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FAQs

FFA Statement

Q?

What is the FM – Range?

A.

The FM range comprises of filtration and treatment equipment specially designed for processing frying oil directly at frying oil temperatures. This equipment is for frying oil during its frying life and not for processing the oil after it has reached its end point.

Q?

why is it the FilterCorp FM3 & 4 unique?

A.

The FM3 and 4 are designed to continuously treat frying oil to remove both crumbs and slow th formation of oil degradation products that can damage oil, reduce its useable life, adversely affect product and reduce shelf life.

Q?

You have referred several times to treating oil. I know that I should filter my oil. What is the difference between treatment and filtration?

A.

We talk about treating oil to differentiate filtration from what we do. Filtration is traditionally a process designed to remove particulates from frying oil. Screens, paper and processes such as centrifugation will remove solid particles, but they do not have any direct effect on oil chemistry. Dr. Michael Blumenthal coined the term “passive filtration” when referring to this kind of system. The modules and CarbonPads used in the FM range are a proprietary blend of materials that react with components in the oil and those released from the food to remove and/or alter them. The end result is better quality oil that produces better quality food. Treatment corresponds to what Dr. Blumenthal called “active filtration.” As an example, the FM range modules and CarbonPads will remove metals, such as calcium, magnesium and sodium from the oil.

Q?

So, this is why oil treatment important?

A.

Yes, the goal of food processors is to produce good tasting and wholesome foods that consumers will purchase again and again. This is a business that depends on repeat sales whether the products are retail items such as chips, snacks, or coated products or those purchased through a restaurant chain. In fact, one of the pre-eminent groups in the world when it comes to frying oils and oil quality, the Euro Fed Lipid group, has stated that “The sensory parameters of food are the prime quality index.” This was the first recommendation that came out of the 4th International Symposium on Deep-Fat Frying held in Hagen, Germany in 2000 ((2000), Eur. J. Lipid Technol., 102:8-9, 594). The bottom line is that good food sells and repeat business is how food processors build a profitable business.

Q?

So, if food is the prime quality index, are there others quality indices used by the frying industry?

A.

There are many different tools that are used to measure oil quality. These include chemical indices of oil quality, physical measurements and rapid tests.

Q?

You mentioned chemical indices of oil quality. What are these?

A.

Chemical indices include free fatty acids, total polar materials, soap, polymerized triglycerides, and soaps. A chemical index of oil quality may be any chemical tests used to monitor the quality of the oil. Ideally, chemical indices of oil quality should correlate with the quality of the food being fried. A chemical test is an objective measurement assuming that it is being done by a trained and qualified analyst, whereas sensory tests are subjective.

Q?

Can you define polar materials?

A.

The simplest definition for total polar materials is all non-triglyceride materials soluble in, emulsified in or suspended in oil. Fresh oil typically contains 2 – 4% polar compounds, but may contain less. Once oil is exposed to frying conditions, conversion of triglycerides is initiated and is irreversible during the frying process. Proper oil management which includes the use of active treatment, can slow polar material formation and extend the life of the oil. There are many who consider polar materials the single most important test for degrading restaurant cooking oils. In fact, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, France and various states/cantons in Switzerland and Germany have established regulatory limits for polar materials in restaurant frying oils. In 2000, the DGF (German Society for Fat Research) stated that polar materials and polymeric triglycerides were the best indicators of oil abuse. This statement was made as part of the summary published of the 3rd International Symposium on Deep-Fat Frying held in Hagen, Germany.

Q?

Are you serious about soaps being in oil? How do they get into frying oil?

A.

Soap is produced in different ways in different process operations. It is produced in the oil during chemical refining. These are then completely removed from the refined oil by using special adsorbents. These adsorbents not only remove the soaps from the oil, but they also take out trace metals and residual phosphatides.

In frying oils, soaps will form through the reaction of free fatty acids and metals (calcium, sodium, magnesium) in the presence of water. Sources of metals are food and residual caustic from cleaning operations. Soaps are surfactants and will be absorbed onto frying food. Many active filter media are designed to reduce soaps in oils.

As you know, soap is a detergent. Presence of soap causes rapid rise in FFA in the oil during frying, which causes more rapid oxidation in the oil.

Q?

We use FFA as an index for oil quality. Isn’t this the best measurement?

A.

Free fatty acid is really not the best index for monitoring frying oil quality. It is, however, an inexpensive test that is easy to conduct. For this reason, it is used by many processors.

Free fatty acid (FFA) by itself has no impact on the oil or fried food flavor. In fact, it is possible to fry foods in 100% free fatty acid mixtures. Fatty acids are, however, more prone to oxidation reactions, which create problems in foods and cooking oils.

The FFA is reduced during the oil refining process along with many other odor bearing compounds. These chemicals are removed during the steam distillation step (Deodorization) in oil refining.

Industry standards call for a maximum FFA content of 0.05% or below in the fresh oil. A higher FFA content indicates some processing or inherent oil quality issue at the oil refinery. If fresh oils that contain FFA levels of 0.05% or below do not perform well in the frying process, this is because there are other impurities the refining process failed to properly remove (see soaps below).

