Baker Perkins has updated its hydraulics system for converting grains into cereals, claiming that the new technology improves product quality by processing more even and consistent flakes.
The latest 'Flaking Rolls' machinery is likely to prove popular with processors, as cereal pieces that differ from the standard size are rejected by the manufacturers - in some cases leading to losses of thousands of pounds each year.
Company spokesperson Keith Graham told BakeryAndSnacks.com that the new technology was created in response to such complaints from customers.
"After cereal flaking the product is toasted for a fixed time," he said. "Variations in thickness of the flake will lead to uneven moisture, colour and texture in the final product."
The new system, which can be added to existing equipment, maintains a precise gap between the two rolls used to convert grains or extruded pellets into cereal pieces, thus reducing inconsistency in size or weight, Baker Perkins claims.
The machine also incorporates a cooling water circulation system, as "flake quality depends additionally on precise maintenance of roll system temperature."
Water flows around the cooling system at speeds of up to 10,000 litres per hour, controlling the temperature of the rollers within a 0.2°c temperature band. The rollers can process up to 1,500 kg of cereal per hour, the company claims.
Other features include vibratory control, a grooved roll feed, vacuum cleaner, and dust sealing.
And unlike older versions of the roller, most of the engineering adjustments can be controlled from a lap top computer, rendering the process easier to monitor as well as adding to its cost benefits.
Graham admitted that although it is difficult to quantify how much money a cereal or bakery manufacturer could save by using the Flaking Roll, "we would expect most customers who retrofit the system to see a payback in one to two years."