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The success of traditional food products relies on keeping the taste and appearance consistent. They resist new, often short-lived packaging trends and are mostly rooted in the local landscape of the region where they originated. Sugar beet syrup Grafschafter Goldsaft has been a popular specialty for over 100 years. It is manufactured by Grafschafter Krautfabrik in Germany and comes in its trademark yellow cup. Its taste, consistency, and golden-brown color have hardly changed, and neither have the processes involved in manufacturing it. The company’s current production methods use state-of-the-art plant engineering to ensure that manufacturing is safe, streamlined, and sustainable with one special feature: The short production periods of around 100 days and the storage for 11,000 metric tons of Goldsaft in stainless steel tanks every year. They “breathe” atmospheric air using high-tech filters from the LifeTec™ series manufactured by Donaldson.
Dieter Schmitz, Deputy Head of Technical Operations at Grafschafter Krautfabrik explains, “Even if the temperature changes slightly, especially during the filling of the tanks and the successive filling of the cups, there is constant pressure compensation of the atmospheric air. The air, reaching volumes between 6 and 1,600 metric tons in the tanks during these processes, needs to be clean and pure and must not contain any microparticles as it comes into direct contact with the product. As a result, the tanks outside and the tanks in the production halls are fitted with LifeTec™ filters to compensate for the air pressure. Before changing to new filter technologies, we used plate filters, but they could no longer meet our strict specifications.”
Donaldson LifeTec™ PP N filters are nominal rated depth filters made from 100 % polypropylene. They were specially designed to be a prefilter for large contaminants and a cost-effective final filter for food and beverages, such as mineral water, soft drinks, beer, wine, and syrup, for retention rates of 0.45 μm, 1 μm, 3 μm, 5 μm, 10 μm, and 30 μm. Available in four different sizes (10, 20, 30, and 40 inches) and can be used in all common filter housings.
Practical applications, such as in the case of Grafschafter Krautfabrik, have demonstrated that LifeTec™ PP N filters also prove to be very effective when used as a tank ventilation filter. The tank ventilation filter design is based on a retention rate of 1 µm for throughput rates between 12 Nm³ and 3,200 Nm³. The structure of the polypropylene filter medium, featuring inwardly increasing fiber density and asymmetrical pore structures, delivers high absorption capacity and consequently long service life, as well as exceptionally high flow rates and extremely low differential pressure – decisive advantages when used for pressure compensation under atmospheric conditions.
The LifeTec™ filters used in this case have an average service life of 12 months, which is excellent performance for the annual industrial production of around 14,000 metric tons of spreads and over 40,000 metric tons of syrup at the three German sites. The family-run business Grafschafter Krautfabrik, together with its 90-strong workforce, demonstrates how using state-of-the-art production methods and innovative filter technologies can allow traditional food companies to remain profitable into the future.