Chocolate Pumps: Frequently Asked Questions

A Brief History of Chocolate

Here at Tapflo UK, we sell pumps to fit a wide variety of applications, and as you may have guessed, we have focused some FAQ’s and a case study on Chocolate Pumps!

Before we get stuck in to all the technical stuff, we’ll give you a brief overview of the chocolate industry and how far it’s come over the years. Cocoa beans grow on a Theobroma Cacao, more commonly known as the Cacao or Cocoa tree, and is believed to have been around for more than 2000 years. You may have heard the typical joke, “chocolate comes from a plant, it must be healthy”… if only it counted as one of our five-a-day!

When cocoa was first discovered, it is said to have been only intended as a drink and was first tasted as pure cocoa, which probably was quite healthy, but also very bitter! It is said that people believed chocolate had nutritious and medicinal benefits during the 17th Century, and was seen as a privilege for more wealthy people. Moving forward to the 18th Century, John Cadbury (I’m sure you all know where this is going…) opened a shop selling tea, coffee, cocoa and drinking chocolate, and throughout the 1800’s his business was expanded by himself and his two sons, leading to the launch of the widely known Cadbury Dairy Milk.

Aside from Cadbury’s, the release of the first ever chocolate bar was in 1847, which was the first time ever chocolate could be eaten, with the invention of milk chocolate following in 1875. As the years have gone on, the chocolate industry has continued to advance, with thousands of delicious varieties available, and has become the indulgent treat many of us know and love. Want to know the best thing about chocolate? Tapflo can pump it! Keep reading for our frequently asked questions and a case study of one of our pumps being used for chocolate!

Theobroma Cacao Tree
Theobroma Cacao Tree

Chocolate Pump Frequently Asked Questions

What is the maximum viscosity of chocolate that we can pump?

Chocolate in its fluid form can vary drastically from one viscosity to the other, chocolate at room temperature can get up to as high as 50,000 centipoise. Most factories around the world will pump chocolate at above 50 degrees which lowers the viscosity to around 25,000. The simple answer is we can spec a chocolate pump to move chocolate up to 50,000 centipoise but we would recommend pumping hot chocolate when possible.

What pump type is best used for pumping chocolate?

Tapflo have a full range of hygienic process pumps that are capable of pumping chocolate, the most common pump used globally is a Lobe Pump which offers smooth pulse free flow and great CIP capabilities. More recently factories are switching over to Twin Screw Pumps which offer a 2 in 1 pump solution as you can use the same pump for the process and the CIP. Twin screws also have good priming capabilities.

Can I pump chocolate with suspended solids in and if so what’s the best pump the job?

The two options are again either a Lobe Pump or a Twin Screw Pump, both pumps can pump fluids with suspended solids without damaging the product. Depending on the size of the solids these will need to be matched to the correct sized pumping technology focusing on solid pass through capabilities.

How can I keep my chocolate hot after it leaves the tank and enters the pump?

Tapflo will always offer a heating jacket to either the Lobe or Twin screw pump being supplied. The heating jacket fitted with a circulating pump will enable you to pump hot water around the casing of the pump head to ensure fluid temperature is maintained when passing through the pump.

Chocolate pump case study

Tapflo were recently approached by a large chocolate manufacturer in the UK and asked to put forward a solution to pump hot chocolate from a holding tank to a filling machine. A fairly simple requirement for a pumping system and something the Tapflo Team jumped on. See details below.

Application Details:

Fluid: Chocolate

Viscosity: 20,000 CPS approx

Flow Rate: 8 m3/hr

Temperature: 52 degrees C

Solids: No

Pipe Work: 2 inch

Length of discharge: 28.5 Metres

Suction Condition: Flooded

Pumping solution offered:

Pump Type: Lobe Pump

Materials: 316L Stainless 0.5RA Polish

Lobes: 316L Stainless 0.5 RA Polish

Connection Size: 2 inch Tri Clamp

Heating Jacket: No (due to length of discharge)

The pump was delivered within three weeks of receiving the quotation and was commissioned and installed by the sites engineering team. The Lobe Pump was also hooked up to a CIP flushing system so the operator can clean the pump out after use, Tapflo are hoping this is the first of many lobe pumps to be installed on this site.

If you require a similar pump or any assistance on fluid handling within your factory then please get in touch on 02380 252 325 or email us at [email protected]

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