In the dynamic world of syrups, sauces, and dressings, accurate and efficient filling plays a crucial role in meeting market demands. When filling food products of varying textures and viscosities, it becomes essential to select the appropriate filling technology. Syrups, sauces, dressings and other condiments have varying qualities. They range from low to high viscosities, which means they can be thin or thick, and some have particulates or chunks rather than a smooth texture. Today we will explore some different types of food products and the suitable filling technologies to handle them like a pro.
Low to Medium Consistency Products
Food products with low to medium viscosities (thickness) typically include thin syrups, salad dressings, and sauces that flow relatively easily, with little to no particulates. Some products may fall into this category based on their consistency at the temperature they are filled at. For example, honey is a somewhat thick product at room temperature, but since it is hot and flows quickly when filled, it is considered low viscosity.
These are the technologies to consider for low- to medium-viscosity products:
Gravity Fillers are a popular choice for free-flowing products, especially those that are packaged in see-through containers. This filling technology relies on gravity to dispense liquid into containers to reach precise fill heights. These machines are sometimes referred to as “level fillers” because they produce accurate visual fill levels. This makes them ideal for instances where the product can be seen through the container because consumers never want to buy the bottle that appears “less full” than the one next to it on the shelf. If these qualities are important to you, check out Fogg Filler and Federal Mfg to learn about their Gravity Filling Systems.
Flow Meter Fillers:
Flow meter fillers are highly accurate and efficient for filling low- to medium-viscosity liquids. This technology employs flow meters to measure the precise amount of liquid passing through the system. By ensuring accurate volumes, flow meter fillers minimize product wastage and optimize production processes. They are suitable for salad dressings, syrups, oil-based condiments, and more. Pacific Packaging manufactures versatile flow meter fillers for a variety of food and non-food applications.
Similar to Gravity Fillers, Weight Fillers also rely on gravity to feed products from the tank to the containers. These systems produce extremely accurate fills based on product weight. Net Weight Fillers tare the container weight before filling, so variances in the container shape don’t affect the amount of product in the container. Weight Fillers are good for high-value products like syrups and concentrates.
Some sauces, dips, and other food products require more force to be pumped from a tank into a container. Volumetric and piston fillers are commonly used for viscous products like hummus, barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, and more. These types of fillers are also designed to fill products with more chunks or particulates, like salsas.
Some products are simply too thick to be compatible with the above filling technologies. Volumetric Pump Fillers are excellent choices for medium- to high-viscosity products. These machines utilize positive displacement technology to fill containers to a precise volume of liquid. Volumetric Fillers use a pressurized system to fill thick products and can handle particulates, making them ideal for products like thick sauces and dressings. Pacific Packaging offers versatile Volumetric Fillers that can handle various container sizes and products on the same machine.
Single-Serve Sauces, Dressings, and Syrups
Piston fillers are particularly well-suited for high-viscosity products, including dense sauces and dressings. These machines employ pistons that push the liquid into the containers. One fault is that they are notoriously difficult to clean, but Modern Packaging designs cup and tray fillers with patented CIP-able Piston Filler technology. With a Modern filler, you can fill virtually any product into cups, trays, or tubs, whether it’s thin like salad dressing, chunky like salsa, or thick like hummus.
Choosing the Right Filling Technology:
When selecting the most suitable filling technology for syrups, sauces, and dressings, manufacturers must consider the viscosity of their products. Here’s a quick guide:
Low to Medium Viscosity: Gravity fillers and flow meter fillers are effective for products with slightly thicker consistencies with little to no particulates.
Medium to High Viscosity: Volumetric fillers offer excellent versatility and consistent filling for thick sauces and dressings, ensuring accurate volumes with positive displacement technology.
High Viscosity: For dense and highly viscous products, such as chunky dressings, volumetric and piston fillers provide the necessary precision and power to handle the filling process with ease.
When filling dips, sauces, dressings, and other condiments, you have a lot of choices in the filling industry. If you have more than one product you plan to fill on the same production line, you need a filler that can handle each product. We hope these common considerations help point you in the right direction as you start researching fillers. Ultimately, choosing the appropriate filling machine for your needs will contribute to improved productivity, customer satisfaction, and the overall success of your business in the food industry.