Snack makers need to make the most of their fryers with the strong demand for donuts, chips and other snacks throughout the day. Boosting throughput in the short run, however, isn’t as simple as attaching another zone to a tunnel oven.
Often raising capacity means investing in another kettle or hiring additional shifts to work extra hours to sustain long-term growth.
“If product parameters and fry time remain the same, it is difficult to increase the output of the fryer,” noted Alan Craker, international sales manager for Belshaw Adamatic Bakery Group. “If processing/product size can be modified, and the fry time is reduced, then more products could be produced from the same size fryer. The general fryer efficiency rule is to keep the fryer as full up with product as possible while it is hot. Gaps reduce efficiency. Fryers built today are designed to be run 24 hours a day if needed.”
Donut producers have a few options.
“There is still the possibility to adapt to new products by changing the number of rows used in the fryer and working with frequency drives to ensure that the speed is adjustable,” said Patricia Kennedy, president and chief executive officer, WP Bakery Group USA. “This, with automatic filling level control, gives the operator the highest flexibility available on the market.”
Doug Kozenski, prepared food applications, Heat and Control, doesn’t advise oversizing a fryer to meet potential future capacity needs.
“Increasing the size of the fryer also increases the volume of system oil,” he explained. “If a fryer’s product volume is low relative to the system oil volume, the oil turnover rate will be poor, resulting in reduced oil quality and oil life.
“In the end,” he continued, “choosing equipment correctly sized for the application with the appropriate design features, along with defined operations and sanitation procedures and proper maintenance, will result in a high-quality fryer system that will satisfy the ever-changing requirements and will allow for the maximum efficiency of the frying system.”
This article is an excerpt from the August 2022 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on Frying, click here.