Twin-screw cooker extruder targets value-added snacks

By Lindsey Partos

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Baker perkins, Wheat, Maize

Snack and cereal product makers delving deeper into value-added products could be drawn to a new twin-screw cooker-extruder from UK equipment firm Baker Perkins.

Added to the private firm's range of expandable lines for snack and cereal manufacturing, the SBX Master is a solid barrel extruder that offers "process flexibility"​ through a modular barrel design and a high torque motor and gearbox combination.

According to the company, that operates out of Peterborough in the UK and Grand Rapids, Michigan in the US, "flexibility is at the heart of the Baker Perkins Snack Master and Cereal Master EX expandable line concepts."

The health trend continues to tighten its grip across all sectors in the food industry, and snacks and cereals products are no exception.

For snack and bakery manufacturers, this mushrooming trend has opened up new opportunities to boost margins by bringing value-added products into their portfolios that can attract premium prices, such as organic goods, breads and biscuits enriched with vitamins and breakfast cereals.

Essentially, Baker Perkins claims that for the snack industry, its Snack Master line – capable of making popular consumer products, such as corn curls and maize rings – can also be extended in stages to produce a full range of high-specification snacks, including wholegrain or multigrain and sweet or savoury filled pillows.

"Snacks filled with real fruit in co-extruded bar, filled pillow, or 'credit card’ shapes are recent innovations that will appeal to health-conscious consumers,"​ they proffer.

Further, the visual appeal of the products "can be enhanced with a range of different textures and surface patterns."

And for the cereals sector, a Cereal Master EX line producing direct expanded cereals, such as corn balls, multigrain rings, alphabet shapes, and cocoa balls, can be extended with additional units to make a range of margin-boosting flakes, multigrain flakes and filled pillows.

With a further nod to flexibility, the machinery firm claims that the range of end products that can be manufactured "has been increased by incorporating a motor and gearbox able to handle twice as much torque as the previous generation of extruder."

The Baker Perkins die design and segmented agitator configuration, that apparently enables a quick product change-over, has been retained, as has "the high free volume agitator geometry that enables high outputs to be achieved, even on low density materials such as bran and fine milled flours."

The firm has also introduced a high output model to give a capacity range from 225 to 2,000 kg/hour of direct expanded product, says Baker Perkins.

Touching on cost, the company asserts that the product, "due to its design features",​ can shave costs by reducing maintenance.

Further, "an AC drive system is virtually maintenance free, and innovative open-frame design maximises access for cleaning and maintenance," ​states the company.

Changing the cutter blade can be achieved in 15 minutes, without stopping production, they add.

Acquired in 1987 by the dairy and liquid food specialist, APV, Baker Perkins regained its independence in 2006 when it was acquired by private investors John Cowx and Brian Taylor.

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