Characterization of food powders flowability is required for predicting powder flow from hoppers in small-scale systems such as vending machines or at the industrial scale from storage silos or bins dispensing into powder mixing systems or packaging machines. This review covers conventional and new methods used to measure flowability in food powders. The method developed by Jenike (1964) for determining hopper outlet diameter and hopper angle has become a standard for the design of bins and is regarded as a standard method to characterize flowability. Moreover, there are a number of shear cells that can be used to determine failure properties defined by Jenike's theory. Other classic methods (compression, angle of repose) and nonconventional methods (Hall flowmeter, Johanson Indicizer, Hosokawa powder tester, tensile strength tester, powder rheometer), used mainly for the characterization of food powder cohesiveness, are described. The effect of some factors preventing flow, such as water content, temperature, time consolidation, particle composition and size distribution, is summarized for the characterization of specific food powders with conventional and other methods. Whereas time-consuming standard methods established for hopper design provide flow properties, there is yet little comparative evidence demonstrating that other rapid methods may provide similar flow prediction.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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