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I am not sure if I am on the right site for this, but here it goes. I have a friend who makes a hot sauce for a company he runs. It is very pasty (made of pepper flakes in an oil).

The problem is, when he makes a batch, he's got to continually stir up the batch while trying to pour an equal (and evenly distributed) amount of the paste into the bottles.

He wants system that makes it easy and predictable to do this faster. Ideally, he would make the paste, put it in something that keeps it stirred, and from there fill each bottle with the same amount of paste.

What kind of contraption would do this?

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  • $\begingroup$ You might be better off asking this on the Cooking SE than on this site since they answer questions about food preparation. It seems to me that your friend's problem would not be unique, or even that uncommon, so there might be an existing kitchen gadget that deals with this. For this site your question is rather broad since, from an engineering perspective, there are a lot of mechanisms that could potentially address this problem, and we don't do specific product recommendations $\endgroup$ Mar 15 '17 at 13:33
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not understanding what the problem is. Why is constant stirring required? Is that the one issue that is preventing the use of any typical measuring method (e.g. scoop, syringe, cup, beaker)? $\endgroup$
    – hazzey
    Mar 15 '17 at 15:09
  • $\begingroup$ This is a perfectly normal and understandable process engineering question. $\endgroup$
    – mart
    Mar 15 '17 at 15:20
  • $\begingroup$ @BarbalatsDilemma I asked the same question over on Cooking SE and fewer responded and their responses aren't very helpful. I knew I could trust engineers, though! $\endgroup$
    – Casey
    Mar 15 '17 at 22:25
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You want to achieve two things: Keep the paste homogenous, in this case keep the flakes from settling, and dose reliably into bottles.

For the first task, you need a mixing bowl or hopper. At a skim, the links provided in Freds answer seem to go in the right direction (but you will need lower speed mixers, since you just want to suspend, not disperge). Since you gave no information on viscosity, amount produced in one batch, other considerations (heating? cooling?), we can't guide you any further for now.

For the second step, you need a dosing pump. A dosing pump is any positive displacement pump that can be controlled in a way that it delivers reliable batches. Typically piston, progressing cavity or peristaltic pumps are used. Again, we can't guide you any further as we lack important information. However, given that you likely have small batches and a small budget my first look would be these two types of pumps:

  • Peristaltic pumps: Only one part (the tube) touches the medium and get a pretty exact dosing result by controling the no. of revolutions per batch. These are likely to be affordable.

  • Diaphragm pumps: If you manage to find one that lets you fill one bottle with round number of strokes, you will again have a relible dosing result at a lowish cost. Cleaning could be a bigger hassle.

So you want to look for food grade mixing hopper or mixing bowl with a (food grade!) dosing pump. I don't work in food processing, but my hunch is that the exact application of your friend is boringly common and you can get a mixing hopper with dosing pump as an integrated unit.

Before going on a shopping spree, your friend should educate themselves on the important regulations. Likely they will have to clean and thus dissasemble the device every working day & thousand other considerations.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, Mart! I appreciate your help. This is exactly what I was looking for and you have been more than kind to point me in the right direction. You're a hero among men. $\endgroup$
    – Casey
    Mar 15 '17 at 17:31
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It's difficult to give the type of answer you require because the batch sizes & viscosity of the sauce mixes is unknown.

Try researching mixing bowls with agitators. These are just two I came across while doing a quick search.

Mixing bowl type 1

Mixing bowl type 2

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