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Tapioca Starch Processing

Engineering Excellence for Custom-Fit Solutions

engineering for a better world

GEA Mechanical Equipment

GEA, Committed to Perfect Solutions

engineering for a better world

2 GEA, Committed to Perfect Solutions
4 Challenges of Todays Tapioca
Starch Processing
6 The Tapioca Starch Process
7 The Right Start for a Robust and
Efficient Production Process
8 Removing the Process-Disturbing Gums
9 Extracting the Maximum Amount of Starch
10 Upgrading Crude Starch to High-Quality Starch
13 Making a High-Quality Fiber-Free End Product
13 Stabilizing the Pulp and Making It
Suitable for Other Uses
14 Taking Water Out of the Final Starch Slurry
and Preparing It for Drying
15 Drying, Milling, Cooling and Packing of Starch

The main areas of cultivation of tapioca are highlighted.

GEA companies worldwide

GEA Group is one of the largest system providers of machines and process
technology worldwide, especially in the food and energy industries, where it rates
among market and technology leaders. GEA Group focuses on demanding and
sophisticated production processes and offers its customers efficient solutions.

Highest yields

Top quality products

Optimum energy usage

Innovation leadership
Minimum fresh water
consumption Minimum
effluent streams

Turnkey projects
Excellent process know-how

Tailor-made solutions

Technology leadership
High quality equipment
Intelligent process design

High level of

Short reaction time

Global network for excellent support

Local process specialists

Customer focus
Fast and qualified local service support

Excellent spare parts


Challenges of Todays Tapioca Starch Processing

GEA Westfalia Separator Group, in close partnership

Responsibility for consistent quality and

with other associated GEA companies, is a pioneer

compliance with the hygiene of food ingredients

in tapioca starch processing. Over many decades, we

have continually supplied the tapioca starch industry
with innovative solutions, from single machines up

Making optimal use of invested capital, requiring
multipurpose plants that process other raw

to complete processes. By working closely with the

materials between seasons

industry, we have learned to understand the major

Obtaining good service and support from a

challenges that the modern tapioca starch processors

knowledgeable supplier

face in todays market:

The trick is to find the best-fitting set of benefits and
Highly valued end products, demanding the

requirements for each customer, and to design the

highest quality

process accordingly. Different priorities translate into

High raw material prices, requiring

different process setups and the process design has to

maximum yield

live up to several different, even conflicting demands.

High energy costs, which requires energy

The challenge is to work with the customer to find

efficient operations

the best compromise. GEA Westfalia Separator Group

High fresh water and water discharge costs,

can provide all the key technologies used for tapioca

which demand efficient water management

starch processing enabling customers to identify and

Maximum uptime, requiring robust and reliable

achieve their most profitable process design.

processes, low maintenance and easy operation

High investment costs, demanding long
equipment service life and optimal performance

GEA Westfalia Separator Group provides turnkey solutions from raw material storage up to the finished end product.

Whatever objectives are relevant: our solutions mean that success can be planned.
Agreed performances are attained reliably and permanently.

Service and Support: Putting Ideas into Practice

Besides the production process GEA Westfalia

lifetime of their processes. Our service and support

Separator Group can support you in constructing

network is working all over the globe to make sure

buildings and infrastructure. Along with local con-

local service engineers are available wherever your

tractors we provide turnkey solutions from raw mate-

company is located.

rial storage up to the finished end product.

Original spare parts are the key for optimal perforThe use of the latest planning and visualization

mance and minimum downtime. Spare parts are sup-

software gives you a virtually hands-on experience

plied all over the world.

of how the plant will look like.

With online monitoring and preventive maintenance
Original Manufacturer Service

solutions for the decanters and separators GEA Westfalia

GEA Westfalia Separator Group aims at creating the

Separator Group can even prevent standstills before

maximum revenues for its customers throughout the

they occur.

