Ingredient costs, customer complaints and waste represent the Top 3 challenges snack manufacturers face related to seasonings and flavorings, according to Ty Sarajian, president of Axis Automation, Inc., Hartland, WI. All three also have a rather unique relationship with one another, he noted.

Ingredient costs demand better control over the amount of seasonings applied. “On the other hand, if you can’t maintain the application rate and deliver seasoning uniformly, customer satisfaction suffers,” Mr. Sarajian said. “In some cases, with flavors being so intense, it’s easy to miss this narrow target. Too much and you’re wasting money; too little and you get customer complaints.”

Good reclaim and recovery systems are essential in topping applications that apply too much of a topping, he suggested. “However, the bigger waste is often from not meeting quality control specifications and the resulting scrap after it’s already been manufactured,” Mr. Sarajian said. “This is one place where accurate and reliable equipment pays big dividends.”