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Cutting-Edge Approach to Dust Handling Helps Provide Cleaner, High-Quality End Product for Almond Huller

Industry: Almond Hulling and Shelling

Problem: Need to control dust and pathogens so they do not contaminate product

Solution: LP Baghouses

Minturn Hullers Co-op of Chowchilla, California looked to Donaldson Torit when it built its next-generation almond huller and sheller. The $24 million project took more than two years to design and build. It is the first of its kind in California’s $4 billion almond industry. It will allow Minturn to double its capacity and have a seasonal output of more than 150 million meat pounds.

Beeler Industries of Salida took the huller/sheller project from concept to completion. It features innovative separation technology from Lewis M. Carter Manufacturing of Donalsonville, Ga., and industry-leading Process Air and LP baghouse filtration equipment from Donaldson Torit of Minneapolis. The machinery footprint is about the size of a football field. A 61,000-square-foot structure houses the process equipment, bulk shipping and warehouse.

The equipment features a cutting-edge approach to air handling provided by Donaldson Torit. Potential dust emission points were targeted with directly connected dust control to prevent dust and associated pathogens from contaminating the product. The process make-up air was designed at 34' eave level to decrease the risk of ambient dust and insects from entering the plant. This high level of sanitation will allow the processed nuts in and out of shells to be loaded onto trucks in an environmentally-controlled space.

“We’re working to increase capacity and food safety at the same time,” Mike Beeler said.

Quality is an important aspect of the new processor. Early removal of hull, LSK and foreign materials provide cleaner, high-quality products and increased output. The single-level, low-profile system also provides ease of access, allowing operators to quickly sample, adjust, maintain and sanitize equipment.

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