Blog: Avoiding the low-cost moulder trap
Direct expanded snacks are cut at the face of the extruder die to form shapes such as loops, alphabet letters, balls, curls, squares, stars, petals and rings; an engraved die will make more complex shapes, such a faces or animals in order to appeal to children. Larger pieces such as chipsticks or tubes are also possible. These snacks achieve consumer approval through a combination of crunchy texture, interesting shapes and good flavour retention.
The addition of a co-extrusion system to a standard line creates the ability to produce high-value filled snacks incorporating centre fillings within a cereal outer. Fillings can be of virtually any colour or flavour – sweet and savoury creams, fruit pastes, cheese and chocolate praline are typical. Exotic flavours, plus glazings, frostings or chocolate coating, add even more appeal. The outer shell can appear to be plain or stringy, with surface textures such as grooves and highlights.
The snacks industry has been introducing healthier products as consumer dietary awareness grows, and a number of extruded options have been developed by Baker Perkins. For example, extrusion produces crispbreads more simply than the traditional process, particularly in the smaller size range. Products retain all the advantages of the original in terms of recipe and crispy texture, and are a low-fat, low-salt and low-sugar alternative.
Grains and other ingredients that add appeal and a healthy image are the hallmark of shredded style snacks with shape and texture generated by extrusion rather than frying.
Additional ‘better for you’ options have been generated by adapting technologies from other food industry sectors for snack production. Hot air expansion, as an alternative to conventional frying of pre-formed pellets, reduces oil content from some 30% to below 10%. No oil is absorbed during the expansion process.
This category also covers a range of high-quality snacks made by technology proven in the cracker sector. Baked snacks can be cut into a variety of attractive shapes including fish and animals. The baking process allows a wealth of flavour concepts to be developed, and time for attractive colours and highlights to develop.
Crackers and savoury crackers are mini-versions of the classic cracker, bagged for retail in the snack aisle. Potato based baked crisps/potato chips replicate the classic product – but with a distinctly lower fat content.
Full details can be found at http://www.campdenbri.co.uk/snacks-technology-conference.php
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