What is a dough pump?
A dough pump is a type of dough conveying equipment widely used in large-scale production bakeries. The first step in the make-up stage, it serves as a transport or transfer mechanism for large or bulk amounts of dough and connects mixers to dividers.
A dough pump by nature allows for a continuous operation to be run, receiving a product and delivering it into the next stage in the production process.
How does a dough pump work?
A dough pump is designed to connect the mixing stage and the make-up stage. It has a regulator or metering mechanism for dough flow control. A pair of augers or twin-screws gradually move and deliver the dough through a stainless steel pipe towards an outlet at the base of the divider’s hopper.
The dough pump is ideal for the high-speed production of:
- White pan bread
- Whole wheat pan bread
- Buns and rolls
Then, the dough pump continuously delivers the dough according to the processing rate of the make-up stage. This is a critical adjustment to match the capacity of downstream equipment, and avoid unbalanced flows inside the line.
Common adjustments to dough pumps include:
- Pressure inside the conveying chamber or barrel
- Rotational speed of motor
- Torque of motor
- Flow rate or dough metering
By changing any of the mentioned variables above, the dough:
- May be run at a higher or lower speed
- May be subjected to increased or decreased shear and strain forces, resulting in varying rheological behavior and cell damage or distribution
Choosing the proper dough pump depends on several factors. The following are a few examples:
- Degree of process hygiene (closed or open equipment)
- Resistance of construction to cleaning solutions
- Flexibility of production line
- Conveying or mass flow required in the process (i.e., Kg or tons per hour)
- Nature of the upstream and downstream equipment (e.g., continuous mode production lines)
- Dough characteristics (e.g., hydration level, mechanical sensitivity)
Food safety and quality considerations
- The action of the augers in the dough pump homogenize and degasses the dough during transport, which results in a tighter crumb. Attention should be paid if such effects require compensation with longer proofing times.
- Either being an enclosed system or open equipment, dough pumps should allow for maintenance, inspection, cleaning and sanitation activities to be performed easily, adequately and...