GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. — At the Extrusion Showcase last week at its Grand Rapids office, Baker Perkins, headquartered in Peterborough, U.K., introduced attendees to extrusion sheeting, a process through which sheeted products can be made on an extruder.
By using a sheeting die rather than a conventional direct expanded die or co-extruder die, Baker Perkins can create a dough sheet that can be fed into a cutting application. The applications for this technology are wide-open.
“This is a new technology and we’re looking for a commercial partner to help develop an end product, a series of products or a completely new product,” said Geoff Hawley, sales director for Baker Perkins’ U.S. office in Grand Rapids.
With a sheeting die, the extruder acts as a mixer and pump, mixing ingredients and pushing the dough into the die, which fans the dough into a sheet. The dough sheet is cooler than conventional extruded and co-extruded products, enabling bakers and snack producers to cut the dough and then bake, fry or dry the products.
With this new application for its extruder, Baker Perkins hopes to decrease footprints for cracker lines as well as other sheeted products. According to his presentation at the showcase, Dan Christie, senior account manager, Baker Perkins, said the company has experimented with crackers and biscuits, and the processing principle is proven. The company is just ready for a customer ready to think outside the box.