US-based technology firm Reading Bakery Systems has claimed to have developed the world’s first continuous mixing technology for snack crackers.
The company said that its Continuous Mixing technology could save cracker manufacturers time, improve consistency in the final product and reduce labour and energy costs compared to traditional batch mixing.
Jim Warren, director of exact mixing at Reading Bakery Systems told BakeryAndSnacks.com that the main drive of a continuous mixer was about half the size of an equivalent batch mixer, which led to reduced energy.
Reading Bakery Systems said that continuous mixing can improve consistency of colour, texture, size and thickness of the crackers and would eliminate the need for dough troughs.
Asked whether how continuous mixing could reduce downtime, Warren said: “Typically both continuous and batch mixers tend to be very reliable. We would not expect more downtime than a few hours a year for routine maintenance.”
He said that the mixing machine was usually cleaned weekly or after a long production run.
“The equipment is designed with no points of dough accumulation and incoming dough forces out previous dough resulting in a 100% positive flow, “ he continued.
He added that the machine had around three parts that needed replacing, which each had a lifespan of at least six months.
According to Warren, cracker manufacturers can expect to see a return on investment with continuous mixing between six months to two years with a new line. When replacing a batch mixer, it depends on the efficiency of the current line, he added.
Continuous mixing is suited to any dough that can be made on a horizontal or spiral mixer.