Cake batter may make up the bulk of the finished cake product, but the icing is what sells. Icing is all about presentation, and the latest technology in automated icing systems has made decorating more accurate and less wasteful.

Unifiller automated the finer points of icing with the latest technology to help the decorating nozzles self-adjust. For round cakes, the company’s equipment spins the cake while measuring it with lasers and infrared sensors. This information guides the decorating nozzle, even adapting its action to uneven surfaces as it goes to work.

For writing on sheet cakes, Unifiller combined its robotic decorating technology with a mapping system that scans the cake’s top surface. The scan sends the map to the decorating jet, which will remember the surface’s contours, so it can write a message on the cake that still holds up to the baker’s presentation standards.

“The robot that we use writes with a very fine tip, so if the surface of the cake varies by a half an inch, your script isn’t going to look very nice,” said Stewart Macpherson, vice-president, sales and marketing for Unifiller.

Beyond accurate decorating, Woody Associates, York, Pa., aims to provide more pattern versatility and waste recovery with its latest technology. Servo motors allow bakers to change different patterns easily while maintaining the consistency of the process. Woody Associates’ recovery systems catch excess icing, filter it and reuse it. This helps bakers control ingredient costs.