Q?

How should I measure oil quality?

A.

That depends upon what you are frying, the oil being used and your commitment
to quality. The best way to establish a quality program for oil monitoring is to continuously fry food, monitor different chemical indices and either taste the food or carry out shelf life studies. This disciplined approach will allow you to relate the test results from chemical analyses to food quality and select those with best correlation.

Oh, by the way, the FM unit process is designed to slow oil degradation by
treating the oil as it is passed through the system.

Q?

How large is the FM1 unit?

A.

The FM1 is a small, mobile unit yet a powerful oil treatment system for small industrial fryers. It weighs up to approximately 180 pounds (82 kg) and has a footprint of 8.14 square feet (1.25 square meters) 24.8” x 47.25” (630 x 1200mm).

Q?

How large is the FM3 unit?

A.

The FM3 is a small yet powerful oil treatment system. It weighs approximately 330 pounds (150 kg) and has a footprint of 13.4 square feet (0.756 square meters) 35” x 55” (890 x 1400mm).

Q?

How large is the FM4 unit?

A.

The FM4 is nearly as small as the FM3, but offers 4 times the capacity. It weighs approximately 825 pounds (375 kg) and has a footprint of 20.6 square feet (1.91 square meters) 3.25” x 86.61” (870 x 2200mm).

Q?

How long do the filters last?

A.

With the FM1 the CarbonPad is changed daily at the end of the day, but is not restricted to just one filtration. The FM1 can be used to filter multiple fryers and more than once per day if required. If heavily contaminated oil the CarbonPad may blind during the day and can be changed out as required, but typically has the capacity to operate for a full day’s use.

One of the FM3 or FM4 modules, that is, the lenticular modules contained within the bell housing have lasted up to three weeks without being changed. How long they last will, again, depend upon what is being fried, the size of the fryer and the flow rate through the modules. A product that releases a great deal of particulates into the frying oil will blind the module earlier than a product that maintains its integrity during frying.

Q?

If I use your product, how much longer will my oil last?

A.

This depends, again, on the product and process. In foodservice operations,
Filtercorp has seen oil life extended up to four times what they saw before
installing the system. In industrial operations, we encourage potential users to look at other areas such as shelf life extension, improved food quality, reduced use of cleaning compounds, reduced handling of oil and improved operational efficiencies.

Q?

What do the filters cost?

A.

The Fm1 CarbonPads come in 2 sizes and unit prices are typically $3.50 to $5.50 each. The FM3 and FM4 use a range of modules with different combinations of filter area and sludge holding capacity and the approximate costs range between $300 to $500 per module.

Q?

How often should I check the pre-filter in the FM3?

A.

The pre-filter should be checked at least once each shift, until application
experience is gained. The pre-filter is designed to protect the FM3’s pump. For
heavily contaminated oil we would recommend that the FM3 be installed as part
of an existing system and that the pre-filter already in use be utilized. The FM4 does not have a built-in pre-filter and relies on the fryers own pre-filter.

Q?

What is the FM3’s pre-filter rating?

A.

The pre-filter is rated at 500 microns.

Q?

Is it possible to get a larger or smaller pre-filter?

A.

No, but the system is available with duplex pre-filters so the FM3 does not need to be stopped should the pre-filter blind

Q?

What is the role of the pre-filter in your system?

A.

The pre-filter in the FM3 is to remove large particles and protect the pump, which is, incidentally, the only moving part in the whole system. We do encourage users to hook up the unit to their existing pre-filter systems. Bag filters or canister type filters work very well with the FM3.

Q?

Will your system work on any kind of cooking oil?

A.

Yes, it will. No trans, low trans, palm oil, and all others can be treated with the FM units.

Q?

Can I use the FM3 or 4 for more than one fryer?

A.

Yes, you can. One FM3 or FM4 could be used for multiple fryers, if they were small units. It would also be possible to link the unit to multiple fryers and to treat each at different intervals. The FM3 and FM4 however are primarily designed to hook up to a dedicated fryer and the oil is filtered continuously.

Q?

What size fryer does the FM Units work with?

A.

The FM range covers small industrial fryers 80 to 250 litres (20 to 66 gallons), medium fryers 800 to 2000 litres (210 to 530 gallons) and large fryers 2000 to 8000 litres (530 to 2100 gallons).

Q?

Does the equipment meet regulatory standards?

A.

Yes, it does. The FM units are manufactured from stainless steel with the exception of the pump on the FM3 and FM1, so all components are approved for food contact. The unit is currently manufactured in Europe and meets all pertinent regulatory standards for safety and sanitary operation. A declaration of conformity is provided with each unit in the Operating Manual.

Q?

How long does it take to change a CarbonPad or filter module?

A.

A CarbonPad on the FM1 unit can be changed out in a few minutes. The filter modules can be changed in less than one hour without interrupting production operations. The operator needs to turn off the pump, residue oil in the system is returned to the fryer the unit is then allowed to cool a bit.

To change the modules on the FM3, the operators must take the protective cover off of the unit and detach the bell housing. The locking device on the modules is then disconnected and the used modules removed. The unit is then wiped down using a clean cloth. No water or detergents should be used.

