The DUSTOP GUM project was developed in two phases: the first dedicated to the chemical-physical experimentation that took place in the Essedielle development and research laboratories, the second focused on the implementation of what was researched and developed on granulation in the production area of the company through verification test.
In the initial phase, analytical tests were carried out using the instrumentation already present in the internal laboratory, further compensated also by a BIOSYSTEM Y15 enzymatic analyzer which allowed us to obtain fast, reproducible and reliable results on chemical analyzes.
We tested various chemical-physical parameters on the various types of liquid gum arabic that are produced within the plant and from laboratory tests; it turned out that the product with the optimal technical characteristics for granulation is Stabigum: this type of gum arabic is a 21% hydrolyzed SEYAL which Essedielle imports directly from Central Africa and which is entirely transformed and stabilized in all its phases up to sterile filtration. This product will later be used in the granulation process as a binder for the suspended particles.
In the second phase of the project a mini granulator (MIDIGLATT) was used to carry out the first small granulation tests in the Essedielle production area.
The beginning of experimental granulation tests of oenological products starts with a powder yeast derivative supported by PVPP, a powdery coopolymer. Subsequently, further granulation tests were carried out on other powder adjuvants such as PVPP and Tannins using STABIGUM gum arabic as a natural binder.
In the experimental granulation phase, improvements were made to some physical parameters, such as the operating temperature and pressure inside the Spryng chamber, and the times and flow rates of the binder liquid. Unfortunately, the quality of the granule does not reflect the pre-established quality standards and the process cycle times are too long and costly. Finally, the weight yield (66%) of the final granule was found to be too low. In order to obtain an optimal production process, we have made structural and mechanical changes to the nozzles that introduce the binder liquid (Stabigum) into the granulation chamber. Together with the Glatt technicians, modifications were made to the experimental machinery to customize it according to the needs that emerged; specifically, the length of the nozzles which are introduced into the lower part of the chamber and the movement of the rotating parts have been modified to allow greater dispersion of the binding liquid.
As regards the nozzle located in the upper part of the granulation chamber, both the length of the nozzle arm has been changed, bringing it to the center of the chamber, and the nozzle head, bringing it from a horizontal to vertical spray position. . The modifications made to the GLATT ProCell LAb bring to the process a double injection of binder liquid both from the top (central) and from the bottom with 2 rotating nozzles.
The modifications made to the machinery and the material used as a binder for this type of gum arabic (Stabigum) has made it possible to obtain a processing yield of up to 98% by weight with significantly reduced operating times. Furthermore, the oenological products granulated with this new method lead to an excellent qualitative result: resistance of the granule, absence of dust, complete solubility and above all preservability of the technical characteristics of the adjuvant.
The market for food additives and pharmaceutical products in granular form is gradually replacing that of the use of powders. Compared to the powder from which it derives, a granulate has a number of characteristics that bring numerous advantages to the packer and the user:
- Elimination of harmful fine dust inhaled by the cellar operator and the product packer;
- No interference from powders during the sealing phase of the bags;
- Better resistance to humidity by simplifying the transport and storage of the raw material;
- Increase in the solubility of the product;
- Direct oral use in the case of medicines (OKI TASK)
THE DUSTOP GUM project is a natural evolution of the research on Arabica Gum that essedielle srl works daily, transforming it into hydrolyzed and stabilized solutions ready for direct use by consumers. The first experiments date back to 2006, the year in which the first imports of this vegetable raw material began directly from the African continent.
DUSTOP GUM is an idea born from evaluations of a commercial technical nature by the research and development team essedielle srl, which was subsequently developed thanks to the collaboration of production technicians and the contribution of the experts of GLATT: a leading company in the world in life science. system for the construction of granulation plants, pellets and capsules for the FOOD and PHARMA sector. The modifications carried out on the process activities and on the PROCELL LAB SYSTEM VARIO 7 machinery were made possible thanks to the specialized technical support that derives from over 60 years of consolidated GLATT experience.
The goal that essedielle has set itself, in the technological field of reference, is to be able to find a new granulation process that allows to obtain food additives and pharmaceutical products using only a natural colloidal binder, in this case hydrolyzed gum arabic, which is able to replace the consolidated chemical binders.
The results obtained at the end of the experimental project were satisfactory, in fact we found a gum arabic (STABIGUM at 21%) which behaved as an excellent natural binder for the granulation of powder adjuvants such as PVPP, Tannins and Polysacarides.
In conclusion we have developed an innovative granulation process which thanks to the structural changes on the GLATT granulator and the addition of a natural agglomerant have given life to a granular product that satisfies all the technical characteristics (solubility, absence of dust, resistance and granulometry uniform) and above all that it naturally preserves the effectiveness of the active ingredient of the oenological or pharmaceutical product.