Baking & Snack - August 2018 - 103
From funky shapes and sizes to label-friendly formulas,
waffle and wafer producers have much to consider.
by Joanie Spencer
Waffle and wafer producers have a lot going on these
days. These products can become the target for any
number of consumer preferences or trends. Charactershaped waffles and sandwich wafers are stepping into
the spotlight, and no matter the shape, consumers still
want to take them on the go. "Everything seems to be
smaller, single-size portions, grab-and-go, and heat,
serve and go," said Lance Aasness, executive vicepresident, Hinds-Bock.
From a creativity perspective, the sky's the limit on
what producers can dream up. "We see some trends
where customers are looking at unique integrated
branding applications and alternate configurations," said
Larry Beck, general manager, TSA Griddle Systems, a
division of CPM.
Appearance is just the beginning, as those healthconscious consumers want their portable toaster waffles
to be low-fat, whole grain and high-fiber to boot. "That's
definitely what our customers and many consumers are
focusing on. Formulation and ingredients are increasingly important to consumers," Mr. Beck said.
A product that can appeal to so many consumers via
any number of styles - and in almost as many dayparts,
considering the prevalence of breakfast and snacking at
all hours - requires a very specific process.
Even with niche waffles and wafers, they must still fit the
mould ... literally. This is an issue from both a physical
and formulating standpoint.
"When you're dealing with a product that could be
quite runny, you need to consider nozzles such as dripfree because it can affect the shape and accuracy," Mr.
Aasness said. Even just a few drips from a multi-piston
depositor over a hot griddle could make or break the
look of a product. "The accuracy has to be spot-on, and
drip-free nozzles are your best bet for that," he added.
"From the overall cost of the ingredients to the look of a
product, accuracy is a top priority."
Pieter Doornbos, area sales manager and specialists,
waffles for Tromp Group, noted that precise deposits are
an important part of Tromp Group's Vander Pol waffle
makeup line. "It is important to have uniformity in depositing high volume for big lines where the baker is
putting out the same product dimensions," he said.
Hinds-Bock's standard piston depositor is designed
with servo controls for accurate timing. Mr. Aasness
noted that, from a consistency standpoint, it deposits
within +/- 1 g. "You could possibly get closer to within
0.5 g of batter deposit weight, which is important to get a
consistent-looking waffle," he said.
For this type of batter, there are two things to consider for achieving consistency - viscosity and temperature - and the equipment plays a big role. "If your
batter gets too thin and you don't change the griddle or
depositing conditions, you'll start splattering and end
up with a different product than you were looking for,"
said Mike Niemczyk, sales and business development
manager, TSA. "If it gets too thick, you'll have underfilled waffles that won't spread or fill the mould as well."
Special formulations such
as high-fiber or reducedfat waffles require certain
©Petr Malyshev - stock.adobe.com
www.bakingandsnack.com / August 2018 Baking & