Consumers want more nutrition out of their baked snacks. A big part of that is clean label, which they perceive to be healthier. Historically, additives, such as dough conditioners, help move the dough down the line faster.

Shoppers are now searching out baked goods without any of those ingredients listed on the package. This can challenge the uniformity of dough performance, especially in difficult-to-make, gluten-free products, and the ability to run them on automated equipment.

“Clean label means removing all of those additives,” noted Jerry Murphy, president of Rondo Inc. “The equipment we’re designing today is designed to run clean-label products.”

With an eye on this alternative way of formulating, bakers must also consider whether their sheeting and laminating systems are flexible enough to cope with more variable doughs and fillings, noted Cesar Zelaya, bakery technology manager, Handtmann Inc.

“There is a need for systems that can better handle the dough types and filling options for many of the new healthier handheld meals they are developing,” he said. “We can provide continuous extrusion or the hyper-accurate spot depositing of premium fillings with viscosities ranging from almost liquid form like fruit jellies to chunky meat and stiff cheese fillings.”