production with minimal labor involved is important to reach a cheaper product that sometimes is the key of market share. If your mixer does not allow that – think about another supplier. The same as with the CIP system, you might not be ready today to adopt that system, but you might be able in the near future.
- Flexibility of the System – Even we left it to the end, it is a very important issue: There are no two customers, making the same product, that are 100% alike. Each customer has its own nuances and “fine tuning” of the equipment, in order to bring him to his 100% capacity and quality. That is why, never ever buy the unit from a supplier that says something like: “That is what we make – take it or leave it” or “We know better what is good for you”. Always work with a mixer supplier that is willing to listen to you, understand your needs, and adjust his machine to those needs.
There are hundreds of vacuum mixing equipment manufacturers out there, and most of them will write under their list of products “Mayonnaise” too. Is that good enough for buying their mixer? I am not sure. Most of the customers either already uses a vacuum mixer (with good or bad quality of production and they think they know what to look for), or doesn’t really know what to look for. In my opinion, only firms that have proven success in the supply of mixers for the Mayonnaise production should be considered. A Mayonnaise batch should take not more than 10 – 25 Min. ( depending on the batch size and formula ), so if one buys a “non-efficient” vacuum mixer, and loses “only” 5 min. each batch, he might reduce his capacity between 20 to 40% ! Not considering the final product quality issue.
So, think twice before you buy your next Mayonnaise mixer!