Petrow sees demand rise for ‘free-from’ ingredients as its invests $131k in powder fill machine

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

The Auger dry mix powder machine. Pic: Petrow
The Auger dry mix powder machine. Pic: Petrow

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Petrow Food Group has invested £100k ($131k) on an Auger powder fill machine for dry mixes.

The UK dried fruit products, dates, nuts, seeds, coconuts and flour supplier can now offer improved packaging of dry mix and powdered products at a more competitive price. 

Powder build up

The Auger with vertical form fill & seal packing machine (VFFS) was installed at Petrow’s West London site in Perivale and volumetrically dispenses dry mixes such as flour and cake.

One of the main advantages of the Auger is that the system is designed specifically to overcome needless waste in dry-fill packaging.

This is because powders are difficult to fill by conventional multi-head weighing machines due to powder build up on weigh pans, which can slow down processes, take time to clean and lead to large amounts of waste.

The Auger line gives more certainty when a specific weighted quantity of powders is dispensed, and can operate faster and more consistently, with lower costs and packaging savings, compared to multi-head weighing options used for filling of dry granular mixes,​” said Ian Tatchell, MD, Petrow.

The Auger prevents product getting stuck in sealing elements and can process bespoke orders according to a customer’s precise request of a specific, weighted quantity. 

The cone-shaped hopper holds dry mixes and powdered product and feeds them into a variety of plastic (PPE) film packages that are heat sealed and can pack materials weighing up to 400g. 

The line brings added value to Petrow’s existing two dry-mix filling lines at its Perivale site - an Ishida multi-head weigher that feeds a Martini packaging VFFS machine, pack dry granular food products weighing from 5g to 3kg. 

'Free-from' trend

Products packed on the two Ishida Martini lines include peanuts, seeds, rice, pulses and snacks. These are fed into pillow packs, block bottom packs and quad packs. 

Fatma Akalin-McGee, marketing and business development director, Petrow, added with the growing trend for free-from, customers are asking for more coconut flour, almond flour, walnut flours and other nut flours as alternative ingredients to meet the rising demands for high nutritional and gluten-free ingredients.

With this investment, we can now offer more flexibility in filling and packaging options alongside cost and operational efficiencies,​” she said.

Petrow Food Group supplies ingredients including dried fruits, nuts and seeds to manufacturers, with product applications including chocolates, muesli, breakfast cereals, snack foods and bakery products. 

The group operates from two sites in the UK in Perivale, West London and in Haverhill, Suffolk, where the company opened a £4m, 80,000 sq. ft. factory and warehouse in 2015. 

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