Extruded snack lines that enable high throughput to cut costs are in demand, says extrusion specialist Clextral.
The French-headquartered company launched its Evolum+ extrusion machine at Interpack 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany earlier this month that can run at an increased capacity of 40%.
“That’s a big jump,” said Georges Hallary, vice president of sales and marketing at Clextral.
He told BakeryandSnacks.com that it tapped into the “biggest trend” the company had identified in the market for extruded snacks – the desire to the cut cost of production.
“With snacks being a commodity market, at the end of the day it counts a lot and people are looking for high-capacity lines, meaning one to two tons per hour,” he said.
“If you can achieve this kind of high throughput, you dramatically reduce your cost of production. This means market share for companies.”
Intersnack Poland had already purchased the line.
Extruder adjustments and heating
Clextral had achieved the increased capacity by adjusting the ratio of the external and internal parts of the extruder to create more free volume, Hallary explained, and had also improved the thermal control within the machine.
“The machine can now swallow more and produce more, but the snack sizes remain the same,” he said. “Also, with the thermal control precision, it means you can rapidly get to settings. For example, if you want to increase the temperature by five degrees, you wait five minutes.”
In addition, the company had used a hygienic design that enabled manufacturers to access all parts by hand.
“This machine is about money, intelligence and safety,” Hallary said.
Coping with product trends
Asked if the machine could run at high capacity with all types of extruded snacks, he said: “When you’re in the breakfast cereal and snack market, you have to treat any kind of cereal. So a mix between corn, rice, barley, wheat or whatever, is something we’re used to.”
He said that multigrain snacks had boomed recently and were clearly in demand, driven by health and wellness concerns.