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Malaxing is a crucial step in the olive oil extraction process, because it plays a major role in determining the quality and quantity of the product obtained.
The malaxing process consists of a slow stirring of the paste while it is being heated. This combination causes the microscopic oil and water drops to coalesce, forming increasingly larger drops, which can then be successfully recovered in a horizontal decanter centrifuge. The malaxing temperature and time are both carefully controlled.
The Atmosphera malaxer key features and benefits:
Effective internal spraying system to dilute paste and clean the malaxer with no need to open the machine.
Easy to monitor the process through an anti-fog, heated sight glass and LED light (cold light).
Full control with PLC and touch screen for complete traceability of process data.
Control system with sensors for maximum and minimum levels.
Reduced exposure to oxygen and maximum volatile retention due to closed design.
Quick access to the inside of the malaxer if needed, via a cover fitted with quick-release clamps.
Even paste treatment and improved extraction due to cylindrical shape and elimination of dead zones.
Reduced malaxing time and less impact on paste due to increased heat transfer area and shorter heating time.
The second generation of Alfa Laval Atmosphera batch malaxers is designed with even higher quality and efficiency in mind.
The olive paste vessel has an cylindrical shape that optimizes malaxing by eliminating dead spaces and maximizing the heat transfer area, thus ensuring quicker heating of the paste, a reduced total malaxing time and less energy consumption.
The number and size of malaxers to be used is decided based on capacity requirements and desired malaxing time. Two to five malaxers are normally used, although it is possible to use more, and a single malaxer can be used to modify an existing extraction line.
The malaxers are placed beside each other and are connected to a common feed manifold and a common discharge manifold. Each malaxer has its own shaft with a specially designed agitator that constantly blends the paste while continuously removing paste from the vessel wall to prevent overheating.
Hot water is circulated through the jacket of each malaxing vessel to control the temperature of the paste.