New equipment helps donut producers minimize sanitation times and eliminate waste.


With the need for increased throughput, quick changeovers are necessary to keep donut lines humming along. But for bakers producing a wide variety of donuts or looking to meet heightened sanitation requirements, faster changeovers can be a challenge. 

David Moline, vice president of sales and marketing, Moline Machinery, noted that technology like stainless steel proofer trays, continuous sediment removal systems within the proofer and continuous oil filtration of the fryer all minimize sanitation times considerably. At the International Baking Industry Exposition in 2022, Moline Machinery unveiled its auto-loading stamper system for mid-capacity donut lines.

“It has speed limitations, but the changeovers are incredibly fast,” Mr. Moline explained. “Especially for fresh daily donut producers that serve c-stores, they may have a few different varieties and smaller quantities per store but a lot of stores. So they require many different product varieties.”

Randy Kelly, applications specialist, Fritsch Bakery Systems/Mulitvac, said the company’s line components can be dismantled easily without the need for special tools.

“Our Fritsch lines can be cleaned very easily and quickly due to its coated surfaces, efficient scrapers, hygienic stainless steel design, removable flour containers, quick release mechanisms on all conveyor belts and the removable folding channels,” he said. 

Ty Sarajian, president of Axis Automation, said some bakers have also adopted the use of flavor change or allergen kits.           

“These kits consist of parts such as belts and other food contact surfaces that can be quickly swapped out and cleaned offline,” he added. “Focusing on cleaning and sanitizing the permanent structures saves time and gets bakers back in production faster.” 

He added that one of the best ways to prevent build-up on donut lines is to install reclamation systems that collect excess product for re-use or disposal, preventing it from traveling down the line and contaminating other equipment. 

The icing and filling stage remains a time-consuming sanitation step, and cleaning hardened icings and glazes is often labor-intensive. 

To speed up changeover and cleaning at this stage, Sonia Bal, director of global marketing, Unifiller, recommended scheduling production starting with lighter products like vanilla first before moving to darker products like chocolate, as well as going from viscous to stickier products. 

The latest technology also helps eliminate unnecessary waste during this stage. Axis Automation’s injection system, for example, offers a “suck-back” vacuum feature that prevents leakage during retraction.

“Precision application of toppings, icings, glazes and fillings ensure that ingredients are not wasted, and they don’t have to be cleaned up at a product change or during a sanitation cycle,” Mr. Sarajian explained. “The old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure holds true when it comes to making donuts.”

This article is an excerpt from the June 2023 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on Donut Processing, click here.