The “Identus” research group of the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineering of Unisangil presented to the community and the paneling sector the new ‘stick pack’ packaging machine for powdered panela, with a yield of 120 envelopes per minute.
The packaging machine is part of the work carried out by the institution, for five years, to develop a technology that optimizes the panela production process and provides better economic and social conditions to the sector.
The panela powder earns more and more ground in the sweetener market, for its benefits for human health. However, making it a massive product, to the extent fair and easy to dissolve, remains a traditional process. In the sugar mills, panela honey is subjected to temperatures of 128 degrees Celsius and stirred until lumps have to be sifted over and over again to make them powder.
The scientific development of “Identus” has been focused on the design of devices that facilitate the work; This is how three years ago he presented his first results: a spraying machine with a capacity of 100 kilos per hour (eight times more efficient than the manual process), accompanied by a “panela homogenizer” that standardizes the size of the grain, leaving it with an appearance similar to milk powder.
In 2009, the sprayer received the National Engineering Award from the Colombian Association of Engineering Faculties, Acofi. He is currently in the process of obtaining his patent to go on the market. In the meantime, it provides services in sugar mills of municipalities near San Gil. The “homogenizer” is being used by panelists in the area that supply the markets.
In 2012, thanks to an advanced project with the support of Colciencias, “Identus” presents two new developments that complement and optimize the pulverized panela cycle: an infrared dryer lamp and the packaging machine, designed taking into account humidity factors, particular weight and volume of panela.