When establishing a processing and freeze-drying system for an exotic mushroom customer, Van Drunen Farms in Momence, Illinois found themselves in search of a solution for a unique set of challenges.
Van Drunen Farms specializes in processing high-quality ingredients through a multitude of processing methods and services, including freeze-dried, drum-dried, frozen and infused, as well as dietary supplements.
The company needed help processing specialty exotic mushrooms. The mushroom spores are grown in wet rice holes. Once grown, the mushrooms are frozen in bulk and sent in forty-pound blocks to Van Drunen for processing. This is where the problem came in.
Van Drunen needed a high-quality, reliable crusher that could break the blocks while keeping them frozen. Output size was also a driving factor. Because the pieces would be freeze-dried after processing, the output size couldn’t be too fine. The pieces would have to have an output size between 3/8 and 1/2 inch. The company began exploring options, but had trouble finding a solution that would be able to deliver the right size output, keep the product frozen, and be reliable and well-built.
“We needed to find a machine that could keep the material frozen during processing,” said Rick Owenga, Plant Manager at Van Drunen Farms. “We pride ourselves on the high quality of our end product, so this was an imperative part of process we had to maintain.”
That’s when they turned to Franklin Miller to see if they had a solution. “We had heard of Franklin Miller quite a bit in the food processing industry,” Owenga said. “We were hopeful they would have a solution for our exotic mushroom processing needs.”
Franklin Miller had a machine that exactly matched what the company needed. Van Drunen Farms purchased and installed a stainless steel DELUMPER® Model 1075L on a custom support and feed system in 2015.
DELUMPER® “L” Series Lump Breakers reduce product to desired output size with a positive, once-through chopping action. Cutting teeth mounted to a smooth drum rotate through sizing combs to process agglomerates and chunks and reduce oversized particles to their basic grain size without over-grind, heat rise or fines.
The DELUMPER Lump Breaker has been running in their plant ever since and has made Van Drunen’s mushroom processing headaches disappear. “The DELUMPER does a great job,” Owenga said. “It does exactly what we need and doesn’t give us any problems. Our customer is very happy and so are we.”
Looks like Van Drunen Farms got the cool solution they were looking for.