The Tapioca Starch Process

Process overview for production of tapioca starch from cassava roots

Optimizing the tapioca starch production process

starch production. With our expert knowledge and

can only take place when the overall process is taken

local service and support staff we offer tailor-made

into consideration. GEA Westfalia Separator Group

processes to suit our customers needs.

is unique, supplying top-class machines for tapioca

Washed and chopped

cassava roots
Sand removal

Fruit water

Effluent water
Fresh water

Fruit water


Pulp dewatering

Starch washing

Fine fiber sieving

Starch dewatering
Starch drying
Commercial tapioca

Production process for production of tapioca starch from cassava roots


Pretreatment, rasping, and sand removal

In this stage the tubers are treated to create pulp

Benefits of GEA Hovex raspers

containing fibers and as much free starch as possible.

Highest starch yield

Process steps are pretreatment where the roots are

Long saw blade life

washed rasping, and de-sanding.

Easy maintenance



Washing the roots and removing the stones is neces-

For best protection and minimum wear of the overall

sary to avoid damage and to minimize wear of the

process equipment, the pulp is then fed to de-sanding

equipment used later in the process. The last pretreat-

cyclones to remove sand and other coarse particles.

ment step is crushing the roots with shredders to a

Because of the especially highly erosive nature of

size that can be fed smoothly to the rasper.

sand, GEA Hovex cyclones are made of stainless steel

with a ceramic body.

This process step is essential, since the quality of

Benefits of GEA Hovex de-sanding cyclones

the rasper determines the yield of the overall pro-

Excellent de-sanding

cess. The starch granules are locked in the cells of

Increased life and uptime of components such

the root together with other constituents and have to

as pumps, screens and cyclones

be released from the cell compound. The more thor-

Long life and low maintenance (full stainless

oughly the cells are destroyed, the better the release

steel construction, ceramic cyclone body)

of the granules and thus the better the starch yield.

Easy operation (automatic solids discharge)

GEA Hovex raspers are designed to rupture the cell

No starch losses

walls so efficiently that the maximum amount of

starch from the cassava roots is released.

GEA Hovex de-sanding cyclone

GEA Hovex rasper


The Right Start for a Robust and Efficient

Production Process


Removing the Process-Disturbing Gums

Fruit water separation

In this stage the fruit water, which contains gums, is

Benefits of decanters from

separated from the starch and the fiber pulp. Gums

GEA Westfalia Separator Group

have a sticky nature. When they are not removed

Outstanding throughput capacity and separation

properly, they clog sieves and form deposits on

efficiency due to high g-volumes, high speeds,

machine parts. This leads to increased downtime and

and full torque at all times


Automatic optimization of torque and differential

speed for maximum dry matter at all times,

Advantages of removing gums early in the process

independent of feed conditions

Higher starch yield (starch can be more easily

Reliable and robust technology with

separated from the fibers)

high-protection lubrication systems, external

Higher end-product quality (less impurities in

gears, and high-quality wear protection

washing water)

Energy-efficient operation: minimum conversion

Reduced water consumption (less fresh water

losses in the drive system

needed because of fewer impurities)

Decanters, with their high centrifugal force, offer the
best performance in separating the fruit water and
gums. The fruit water is sent to the wastewater pond.

GEA Westfalia Separator ecoforce decanter

Extraction of free starch and separation of fibers

In this stage the starch is separated from the pulp. The

Easy maintenance: unique opening system for

key parameter is the maximum recovery of starch.

fast access to inner part of machine, and fast

Process steps in this stage are multi-stage extraction

exchange of worn parts.

using centrifugal sieves and de-sanding of crude

Low maintenance (vibration free, robust design)

starch milk.

Minimum cleaning downtime: self-cleaning sieve

Multi-stage extraction process

Low-energy use: direct drive or belt drive

The starch is extracted by centrifugal sieving. The

High production capacity: greater than 40 m 3/h

cone and CIP design (cleaning-in-place)

per sieve

pulp is placed on a rotating sieve which is designed

in such a way that starch can pass but fibers cannot.
During the sieving process, water is added to wash the


maximum amount of starch out of the pulp.

