Many of today’s top food manufacturing process require blend processes that produce uniform consistency throughout. As a result, sampling is a must to make certain the blending processes are really doing just what they should. When your reputation and profitability are on the line, the best possible sampling procedure has to be in place, but what can you do to make that happen? This guide can help.
When to Sample
Keep in mind that you need consistent blending, but the line doesn’t end right there. Instead, you’ve got to make sure settling isn’t occurring later, so knowing when to sample is essential. You should plan not only to do your sampling during the actual blending itself, but you should also plan to sample two other times. Consider adding a sampling practice during discharge, then again at that final stage of product to obtain the best results.
A Note On Sample Thief Results
You may be familiar with a tube called the sample thief. It has closable cavities, and you insert it into a vessel with all of your blended ingredients. You insert the tube with the cavities open, then the materials flow in. The cavities are closed, and the tube is pulled out, sample intact. Wondering what the problem is? The product isn’t moving, so each component isn’t going to be available at the same flow rate. The results you get depend on who is pulling the sample. While you can use a sample thief, you need to be careful if irregularities begin to show up.
The Best Way
If you’re looking for better samples, the single best thing you can do is move forward with full-stream sampling. You’ll be collecting materials in motion, which means you can tell exactly whether the blend’s uniformity is working like it should. While many decry this sampling method because reblending isn’t always an option if things aren’t on target, it’s going to get you far better results than many other methods.