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Processing insects into protein powder

Processing insects can be challenging as they are temperature sensitive and difficult to handle in wet feed. Hosokawa Micron’s Drymeister (DMR-H) flash dryer eliminates those drawbacks. The Drymeister combines drying, milling and classifying in a single installation, enabling you to take full advantage of the huge growth in the insect protein marketplace.

Typical processing methods will include cooking the insects, separating out the oil (which is currently able to be used as an animal feed additive), and then the key stages of drying and milling. The drying phase, in particular, is vital for producing the maximum levels of high quality protein from your insect processing line. If the insects are under-dried, moulds or bacteria may grow. And over-drying can cause scorching and reducing the nutritional value and quality of the protein powder.

Two main types of dryer are used: Direct and Indirect drying. Direct drying occurs when very hot air at a temperature of 200-300°C is passed over the material as it for example tumbles rapidly in a cylindrical drum. This is the quicker method, but heat damage is much more likely if the process is not carefully controlled. With indirect drying energy is supplied through a heating medium, for example a cylinder containing steam heated discs which also tumble the material.

The last step in the process is milling or grinding the carefully dried material into the appropriate grade of powder for the intended use. For protein to be used as an ingredient in soluble products such as protein drink powders a much finer mill may be required compared to insect ‘flours’ to be used in baking and food recipes. If the final use is to be animal feed then a coarser grade may be appropriate.

Choosing a combined drying and milling solution, such as Hosokawa Micron’s patented Drymeister (DMR-H) continuous flash drying system, can give you the edge in terms of efficiency and ROI.

Drymeister (DMR-H) continuous flash drying system

Need help setting up your process?

Take advice from Hosokawa Micron, experts in food processing, drying and milling technology, to make sure you can take full advantage of the huge growth in the insect protein marketplace. Our test facilities in the Netherlands offer great opportunities to test machinery, parameters and process flows, at both pilot and full scales to make sure your product quality and operating efficiency can generate the maximum return on investment for your business.

Testing is the foundation for a successful product or process and our development team is always ready to help and explore new processes and applications. They can provide laboratory as well as production sized trials and also have rental equipment available.

Get in touch

If you’re interested to discuss your interest in or production challenges in insect processing, get in touch with Hosokawa Micron. We can help you with a range of questions about this fast-growing sector, including:

  • How to achieve the highest quality powders, for better absorption and digestion;
  • The best drying and milling techniques for insect proteins;
  • The advantages of the unique Drymeister technology over traditional drying and milling methods;
  • How to plan, test and improve your protein powder production line.

How can we help you?

To learn more about our powder process equipment, contact us:

Related Process Equipment

Hosokawa Micron B.V. is a process machinery supplier, providing mixing, drying and agglomeration equipment and systems for the powder and bulk processing industry.

Flash dryer

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