When working outside of the box with mixing technology, other aspects might need to be considered to ensure the product is mixed properly and that the equipment is up to the task.

For example, stiff doughs — bagel, pizza and some bar formulations — can be quite tough to mix and require more horsepower. If a mixer isn’t designed for that, it won’t last.

“You’re generating more torque, so you need a much more solid mixer with a larger agitator shaft and more solid frame,” said Andrew McGhie, director of sales, Shaffer, a Bundy Baking Solution. “It’s the difference between driving a Prius versus a large SUV. The more torque, the more risk you have for welds cracking or agitator shaft deflection and excessive reducer load. Over the past 10 years, we’ve developed a mixer that you could mix concrete in.”

Refrigeration can also come into play as bakers branch out. Not every application needs to be cooled as it’s mixed, but others, like English muffins, do.

Shaffer’s mixers can cool dough with the company’s VerTech Refrigeration Jacket design as well as a refrigerated agitator.

AMF Bakery Systems’ mixers also provide cooled surfaces inside the bowl to keep dough temperature low. The company’s Dough Process System also monitors the refrigeration system performance throughout the mixing cycle to ensure consistency.

VMI’s horizontal mixers, Verymix 3, are suited with a double jacket to keep the dough cool during the fast, high-intensity mixing process.

Process flexibility can also be important and mixer can provide some of that.

“’Batch mixing systems with mixers, bowl transport, rest and cleaning allow complex or even long mixing and fermentation/resting processes while maintaining high productivity, from 15 to 16 batches per hour,” said Claire Auffrédou, marketing and digital development VMI.

A pre-hydration system can open doors to new applications for bakers while improving dough quality. Pre-hydration offers bakers the ability to not only improve dough quality but at the same time reduce mixing times and cost, explained Kevin Knott, technical sales manager, Buhler. The company’s JetMix pre-hydration unit can be added to both batch and continuous mixers.

Pairing Zeppelin Systems’ DymoMix hydration unit with WP Bakery Group USA’s Kronos digital mixer provides bakers with repeatable dough quality, more oxygen in the dough and optimized water absorption while also reducing mixing times and temperatures.

Reading Bakery Systems’ most recent change to its mixing technology is optimizing the instant hydration technology and expanding the mixing design to support applications in and out of the baking industry: bread, buns and cookies, but also plant-based meat replacement, instant noodles and candy.

This article is an excerpt from the May 2021 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on Mixing, click here.