The new modules are inserted and the unit is reassembled for use. Since the unit is on casters, it can be rolled to a cleanup area if the operator so desires. The FM4 has a simple filter housing door at one end and the spent filter modules are simply slid out onto a purpose-built trolley for removal. New modules are slid back into place and the door shut.

Whenever the operators change modules, they must be sure to wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes gloves, apron, shin protectors, and eye protection.

Q?

How do I know when it is time to change the CarbonPad or filter modules?

A.

The FM1 will have slow pump back of the oil, this indicates the pad is blinding
and needs changing.

The FM3 and FM4 will tell the operator when it is time to change the modules.
The pressure increase of the gauge and warning beacons will tell the operator
that the modules in the unit are blinding. In addition, experience with the products being fried will provide users with an idea of how long they can use it prior to changing.

Q?

Does Filtercorp provide help during installation and startup?

A.

Yes, Filtercorp will provide assistance during installation. The company will assist with setup of the FM unit and train the customer’s personnel. We will also work with the customer to establish the optimal operating parameters.

Q?

If I have problems with the FM unit during operation, will Filtercorp be available to help us with the system?

A.

Yes, Filtercorp will be available to help. Users can call the offices should they have questions.

Q?

What are the power requirements for the FM units?

A.

The FM1 unit requires a single-phase power supply either 110v for the US or 240V for the EU. The FM3 and FM4 are configured in 3 phase, 460v for the US and 400v for the EU, but appropriate electrical components and pump motors can be changed to suit other power requirements.

Q?

Can I get the filter modules in other colors such as white?

A.

No, the module is available only in dark gray.

Q?

What size particles will the FM filter media remove from the oil?

A.

The CarbonPad media in all FM units will remove particles as small as 0.5
microns. As the particulates build up on the modules, the accumulated materials
act as an additional pre-filter. In the FM3 and FM4 the modules used allow a much larger area and volume of filter media to be offered up in a small housing. Up to 3.6m2 (5,580 square inches) in the FM3 and up to 14.4m2 (22,320 square inches) in the FM4.

Q?

Are the filter modules available at other ratings?

A.

While the modules are one physical size the number of cells in the module can
be adjusted. This gives more filter area, but reduces the space for solids loading. The best module configuration is dependent on the application.

Q?

Can the filter modules be cleaned and re-used?

A.

No, the modules are consumables. The depth structure of the treatment media
means the very fine suspended solids get caught within this structure and cannot be washed off. Also, the active treatment component of the modules becomes exhausted.

Q?

The dome that contains the modules is a pressure vessel. Does the FM3/4 operate at high pressures?

A.

The system does operate under pressure with built-in safety devices to ensure a low working pressure is maintained, 2.5bar, 36psi.

Q?

What kind of safety features have you installed on the FM3/4?

A.

The FM3/4 is designed with three levels of safety. The first level is a pressure switch which has two pressure set points; 29 and 36 PSI. (2 and 2.5bar). The second level is the pump which has an integral relief valve set at 42 PSI. (3bar). The final level is pressure relief valve which is set at 58 PSI. (4bar). If these pressures are reached, the unit will shut down. A red alarm beacon on the control unit will let the operator know that pressures are increasing. There is also a pressure gauge on the back side of the unit that monitors pressure continuously.

Q?

What happens when the modules fill up with sediment and fines from the fryer?

A.

As the modules fill with sediment and fines, the accumulated materials first act as a pre-filter. When they begin to blind the modules, a pressure increase will be noted on the gauge. In addition, the light beacon on the control cabinet will begin flashing as the first pressure alarm.

Q?

What is the temperature rating of the module?

A.

The FM systems and the CarbonPad and lenticular modules are rated at 400°F
or 200°C.

Q?

Can I get spare parts?

A.

Yes, you can. There is a master list of all parts in the operating manual. They can be ordered directly from Filtercorp.

Q?

Does Filtercorp provide spare parts with the FM units?

A.

A replacement set of seals is provided with each FM3/4. Filtercorp provides an
option for ordering a spare parts package when the FM3/4 is ordered. Filtercorp
encourages that companies ordering an FM3/4 get the compete spare parts package. In Section 12.3 of the Operations Manual is a list of spare parts that comes with the unit. Section 12.2 contains the optional list of spare parts.

Q?

How many moving parts does the FM units have?

A.

The FM1 and FM3 has, as mentioned earlier only one moving part, the pump. The FM4, in addition to the pump, has 2 automated valves.

Q?

And what size is the pump?

A.

FM1, the pump is 0.33 horsepower unit. This equates to 0.25 kilowatts.
FM3, the pump is 0.74 horsepower unit. This equates to 0.55 kilowatts.
FM4, the pump is 6.1 horsepower unit. This equates to 4.55 kilowatts.

Q?

If we need to replace the pump and we don’t have one in stock, how long will it take to get a new pump?

A.

The pumps used on the FM1 and FM3 are manufactured in the United States and is a standard pump in both the USA and Europe. The FM4 uses a European pump. We recommend that a spare be kept in the maintenance shop, but a new one can be obtained with days.