Wire-cut machines can help bakers diversify their portfolios with the production of cookies, biscuits and bars.

A bigger playing field

Many manufacturers have also branched out into bars — specifically those offering protein, ancient grains and other healthy attributes that complement the indulgent cookie segment.

Sustainable success comes from the bar category players’ robust proclivity toward rolling out the latest in new variations of products to remain on-trend. “We are seeing lots of customers making gourmet bars, vegan bars and gluten-free bars,” observed John McIsaac, vice-president, strategic business development, Reiser.

“A trend we see is the desire to make multiple flavors with lots of changeover to meet customer demands and changing tastes,” he added. “We provide smaller quick-change systems for these customers. For larger producers, we have been producing multilane, high-capacity systems. Each provides accurate rates and inclusion integrity.”

At the same time, Reiser has responded to a resurgence in its standalone cookie machine business. The company added new double screws with larger pitches to its Vemag 500 lineup for small to medium manufacturers. “This allows us to get even higher quality from our small machines with regard to inclusion size and integrity,” Mr. McIsaac said. “We boosted speeds on belt cutting to increase production, and we added co-extrusion technology to go along with it. This allows our producers to make unique sandwich cookies in smaller batches in a reduced footprint. We have also added our new servo crimper to make fully encapsulated and open-top products at high rates of speed.”

Rotary-moulded cookies also have experienced revitalization due to the process’ ability to handle drier doughs, more inclusions and tacky gluten-free dough structures, said Jeff McLean, sales manager, North America, Spooner Vicars Bakery Systems. “With these opportunities, we are using our heavy-duty design machine to get greater pressure to the die roller for the drier doughs, working with different alloy structures and material for the dies to handle the inclusions in the dough and employing water cooling and release coatings to handle the sticky gluten-free dough structures,” he said.

Read on to learn more about ingredient handling systems.