Case Study: Processing Hemp Powder

A health food processor was looking for ways to improve its hemp powder processing operations. They turned to Sturtevant, a leading manufacturer of material processing …

iStock/Credit:yavdat
iStock/Credit:yavdat

A health food processor was looking for ways to improve its hemp powder processing operations. They turned to Sturtevant, a leading manufacturer of material processing equipment, for help.

Hemp seeds are part of a growing family of superfoods because they provide many nutritional benefits. They are a good source of digestible protein and fiber, while at the same time they are low in fat and carbohydrates. Hemp seeds also provide many necessary minerals, like iron, magnesium, copper and zinc. Protein concentrated powders made from hemp seeds are used in high protein drinks, breads, cereals, crackers and spreads.

In order to produce concentrated protein powders, hemp seeds are milled, then screened to separate the coarser fiber from the finer protein powder. Unfortunately, the high oil/fat and moisture content makes screening the fine powder very difficult. Screen holes quickly blind and require frequent cleaning, making it a challenge to keep up with a production process.

Sturtevant recommended its Whirlwind Air Classifier, which can separate hemp powder very easily without any of the clogging issues that occur with a screening process. The air classifier is very easy to adjust to remove various levels of fines by changing blades or by changing speeds with a VFD. Small models are available for low feed capacities and many larger models are available for high feed capacities.

The Whirlwind Air Classifier uses airflow to separate the valuable fine protein powder and a mechanical rejector to prevent most of the fiber from being removed. After air classifying hemp powder, the health food processor found that the 30% protein content can be increased to 40-50%.

About Sturtevant

With powder processing experience since 1883, Sturtevant, Inc. is the leading family-owned manufacturer of material processing equipment operating a full-service test lab facility to analyze material characteristics,verify particle size requirements and specify the optimal equipment for a specific application.

This content is sponsored by Sturtevant, Inc. Sponsored content is authorized by the client and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Process Flow Network editorial team.

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