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Pump Motor Technologies Food and Beverage

4 Features to Consider When Purchasing Sanitary Food Pumps

By OTC Insights Team on August 3, 2023

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OTC Insights Team

Established in 1963, OTC Industrial Technologies is one of the largest industrial distributors & service providers in the United States. We're committed to seeing industrial operations advance through expert technical solutions & unmatched support using our years of experience.

As a plant manager, facility manager, or maintenance manager, you understand there is a process for making a high-dollar purchase.

There are several options on the market for a capital or equipment purchase. When making a purchase decision you will need to weigh functionality against cost, reliability against budget, and overall expense against return on investment. It's a balancing act.

With the potential of a poor purchase resulting in a regulatory issue or downtime, it's a process that manufacturers in the food & beverage industry know all too well when purchasing a sanitary food pump solution.

Despite what some may think, not all pumps are the same. In fact, there are four different types of sanitary food pumps and they all have different functions.

Deciding between these options requires taking into account additional factors such as cost and budget. With so many options, you may wonder what is the best food-grade pump for your application.

The Food and Beverage Industry Relies on OTC's Turnkey Production and Efficiency Solutions To help you make the best decision for your manufacturing needs, let’s consider the facts and features of the various sanitary food pumps. 


What Is a Sanitary Food Pump?

Sanitary food pumps are a key component in the food processing and agricultural industries. They are used to move and meter various food and agricultural materials through operations where cleanliness and sanitation are either mandated, desired, or both. These pumps are commonly used in food processing plants.

Facts and Features of Sanitary Food Pumps

Identifying the need for a sanitary food pump is a rather simple task, but determining which specific food pump best fits the needs of your organization can be tricky. Food pumps come in many varieties with several different features, which makes the selection process difficult.

Sanitary food pumps can be placed into four categories: centrifugal, positive displacement, jet, and airlift.

Find your best pump solution. Pumps and services for all types of applications and industries. Click to learn moreCentrifugal Food Pumps

Centrifugal food pumps have two distinct features: a stationary casing and a rotating impeller. Combined, these features produce the liquid velocity, then release it. They are used to move low-viscosity liquids such as water or olive oil.

Positive Displacement Food Pumps

These pumps are built with two expanding cavities, one of which is on the suction side and the other on the discharge side. Unlike centrifugal pumps, positive displacement pumps produce liquid velocity and a consistent flow regardless of the discharge pressure. They are some of the most versatile pumps in the food and beverage industry, handling liquids such as tomato sauces, fillings for pies or cakes, or mayonnaise and pastes.

Jet Food Pumps

Jet pumps operate using velocity energy that is generated from a fluid jet. In this process, fluid is pushed through a nozzle, which then allows for the conversion of fluid motion to velocity energy. Jet pumps are typically used in processes where solid matter is found, as centrifugal pumps cannot be used in a process with solid matter.

Airlift Food Pumps

While referred to as a pump, the airlift pump does not change the velocity of the fluid and isn’t technically a pump. Airlift pumps produce a liquid that is then mixed with the leftover air at the end of the conversion process. Airlift pumps are typically used when liquids are corrosive or contain other foreign materials.

Purchasing a Food Pump

Purchasing a sanitary food pump is, potentially, a difficult and time-consuming process. To properly select and purchase a sanitary food pump, several criteria should be prioritized:

  • Ensure process requirements will be met through the sanitary pump. Consider the necessary discharge speed, pressure, and liquid action that the product requires.
  • Determine whether product properties will meet desired goals. For example, if the product requires a certain temperature, or if it will also include solid matter, then the pump you select should manage those properties.
  • Assess installation and operation requirements. For example, look at the expected pace of production. Will the pump be able to manage peak production times? Will there be a need for manual control of the process? Are there any safety considerations?
  • Calculate cost and determine overall expenses. Consider the cost of the unit you are evaluating and the expected timeline for an ROI.

While every facility and production process will have different needs, different requirements, and different workflows, the following criteria should be an important part of any equipment evaluation and purchase.

Optimizing Sanitary Food Pump Operations

Keep in mind, purchasing a sanitary food pump is only one aspect of optimizing production and operations for the food and beverage industry.

Installation of the pump, assessing facility and production needs, the system in which the pump operates, regulations, maintenance, repairs, and more are all components of optimized production. Working with an end-to-end, turnkey solution provider with the expertise and resources to support you and your production goals is critical.

OTC's pump and motor technologies team has the resources, expertise, and experience to deliver manufacturing solutions, not just equipment. Before purchasing a sanitary food pump, contact OTC to discuss your needs and see how you can optimize your solution.