Flavors are often spray-dried so that customers can process them easily. The products also keep their flavor longer or only release it after a while. In order to achieve this, the liquid flavor compositions are emulsified in water with their carriers and pushed through nozzles using high pressure into the spray-drying chamber, where they are then encapsulated in tiny balls – sometimes with a diameter of only 0.1 millimeters – at very high temperatures in a short amount of time in more than ten Symrise locations.
The company has been using this technology for decades. But there is always room for improvement. Manuel Bobillier in Singapore is experimenting in his spray drying towers with the amount of water used to produce flavors, for example. The principle that the head of the industrialization and process innovation team for the Asia-Pacific region uses is simple: The smaller the amount of water in the product when it is being dried, the smaller the amount of heat that has to be used in processing in order to steam out that water. At the same time, the flavor mixture can’t be too viscous in order to get good results.
The process optimization is the result of a project that was first tried out in Holzminden. The flavor solutions usually consist of 60 % water. In a series of trials, the experts have already managed to do with 5 to 10 % less water across all recipes, which no longer has to be steamed off in spray drying.
The principle worked for hundreds of products. Symrise saves water, electricity and steam this way – and manufacturing times are also reduced. Another sustainable change also enhances efficiency. Using heat recovery, the condensation that is formed in spray drying is used as a source of heat in other processes: An increase in efficiency across the board.