Even if wirecutters, depositors and extruders can gently handle premium inclusions, there’s one last challenge: Inclusions, especially large ones, can throw off a cookie’s weight.
“On a traditional cookie portioner, rollers are used to force cookies through dies,” explained John McIsaac, vice president, strategic business development, Reiser. “Often the dies are separated a greater distance to get the inclusions through without damage. Unfortunately, this results in scaling issues. To compensate, most folks run heavy, and very expensive ingredients go out the door without being paid for.”
Inaccurate scaling doesn’t just cause issues of price and labeling, but it also can cause waste at the oven. Size issues can result in uneven bakes, burned cookies and under-baking. As bakers work with inclusions that can be 3 to 4 grams individually, it’s critical that the portioning equipment is scaling cookies accurately.
Reiser’s Vemag technology is based first on portioning accuracy in addition to gentle handling.
The design and tolerances of the die/filler block and nozzles on Spooner Vicars’ APEX 400 Wire Cut machine ensure accurate piece weights, even with inclusions, said Andy Green, technical engineering manager, Spooner Vicars, noting this will be a positive when automated packaging efficiencies are required.
With a simple adjustment, Handtmann’s vane cell cam maintains gram-sensitive accuracy in cookie weights.
“This virtually eliminates the rework that is so inefficient and degrading to sensitive inclusions,” said Cesar Zelaya, bakery sales and technology manager, Handtmann.
And the improved grip on Minipan’s extruding heads reduces friction and enables the machine to achieve a consistent flow. As a result, the equipment provides precise portion control.
As the market for premium cookies expands, bakers must trust that their equipment and operational strategies will honor the value they are imparting on their cookies and delivering to their consumers.
This article is an excerpt from the April 2020 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on cookie technology, click here.