The supplier said the extension of its SBX Master twin-screw cooker extruder to allow for crouton manufacture was informed by the need to develop a more cost effective way of producing these cruncy snacks than conventional processes based on mixing, forming and baking of bread dough.
The SBX Master twin-screw extruder is part of the supplier’s modular Snack Master line and is said to offer snack makers who are intent on delving deeper into value-added health orientated products more “process flexibility” through its modular design, high free-volume geometry and high torque capacity.
According to the UK firm, the supplier said that the line has a range of barrel diameters that give outputs ranging from 225 to 2,000kg per hour.
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 wholegrain or multigrain snacks as well as sweet or savoury filled pillows.
The line is also capable of producing snacks with a range of shapes, textures and surface patterns, with its novel ‘credit card’ format for healthy snacks attracting a lot of attention at Snackex in Berlin last year.
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.
The UK firm said it also offers an alternative to conventional frying with a hot air expansion process that convert extruded pellets into a healthy low-fat finished snack.
“During traditional frying, snack pellets absorb a high percentage of oil giving them a high fat content; hot air expansion produces snacks of comparable texture and appearance, with a minimum amount of oil being applied at the end of the process for flavouring.
The healthy positioning of hot air expanded products can be further extended through the complete elimination of oil,” stated the company.