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Gelatin Drying Technology (Gelatin Dryer)
Gelatin Dryer
Written by Koen Egberts (koen.egberts@ventilex.com)   
Thursday, 28 April 2011 00:00

GELATIN DRYING (Gelatin Dryers)

gelatin noodles powdergelatin powder


Practically all gelatine factories in the world are using Imtech DryGenic gelatine dryers of which the first type was already built in 1961. Imtech DryGenic of course, have also erection supervisors and commissioning engineers available for their worldwide customers to assist them with the start-up and training of their work force. If so, required Imtech DryGenic can also supply other elements of a gelatine production line (gelatin plant / factory).

Imtech DryGenic can control temperature and humidity as required, delivering desired levels even with varying air inlet conditions. The Imtech DryGenic system removes up to 97% of all airborne bacteria, mould and fungi from the air stream and kills them.












The benefit here is germfree air during gelatine production, an additional benefit to your operation.

Imtech DryGenic can also eliminate the problem of wet cooling coils, which are known breeding grounds for bacteria and mould growth. At long term storage this only adds to product quality.


Gelatine is a natural product of high quality and is often used as a binding agent in different kinds of food. Some examples of food products in which gelatine is used are: liquorice, chewing gum, nougat, ice cream, soup, cake or pie, puddings, canned meat etc.
Besides applications in the food industry gelatine is also used in a variety of products like glue, matches, paper money, photo/film, hard and soft capsule, grinding paper etc.


The four main sources are cattle bones, pigskins, bovine hides and fish. Cattle bones are primarily for the manufacture of photographic and pharmaceutical grades, whilst hides are usually processed for edible gelatine.
Gelatine is usually made from cattle bones and bovine hides by an alcalic treatment, although both materials can be used for the production of acid processed gelatines. For pigskins the acid method for extraction is mostly used.


After pre-treatment of the raw materials, the material is ready for the extraction process.
The physical appearance of the material is virtually unchanged as the skeletal structure is stabilized mainly by hydrogen bonds, which however, are thermolabile.
By treating the material with hot (50°C - 60°C) water, the protein chains, which constitute the collagen molecules, are free to separate from each other and become hydrated.
The hydrated process causes the protein molecules to dissolve in hot water, giving dilute solutions of gelatine.
The extraction treatment is done in 4 or 5 cycles, each resulting in an about 4% gelatine solution. After filtration, concentration and sterilization the liquid will be dried until it contains about 88% gelatine and 12% water.


This final drying is possible because the gelatine is cooled in a chemetator unit. The chemetator consists of a horizontal heat transfer cylinder furnished with scraper blades, a high-pressure pump and an extrusion head gelling section.

oscillating chemetatorgelification

gelatin chemetator

The removable heat transfer tube is made of carbon steel internally hard chrome plated. All other contact parts are made of stainless steel. Blades, seal parts, -rings etc. will be compatible with the gelatine.
The gelatine solution is cooled as a result of this it "gels" and then it is spread out, in the form of a noodle, on a belt, which transports the material into the drying tunnel.


The effect of the dry air on the surface of the noodle is to form a dry skin sufficient to prevent the sol-gel change of state from being reversed when the air temperature is progressively increased to maintain the hygroscopic differential between the drying gelatine and the drying media. From the dividing conveyor the gelatine is transported on to a stainless steel main belt, which runs through the gelatine drying tunnel.
Alternately, the dry air from the Imtech DryGenic is passed in cross-flow through the layers of the gelatine. The gelatine drying tunnel is divided into zones, each maintaining a different temperature.

gelatin in drier

gelatine belt drier

gelatin drier

In the first zone the supply air temperature, which comes direct from a Imtech DryGenic plant, is approx. 40°C and in the last zone the air is heated until 60°C.
The front part of the tunnel can be furnished with a hygienic e.g. cooling zone. The back part of the tunnel can be furnished with an after cooling zone. All parts are made of stainless steel and odour- and/or tasteless rubber.
The frame is made of galvanized profiles and the side panels are constructed of aluminium-clad plywood with adequate inspection doors.


We have manufactured a  stainless steel belt system (perforated plates). It has many advantages. Advantages of the  plate belt are:

  • easy to clean
  • easy to exchange/replace (take one section out and put new one in) in 10 minutes
  • no fixing wires (less chance of metal in gelatin)
  • less sticking

gelatin belt







The new panels of the dryer are made of stainless steel and are insulated !

The NEW PLC has a menu, with recipes (extractions). This automatically changes the parameters, like temperatures in the belt dryer, belt speed etc.
We can also measure the power consumption of the motor of the belt drive and with this data the PLC can automatically controls the lubrication of the chain.

Our new dehumidifiers are now made of double wall plastic panels. This gives a better insulation.


Commercially dry gelatine has a final moisture content of 10-12% and it will come from the band dryer in the form of a mat which is immediately broken into pieces of about 20 mm in length, by means of a rotating cutter.

Due to an energy-friendly design the specific energy consumption of the continuous gelatine drying line is very low.

After the rough grinder the gelatine can be transported to a fine grinder, in which the gelatine is broken in the required mesh. Alternatively the gelatine can be filled in big bags, or after sieving and mixing of the gelatine, packed in small packages.


Pushed by the gelatine industry and based on experience, Imtech DryGenic engineers advanced the drying technology by developing the Turbo-concept.
The goal of this concept has been to increase production capacity on an existing installation.

Investigating the drying characteristics of running gelatine dryers one can conclude that in most cases gelatine in the first section of a gelatine dryer has more dehydration capacity than is available in the air.

tubo gelatin dryer

By injecting an extra quantity of air halfway, one can optimise the production capacity by putting the dehydration capacity of the gelatine in use.
In this way flexibility of producing comes within reach. The gelatine dryer can operate in two positions standard producing 100% and in a Turbo position producing 120% of the original capacity. Consequently energy consumption can be fine tuned on demand of production capacity or on required production capacity.

When this concept was implemented successfully in 1999 a number of advantages had been recognised. More quickly than expected, the gelatine industry adopted the Turbo-concept resulting in a number of projects. In these projects the Turbo-concept proved to be simple, transparent and easy. The advantages have not only been on technical aspects but also especially with respect to the operation of the total gelatine production process.

In implementing the Turbo-concept the following benefits can be identified:

1. The production capacity of an existing installation can be increased with 20%.
2. The length of a new gelatine dryer can be reduced
3. Flexibility in production resulting in the ability of increasing or decreasing the capacity because of:

1. Demand of gelatine on the market
2. Availability of raw material


The DryPac dehumidification system is used to dry the gelatin and is specially designed to use low levels of energy and to minimize total energy consumption. The DryPac system maintains the air at a constant, precise humidity regardless of weather conditions or load variations.
Using a DryPac system for air dehumidification usually results in a substantial saving in the running costs of the plant and investment in cooling equipment. DryPac systems can dehumidify air to a relative humidity (RH) as low as 20%. The DryPac can handle target volumes of air.

drypac dehumidifier

In many cases this can be achieved without the need of pre-cooling and reheating as would be required with conventional refrigeration equipment.

The latest designs are constructed of corrosion-proof material and have incorporated the latest advances in heat and mass transfer technology.
Its simplicity and choice of materials of construction make the DryPac a reliable air dehumidifier with a long life span.

An important benefit of a DryPac system is that the airborne bacteria and viruses are washed out from the air and eliminated in the hygroscopic liquid..


Belt dryer :


Dry Ice cleaning:



click here for pdf file Gelatin Drying



click here for pdf file Gelatin History


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Last Updated on Saturday, 21 November 2015 07:21

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