Icing on the cake
Automated icing depositing comes with different challenges.
BakingBusiness.com, May 1, 2012
by Charlotte Atchley

On a cake line, automated depositing doesn’t end after portioning the cake batter. Many of the same companies that make batter depositors also automate cake decorating.

To automate the icing and decorating process, a depositor must control temperatures of the icing and be gentle when handling the product. The machine has to be even more precise with icing than with batter.

If temperature isn’t controlled, the icing can either get stuck in the machine (too cold) or completely lose its shape once deposited (too hot). Although bakeries usually feed depositors with icings already at proper temperatures, E.T. Oakes Corp., Hauppauge, NY, monitors the icing’s temperature as it is transferred to its string icer. If the icing gets too hot or cold, the touch screen on the machine alerts the operator. Jacketed piping helps maintain the icing’s temperature as it is pumped to the string icer. In case of a clog, the system’s nozzles are easy to remove, replace and clean.

Reiser, Canton, MA, uses double-screw technology instead of pistons in its depositors, which allows them to handle products such as fondants with a range of viscosities. The company also offers a slice depositor line, which can apply precise sheets of icing to a cake.

Instead of a drop/plop deposit, Unifiller Systems, Delta, BC, designed machines with the targeted precision necessary for decorating a cake or cupcake. According to the company, one of its depositors can ice the top and sides of a cake in 1.3 seconds and then apply top and bottom decorative borders.