Blog: The small batch solution for functional confectionery
Baker Perkins supplies mixing and forming systems for high-output bread bakeries; is the market leader in cooking and depositing technology for the confectionery industry; markets equipment for extruded, co-extruded, baked and hot-air expanded snacks; and systems to make very kind of ready-to-eat breakfast cereal.
An upgraded bread dough divider with improved scaling accuracy, already among the world’s best, was introduced at Gulfood. The Accurist2.1™ retains all the features that enabled the original machines to offer a unique combination of sustained scaling accuracy and gentle dough handling.
Mixing and forming systems from Baker Perkins enable high-output plant bakeries to meet increasing market demand for high quality premium bread. The equipment range includes Tweedy™ mixers, Accurist 2.1™ dividers and Multitex4™ moulders, all designed to handle the dough gently and carefully.
The Accurist2.1™ features an innovative Intelligent Dough Weight Control system which reduces the average dough piece scaling weight by adjusting the divider in real time to compensate for changes in dough density. The system reacts to the gradual changes that occur over the life of a batch as well as the sudden changes that occur when a new mix is dropped into the divider.
Working in conjunction with feedback from the checkweigher, the system maintains dough piece weights within tighter limits reducing giveaway and enabling the target weight to be reduced.
The Accurist2.1™ also includes a new oiling system with improved performance. An upgraded filtration system keeps the circulating oil clean while a new pumping and dosing arrangement ensures it is delivered accurately and consistently. Improved oil pathways in the ram provide reliable distribution enabling the divider to run for extended periods.
Maximum output has been raised from 9,000 to 10,800 pieces per hour. Plants up to this capacity can now run with one divider, rounder and intermediate proofer instead of two.
Baker Perkins focused on the potential for new, high-quality deposited candies and lollipops at Gulfood. One shot ServoForm™ depositing systems combine up to four colours and components in a single piece. They offer greater product quality and variety, with lower production costs, compared with traditional methods such as die forming, starch mogul or cut and wrap.
The possibilities for innovation range from hard candy, through ball and flat lollipops to toffee, soft candies and jellies.
The latest ServoForm™ lollipop technology has the potential to generate an array of innovative high-quality flat lollipops. For the first time, interesting shapes, such as flowers and hearts, as well as the colours and patterns in the candy, can enhance the visual appeal of flat lollipops. Embossing the surface is another new way of increasing the interest and variety of round or shaped lollipops.
A multi-headed depositing system is used for ‘long term’ three-layered hard candies with a genuine ‘sandwich’ appearance. ‘Long term’ layering involves a dwell time between each deposit, allowing the first level to partially set before the next one is deposited. This clear separation gives a true ‘layered’ effect, with different colours, textures and flavours: the most striking application is a sandwich of crystallized Xylitol between two layers of sugar-free hard candy.
Centre-filled toffees, fondants and fudges are just some of the high value products that can be made on the new ServoForm™ Soft Confectionery depositor. Soft centres such as jam, cream, jelly, chocolate, praline and fruit paste can all be one-shot deposited to add value and variety to a product range.
Another innovation is a high added-value toffee cup, complete with filling and topping or inclusion. These indulgence products require a multi-headed depositor. The first head deposits a toffee cup, the second a filling – fondant, praline, chocolate, jam and jelly are among the possibilities. A third head can add a topping such as chocolate, or inclusions including nut or fruit pieces.
As well as product variety, consistent high-quality and low cost of production are reasons why depositing is chosen ahead of conventional methods. The nature of the depositing process creates great flexibility and process control. Dimensional, shape and weight accuracy are extremely high; fillings are accurately positioned in the centre; and scrap rates are minimal.
Operational costs are also lower when compared with traditional processes. Set-up is quick and easy using a simple touch-screen interface with recipe-driven change management and once running the process requires very little operator intervention. An automatic wash cycle and hygienic design features minimize cleaning and changeover times for greater line efficiency.
Baker Perkins stressed its ability to provide inventive products and processes for the snack industry. A new process makes a completely fresh range of extruded products using an innovative die that produces a thin, wide sheet of dough that is cut into regular, geometric shapes by an in-line rotary cutter. The shapes may be fried as a conventional snack, or even baked to produce low-fat snacks.
Another innovative process is continuous puffing of pellet snacks using hot air. Based on the proven Thermoglide2™ Toaster, the new snack puffing system replaces frying as a means of converting pellets into a finished snack. No oil is absorbed during the expansion process, unlike frying, and only the minimum amounts required for flavour need to be added afterwards.
Extrusion is a much simpler and more economic process for manufacturing flavoured croutons than the conventional process based on mixing, forming and baking of bread dough. Extruded croutons have a light, crunchy texture that is ideal for snack products and compatible with a wide range of savoury flavours.
The modular Snack Master™ concept enables companies to enter the market with an uncomplicated extrusion system making standard, direct expanded snacks such as corn curls, chipsticks and maize rings.
As business expands, a line may be extended in stages to broaden the range of products that can be made to include both traditional and the new generation of healthy snacks. These can include a full portfolio of high specification, complex products including whole grain / multigrain and sweet or savoury filled pillows with intriguing shapes, textures and surface patterns; plus high added-value sticks, pillows, bars and bites in plain, shredded or filled forms.
Baker Perkins highlighted its process and product innovation capability for the cereal sector. Baker Perkins Cereal Master™ systems incorporate designs for both extruded and traditionally cooked cereals.
Twin-screw cooker extrusion is a reliable and versatile process. In its standard form the Baker Perkins SBX Master™ extruder produces conventional direct expanded cereals using corn, rice, bran, wheat, barley or oats.
A range of post-extrusion forming techniques are available as part of the Cereal Master EX™ system to add value and variety to extruded cereals. These may be purchased with the extruder or added at a later date as business needs and customer tastes change. For example, a line producing direct expanded cereals such as corn balls, multigrain rings and alphabet shapes can be extended in stages to make a range of higher added-value products with sophisticated taste and texture combinations.
Co-extrusion equipment, flaking rolls, shredders, toasters and cereal cookers are available enabling high added value cereals such as flakes, filled pillows and multigrain products to be made from the same standard extruder. A coating system adding value through frosting or glazing is a further possibility.
The principle of expandable lines is also applied to traditional cereal processes in the Cereal Master TX™ system. Based on rotary steam-cooking and flaking of grains, the standard process can be extended to incorporate a wide variety of single and multigrain flake products with either a frosted or glazed coating.
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