Baking & Snack - June 2018 - 85
Moving bar dough down the line requires navigating some sticky situations.
by Joanie Spencer
Bars are interesting products. In the past decade,
the category has exploded to include varieties ranging from cereal and snack to energy and nutrition,
and they're made with every thick, chunky, sticky or
crunchy concoction a formulator can dream up.
In April, Mintel predicted that the sky's the limit
for bars, based on data in its "Snack, Nutrition and
Performance Bars" report. According to the research
firm, it's that wide range of product types driving the
growth. The report indicated that 53% of consumers
are eating bars as a treat, and decadent fillings and inclusions are catering to that desire.
Not to discount the protein craze, that is. Mintel noted that nuts - specifically peanuts and almonds - are
big growth drivers for bars, and innovation with ingredients like cashews is also gaining ground.
"The bar category has experienced a lot of innovation in the past couple of years," said Sebastian Clemens,
sales account manager, Bühler. "Ingredients and format
have changed drastically, and this requires flexibility and
advancements from the manufacturing equipment."
Moving this type of dough (if one can even call it
dough in the traditional sense) through the process
without damaging it - or the transfer equipment -
takes a bit of mastery and a lot of sanitary design.
Vast consumer demands
require bar producers to be
all things to everyone, and
that makes for sticky dough
... if one can call it that in
the traditional sense.
Today's bar doughs often come with big, heavy inclusions that must maintain their integrity throughout
transport. Think of products like KIND Bars with
clear wrappers showcasing whole nuts, fruit pieces
and other wholesome ingredients.
"Maintaining product characteristics that were developed during the mixing stage through the transferring and extruding process is a major concern for the
bakers. Naturally the dough will slightly change over
time, and the forming or extruding equipment will
start working it. Selecting equipment that minimizes
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