Maltings becomes cleaner and greener
SUFFOLK-based malt and malted ingredients company Muntons has completed a £1.2 million investment at its Cedars malting in Stowmarket.The project was carried out to main the company's status as one of the most efficient producers of malt in the world, so helping it to meet the twin challenges of increasing demand and rising energy prices as well as achieving improvements in plant hygiene.
SUFFOLK-based malt and malted ingredients company Muntons has completed a £1.2 million investment at its Cedars malting in Stowmarket.
The project was carried out to main the company's status as one of the most efficient producers of malt in the world, so helping it to meet the twin challenges of increasing demand and rising energy prices as well as achieving improvements in plant hygiene.
Included in the investment was the replacement of the existing hot water heat exchangers with air-to-air heat exchangers positioned directly next to the kilns, in order to reduce energy consumption.
Changes were also made to the kiln cooling doors, to improve the kiln cooling cycle, so further reducing energy usage and process time.
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In addition, old elevators and conveyors have been replaced with new stainless steel ones which, coupled with the installation of a new aeration system in the steeping tanks, has effectively doubled the aeration capacity.
Finally, warm wastewater from another part of the process is now re-used in the malting steeps, so reducing the amount of water used.
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The improvements will simplify cleaning regimes and ensure that the maltings and the malt that it produces meet the highest levels of hygiene standards, in keeping with Muntons' Grade A rating by the British Retail Consortium.
The improvements should also enable output to be increased by around 5,000 tonnes of malt per year, helping to meet the increasing demand.
Martyn Bailey, Muntons' maltings manager at Stowmarket, said: “It is testimony to all involved in this project that the maltings managed to get back into production on time.
“The early signs are very encouraging, with the control system proving to be very user friendly, the heating system is very efficient, the green malt conveyors work well and the stripping wall has the potential to work much faster than the old one.”
Malt, which is made by soaking barley to release enzymes and then quickly drying it to half the germination process, is used in a variety of food and drink products such as breakfast cereals, bread, confectionery, beer, whisky and malt vinegar.