Whether a bakery is creating a variety of filled pastries or cranking out one product type with a variety of fillings, versatility on the line is key.

Handtmann offers a variety of interchangeable nozzles and dispensing valves to accommodate a number of fillings.

“Some require straight piston depositors, while others may perform better with a rotary style, inverted piston for those requiring a void in the middle, such as with a donut or a triangular-shaped product,” noted Cesar Zelaya, bakery sales and technology manager, Handtmann. 

Portion control is vital when switching from one type of filling to the next. For example, changing from a filling with a specific gravity of 0.8 to one with 0.4 will, of course, affect the weight of the deposit.

“If the product type is the same and sold by weight, then it is essential to have a depositor that can be adjusted on the fly or have programmable settings that are easy to adjust,” said Sonia Bal, director, marketing and sales operations, Unifiller.

To ensure accurate deposit portions, Unifiller’s servo depositors do both.

“They have a programmable volume setting that can be saved per product type, and they can be integrated with other processing equipment up or downstream to accommodate changes in production flow,” she added.

Sometimes changing over the filling can be as simple as swapping out the depositor, as many bakers will incorporate redundancy into their line by having a backup to quickly switch out on the line for a product change or cleaning.

“However, if that is not an option, machinery that is easy to empty, disassemble, clean and reassemble will be key to efficient filling changeovers,” said Jeff Zeak, national development manager, bakery for Reiser, noting that the manufacturer’s Vemag equipment is designed with minimal parts to be easily removed, cleaned and put back together.

“Equipment needs to be more than just a nice-looking depositor or filler,” said Lance Aasness, executive vice-president, Hinds-Bock.

He noted that proper depositing helps a baker save — and make — money, so versatile equipment is key.

“It needs to slot into different areas of production wherever and whenever needed and be able to portion all types of products,” he said. “It must disassemble in a matter of minutes without tools to clean, sanitize and remove allergens.”

Then it has to be ready to start filling the next product.

Using a variety of fillings for different products requires specific depositor types, so it’s important to know the correct features to keep changeovers moving quickly.

“Piston and cylinder size, along with the type of spout that is used and the port opening, are important for depositing different fillings,” Mr. Aasness said, noting that Hinds-Bock pre-tests all products to ensure the baker properly matches the equipment to the application.

For one application, E.T. Oakes developed an injection manifold with custom needle sizes for the viscosity of a particular crème filling.

“We had the correct needle sizes for that product’s viscosity, and then we had another manifold,” said Bob Peck, vice-president, engineering, E.T. Oakes. “So, we just changed over the injection manifold, not the machine.”

This article is an excerpt from the September 2019 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on sweet goods technology, click here.