Application Note

Recommended Mixing Equipment For Fish Oil Supplements

Source: Charles Ross and Son Company

Food and pharmaceutical manufacturers rely on a range of high speed mixers to accomplish emulsification. In the processing of fish oil supplements, for instance, High Shear Mixers are used to prepare emulsions under 10,000 centipoise (cP). The basic single-stage design features a four-blade rotor turning at tip speeds around 3,000-4,000 ft/min within a close tolerance fixed stator. It imparts mechanical and hydraulic shear by continuously drawing product into the rotor and expelling it radially at high velocity through the openings in the stator. This type of mixer is available in both batch and inline (continuous) configurations.

Formulations that undergo viscosity changes peaking well over 10,000 cP are more efficiently batched in Multi-Shaft Mixers. These versatile machines are equipped with two or more independently-driven agitators working in tandem to deliver a combination of high shear agitation and laminar bulk flow. A Triple-Shaft Mixer featuring a low-speed anchor, rotor/stator assembly and saw-tooth disperser blade is particularly ideal for creating thickened emulsions. The agitators can be engaged in any combination and at any speed for any interval during the mixing cycle. Adjustable scrapers attached to the wings of the anchor agitator physically contact the vessel bottom and sidewalls. This allows for tighter temperature control in addition to enhanced product turnover. The saw-tooth disperser generates a vortex in the liquid surface for quick incorporation of solid ingredients and, along with the anchor, continues to agitate the batch when it becomes too thick to flow through the rotor/stator.