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Shaking Fluid Bed is Gentle on Product, Deadly to Bacteria

The Ventilex Continuous Steam Sterilizing System is ideal for H.T.S.T. (High Temperature / Short Time) decontamination of Spices, Herbs, Seeds, and other Organic Materials. The H.T.S.T. process exposes contaminated material to saturated steam for a very short time, then dries and cools the product.

This is a simple idea, but is one of the most practical and effective methods for treating products in this industry. The continuous system treats powders next to whole spices, which is a unique feature of the Ventilex system.

Fluid Bed Steam SterilizerThe process works by feeding the product through a high-pressure rotary valve that isolates an autoclave from the ambient room. Inside this autoclave, a shaking table transports product to a steam-pressurized chamber. Condensation builds on the product surface and the controlled heat creates the appropriate amount of steam. This kills unwanted bacteria and pathogens. After it has been treated, the product is discharged through a secondary rotary valve, into the fluid bed dryer. Here, the condensed moisture is driven off and the product is returned to the original moisture level or dried to a new moisture level.

Benefits of the Ventilex Steam Sterilization system include:

  • A natural, renewable process that utilizes steam
  • Continuous sterilization of bacteria and pathogens
  • Deactivation of enzymes
  • High throughput
  • Sanitary Clean-in-Place (CIP) design
  • Repeatable and verifiable process

Our system can be used to process chili powders, whole and ground pepper, paprika, garlic, cloves, and a variety of herbs, seeds, and other spices. If your process requires exact treatment times, the Ventilex Steam Sterilization System is the answer.

Effective Decontamination of Herbs and Spices with a Ventilex Continuous Steam Sterilizer

The use of steam is ideal as it is natural, non-toxic, cheap and in unlimited supply. Steam offers many advantages including, the fastest possible way of heating product to an exact preset temperature, condensation on the product and provides the water activity required for effective sterilization while protecting the product against overheating and burning. The steam condensed on the product also enables flash cooling of the product when it leaves the sterilizer and is returned to pretreatment specifications in an integrated Ventilex Dryer / Cooler system.

The presence of pathogens including salmonella, yeasts, moulds, enterobacteraceae  and sporeformers can never be excluded despite frequent checking and is the main reason for the requirement of sterilization. Frequently, raw materials are heavily contaminated from the soil and these microbes often remain after processing due to simple treatments and processing at low temperatures in their countries of origin. If left untreated, these products can provide perfect conditions for continued growth of the microbes which can lead to spoilage and customer health issues.

Some  commonly used decontamination methods, such as ethylene oxide and irradiation may be restricted due to health risk and adverse consumer acceptance. Aside from health risks, food technological aspects such as the inactivation of enzymes, e.g. amylase and lipase, cannot be solved by irradiation or ethylene oxide treatment. These enzymes have been shown to cause a breakdown of fat and starch components in sauces, salads and many ready-made meals.

As a result, many of the world’s largest spice processing companies have selected the Ventilex Continuous Steam Sterilizer.  With the Ventilex system, you get the continuous “inflow” application of saturated, high pressure steam that provides the ideal environment for the inactivation of enzymes and the elimination of undesired micro-organisms while causing minimum harm to the organoleptic characteristics of spices and herbs.

Example:  Microbiological quality of products treated with the Ventilex continuous system:

Total Count < 10,000, often < 1,000
Enterobacteriaceae <10/gram
Salmonella absent
Yeasts and molds <100/gram
Bacilles Cereus <100/gram
Clostridium Perfringers <100/gram
Stafylococcus Aureus <100/gram



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