Process Automation and Consistent Bean Quality
In comparison to batch (tank) processing, the PLCs used in conjunction with the continuous blanchers deliver a level of consistency in processing that cannot be obtained with manual-operated batch systems. Human intervention is always capable of introducing arbitraries of process time fluctuations, temperature changes, bean-to-water ratio differences, inconsistent stirring and deviations in recipe applications. Not all dry beans take the same amount of time to hydrate. Recipe differences can vary from 30 to 60 minutes depending on the type of bean.
Lines that have changed over from batch to the most technologically-modern continuous systems have seen a large improvement in quality. The beans are typically uniformly blanched, and properly hydrated, not under- or over- hydrated. The product looks the same, has the same color and it is the same size after blanching.