Iron Oxides are mineral-based compounds used as coloring agents in the food industry. They are considered excellent replacements to synthetic colours because of their stability, i.e. no chemical or physical reaction to acid, heat, light, moisture, oils, oxygen, or pH. With growing concern over safety of synthetic coloring, many food manufacturers are opting for Iron Oxides as a more consumer-friendly, low-cost replacement to their existing color agents.
In May 2017, JNE Consulting was hired by a global food and beverage company in Mississauga, Ontario to design a new piping system for adding Iron Oxide to their existing pet food process. The Mississauga plant is the first implementation of this process among the corporation’s North American plants. JNE has worked with the plant on their upgrades and modernization projects for many years.
This project is unique in that it involved close coordination between JNE Consulting, the local plant, and the Client’s US head office to design the system according to the process requirements. The newly introduced process posed many challenges to the JNE project team. Much of the process information at the beginning was preliminary or missing. The first step was to get site measurements and enough documentation to model the piping lines (P&I, process information, etc.). Then, as JNE worked on layouts and specs, the Client validated their requirements internally with the model and requested updates as required. As JNE approached the metering side of the process, the project team held meetings with the pump vendor and Client to optimize that side of the process.
JNE conducted the Pre-Start Health & Safety Review (PHSR) and the system started operating on schedule.