Application Example: Extruded Snack Food Manufacture


Thanks to a general rise in household disposable incomes worldwide, the snack food industry is expecting a steady growth in production. This growth trend, coupled with a rise in consumer interest for healthy snacks, has required snack food manufacturers to pay increased attention to the monitoring of raw ingredients in the extruded snack process while also designing more efficient and safe methods of material handling and precise ingredient measurement. Coperion K-Tron pneumatic transfer systems and feeders are used throughout the extruded snack process to accurately and safely deliver the exact amount of major, minor and micro ingredients to the process. Coperion's food components fulfill the highest demands in hygiene, easy cleaning and gentle product handling. In addition, high efficiency Coperion extruders are used for both the production of extruded and coextruded snack products. 

Major and Minor Ingredient Transfer

Major ingredients such as grains and flour can arrive at the plant in a variety of forms, including railcar or truck and bulk bag systems. These major ingredients are usually stored in specialized silos and then conveyed to the specific weigh batch stations as required for the blend. PLC systems featuring recipe control for multiple ingredients can easily be integrated into this transfer system, in order to allow maximum flexibility for the system.

Selecting the Right Conveying Technology

The arrival and transfer of major ingredients to a snack food plant can include a number of different types of conveying systems. The mode of transfer of ingredients is dependent upon a wide variety of process parameters, including material characteristics, distance to be transferred, required rate of transfer, and the type of container in which the ingredient is originally received.

Pressure Differential (PD) trucks and railcars use positive pressure to unload material, where as other types of delivery to the batching step of process can often be done by either positive pressure or vacuum pneumatic conveying, or a combination of vacuum and pressure conveying.