12.4.- PILOT PLANTS

A Pilot Plant is a small-scale plant that develops processes to obtain information that can be used in industrial scale processes. They allow feasibility studies of designs and processes on an industrial scale.

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The food pilot plants are used in companies and in training and research centers since they allow the study of food industry processes, such as oil production, dairy products treatment, meat products processing, etc. The knowledge of the process makes it possible to focus on highly valued aspects of the food sector, such as taste, nutritional values and quality of the products. In addition, with the technologies that make up the pilot plants, the installation of machinery, commissioning and maintenance of the equipment involved in the process can be carried out. Pilot plants are essential in both research and training because they make it possible to materialize the results of the research in specific phases of the process and/or products. Likewise, the phases that make up the transformation of the product in the food industry are studied in depth to optimize and introduce improvements. Those phases cover from the reception of the raw material to the packaging.

At present, simulators are available for the study of processes. However, the simulators do not enable to predict behaviors or obtain data from new processes to optimize them. Therefore, having a Pilot Plant related to the study or work process provides many advantages.

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