Updated: Nov 29, 2020
A factory in Canada was using fermentation to create its product. A governing agency visited the plant and noted splashing of liquids that once contained live organisms used in fermentation and raised concern about the possibility of salmonella in the final product. Formaldehyde was used to neutralize the mixture, but the agency inquired if the company had chosen the correct blending time to ensure the result is homogenous and free of salmonella. They requested the company give documentation to prove this; however, they had none.
John Quatroche, Process Alliance Process Engineering and Engineering Tech Center Director, was contacted to solve the issue. The director of the facility knew Quatroche, and the company didn’t have experts on staff to calculate the blending time. Along with Quatroche, President Darren Thompson and consultant Ben Patterson worked on the project.
Normally, a blend time test would be executed in the tank. This hadn’t been done, and the facility didn’t wish to stall production in order to run one. However, once Process Alliance had the measurements, the job was quick work: The required blending time was calculated within the next day. It was a mere 23 seconds, proving to the agency that the original five-minute blending time was plenty to produce a homogenous, live-organism-free mixture.
“The director that requested our assistance was extremely happy with the speed and thoroughness of my approach, and of course that the story had a happy ending,” said Quatroche.