The continuous dryer is used for the drying of cocoa beans, mainly required to dry the shell. This will lead to an increased efficiency in the winnowing section as the shells are more brittle due to the lower moisture level on the outside. This give benefits in the rest of the process, i.e. less wear and higher yield.
The dryer works with hot air on the counter flow principle; the material to be dried passes through feeding rolls from above into the dryer where it is passed downwards from level to level. The air needed for drying flows upwards through the material from below, thus transferring its heat to the product and carrying away the water that is given off. During the whole treatment, the material is at rest on the permeable trays and is only turned and mixed during transfer to the next drying level. At the bottom a collecting vessel is incorporated with outlet screw.
Since the fans draw air out of the whole dryer, the chamber in which the product is held is under a slight negative pressure which encourages the extraction of moisture.
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