Some sand is extracted with the starch in the extraction

process. This sand will cause excessive wear to pumps

Benefits of GEA solutions

and other equipment, leading to increased down-

GEA Hovex centrifugal extraction sieves are designed

time and more maintenance. For more information

to generate the maximum possible starch yield with

on de-sanding cyclones, see page 7. GEA Westfalia

the following benefits:

Separator Group advises the installation of a rotary

Highest starch yield (optimal sieve configuration)

brush strainer to avoid blockages of the separator

Sieves with long service life

nozzles in the following washing stage.

Easy and stable operation (automatic feed

pressure regulation)

Centrifugal extraction sieves with

direct drives from GEA Hovex


Extracting the Maximum Amount of Starch


Upgrading Crude Starch to High-Quality Starch

Starch washing

The quality and value of the final starch product is

By using a counter-current flow principle, the amount

largely determined by the washing of the crude starch.

of fresh water used is small. After this multi-stage

White high-quality tapioca starch can be obtained

process, almost all contaminants are washed out.

only if fiber fragments, lipids, proteins, dissolved

Nozzle separators and hydrocyclones are used in the

substances are washed out efficiently. Process steps

washing stage.

in this stage are a multi-stage washing process, fine

fiber separation, and starch recovery from wash water.

GEA Westfalia Separator Group offers three process

configurations for the washing process:

Multi-stage washing process

Nozzle separator system

The starch is washed by concentrating the diluted

Hydrocyclone system

starch in suspension and diluting it again with clearer

Hybrid system with a combination of nozzle

water. In this way, contaminants are removed.




separators and hydrocyclones


consumption consumption

Ease of

Separator system
++ + ++ ++ + +
Hydrocyclone system
+ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++
Hybrid system
++ ++ ++ ++ ++ ++

Performance difference between washing systems

+ good performance ++ excellent performance


Nozzle separators and hydrocyclones are both based

Benefits of a nozzle separator

on the same mechanism. They concentrate the starch

High yield and counter-current washing resulting

milk by centrifugal force. The centrifugal forces are

from high centrifugal force

higher in separators than in hydrocyclones.

High-purity starch produced by counter-current

Nozzle separator washing stage

Top quality achieved by the closed feed and

High-yield washing with nozzle separators is advised

discharge design, with no oxidation possible

for optimizing the starch yield (this means that more

The small number of washing stages

starch is captured due to higher centrifugal force).

Minimum fresh water consumption due to the


Since these machines can process many different

recycling of separated process water

starch types, they are recommended for use in multi-

Top flexibility: no conversion necessary for

purpose plants.

different starch types

2-phase nozzle separators

efficiency and low maintenance

State-of-the-art drive concepts for high energy

The 2-phase nozzle separators separate the crude
starch milk into a washed starch suspension and a
clear phase consisting of water, fine fibers and smallgranule starch.
3-phase nozzle separators
The 3-phase nozzle separators separate the crude
starch milk into a washed starch suspension, finefiber fraction and clear-water fraction.

Nozzle separators from

GEA Westfalia Separator Group
accomplish high starch
yields in best quality with little
water consumption.


The most hygienic hydrocyclone

units: Hovex HCH

Hydrocyclone washing units

Benefits of GEA Hovex hydrocyclones

GEA Hovex offers a broad range of hydrocyclones to

Highly efficient washing and no internal leakage

match every situation and customer demand. The HCH

Easy and simple operation

cyclone unit is the most hygienic hydrocyclone on the

Easy maintenance: the equipment can be opened

market. The washing water is sensitive to microbiologi-

quickly and easily

cal growth which can cause the failure of the washing

Low energy consumption

equipment, increased downtime, and a contaminated

Low water consumption

end product. Using the HCH hygienic hydrocyclone

minimizes the risk of this harmful microbiological
growth. In case hygiene is of less importance, the HCC
cyclone units are advised.


The final wash water and the water from the extrac-

The fine fibers are removed by centrifugal sieves. The

tion contains fine fibers. These fine fibers have to be

screen of these sieves is designed to capture the maxi-

removed to prevent them accumulating in the water

mum amount of fine fibers. For more information on

system, which degrades the quality of the final starch.

the sieving process, please see page 9.

