US baker APV Baker introduced new equipment and processes for the snack industry at the giant packaging trade fair Interpack 2002, held in Dusseldorf, Germany, this week.
In a statement, the company claimed that the output of filled extruded snacks could be improved by 50 per cent with the introduction of 6-stream dies for co- and triple-extruded snacks.
APV Baker twin-screw extruders, which previously handled a maximum of four streams, have been uprated to six to maximise the power of the latest generation of solid barrel machines.
At the show, the company also launched a new cutting/crimping machine to increase extruder output. Capable of handling eight lanes of product, the machine can operate as a crimper - with a partial cut maintaining a continuous stream for downstream operations such as cooling - or as a cutter for immediate packaging. The gap between cutting rolls can be adjusted on the run.
The company added that co-extruded products consist of a cooked cereal surrounding a sweet or savoury cream or paste, or chocolate praline. Typically filled and 3D pillows or cheese filled straws, they are normally marketed as snacks or breakfast cereals. Triple-extrusion adds a second filling to allow cream/past combinations, or can provide cost advantages, APV Baker added, by adding air into the cereal tube.
Downstream, many co- and triple-extrusion products have extra value added through a variety of glazes or coatings, or flavoured and chocolate coatings. Filled products are growing in popularity in an increasingly sophisticated market place. Snack producers planning to add them to their range can retrofit a new die and a suitable auxiliary pumping system to an existing extrusion installation.