The continuing advancement of smart, connected technologies, and the integrated control opportunities they offer, is delivering real benefits to snack producers looking to innovate, says Johnson. “With digitally-enabled operating systems and sophisticated feedback controls, today’s processing and packaging equipment is more accurate, consistent and flexible than ever before. This gives snack brands the freedom to follow the latest trends, adapt recipes and pivot their operations, simply by adding a new pre-set recipe into their frying, seasoning, or packaging solutions system,” she says.
“And what’s more: These connected systems allow for seamless integration between line components, making it easy to add any [specialization] that equipment producers need to create the next snacking sensation,” says Johnson.
José Coelho, Americas business director, Clextral USA, Tampa, FL, says Clextral’s new Evolum+ Twin-Screw Extrusion Flex Line lines offer flexibility to run a wide variety of snack shapes and textures and ingredient formulations, from typical starchy corn bases to more elaborate formulations with proteins, fibers, and non-grain veggies. “Clextral’s new hygienic Evolum+ platform with extrusion, drying, and coating was designed to meet the growing market trends for high capacity production, efficiency, process flexibility and quick product changeover,” he says.
“Our new high efficiency dryer, Evolum+, has a built-in cleaning system to allow production to easily process both savory and sweet coated products,” says Coelho. “Our latest automation system, Fitsys+V3, is designed for operational and production efficiency by enabling quick loading of new product formulations and required process conditions, plus automatic production start/stop, monitoring, and recording of process operations. We also offer multiple ‘clip-on’ auxiliaries that are easily set in the production line to make co-filled snacks, post-cutting for wavy snacks, sticks, croutons, and many more.”
The Evolum+ twin screw extruders’ geometry enables a large operating window for torque, power and screw speed, which gives manufacturers a high level of flexibility in the processing parameters, says Julie Prost, process engineer and test plant manager, Clextral USA.