Stabilizing the Pulp and Making It Suitable

for Other Uses
Pulp dewatering

GEA Westfalia Separator Group has tailor-made

Extra benefits with decanters

solutions for every situation. Depending on the final

Clean overflow which can be used as process

use of the fibers, the pulp coming from the extraction

water, less fresh water consumption and

stage has to be dewatered to a certain extent. The high-

less effluent

est dry solids are reached with a decanter (see page 8).

High dry solids fiber cake

If lower dry solids contents are sufficient, centrifugal

sieves (see page 9) are a cost-effective solution.



Fine fiber sieving: to remove fine fibers


Making a High-Quality Fiber-Free Final Product


Taking Water Out of the Final Starch Slurry and

Preparing It for Drying
Starch dewatering

In this stage, the amount of water is reduced mechani-

Vacuum filters are generally preferred for their con-

cally, either by centrifugal force (peeler centrifuge) or

tinuous operation, easy control, and simple mainte-

by filtration (vacuum filter or filter press). Peeler cen-


trifuges dewater the starch to provide high dry solids.

A disadvantage is the batchwise operation and inten-

Benefits of GEA Hovex vacuum filters

sive maintenance. Filter presses create high dry solids

Low consumption of electrical energy and no

but in a continuous process. Generally, this equipment

is expensive and requires intensive maintenance.

peak currents
Easy operation
Easy maintenance

Vacuum drum filter from

GEA Hovex


Starch drying

The single pass Flash dryer is ideal for products that

dry rapidly, due to the easy removal of free moisture.
This makes the process suitable for most types of
starches. Wet material is introduced into a stream of
heated air where moisture is removed quickly without
heat damage. High rates of heat and mass transfer are
achieved as the material passes through the system.
The design also has the advantage of being simple
and easy to maintain. Continuous development of
this technology ensures that GEA Barr-Rosin can offer
the most effective pneumatic drying and conveying
system. High quality modified starches benefit from
drying in the P-Type Ring dryer. This enhanced design
of the Flash dryer recycles wet and heavy modified
starch particles into the low temperature region of

Flash dryer from GEA Barr-Rosin

the system, facilitating gentle drying with prolonged

residence times and high product quality with precise
control of particulate moisture.

By varying the speed of this wheel, oversize particles

are deflected back into the mill for further grinding.

At the end of the drying process, the well-proven

This combination gives fine control of the particle

GEA Barr-Rosin suction discharge system achieves

size and ensures the highest product quality without

excellent atmospheric emission levels and often

heat damage.

eliminates the requirement for wet scrubbers and bag

filters. This system also minimizes dependence on

A complete system can be supplied to include trans-

mechanical handling equipment, significantly reduc-

port, storage, and packing. Packing systems can range

ing maintenance requirements whilst largely avoid-

from semi-automatic to fully automatic bagging units.

ing product cross-contamination.

GEA Barr-Rosin includes engineering and supply of
specialist classifying milling systems as part of its
scope. The aspirated vertical grinding mill incorporates
an internal classifying wheel with independent drive.



Drying, Milling, Cooling and Packing of Starch

Excellence Passion Integrity Responsibility GEA-versity

GEA Group is a global engineering company with multi-billion euro sales and operations in more than
50countries. Founded in 1881, the company is one of the largest providers of innovative equipment and
process technology. GEA Group is listed in the STOXX Europe 600 Index.

GEA Mechanical Equipment

GEA Westfalia Separator Group GmbH
Werner-Habig-Strae 1, 59302 Oelde, Germany
Phone: +49 2522 77-0, Fax: +49 2522 77-1794

The information contained in this brochure merely serves as a non-binding description of our products and is without guarantee. Binding information, in particular relating to capacity data and suitability for specific applications, can only be provided within the framework of concrete
inquiries. Printed on chlorine-free bleached paper Printed in Germany Subject to modification Westfalia and Westfalia Separator are registered trademarks of GEA Mechanical Equipment GmbH.
B_RR-13-03-0013 EN

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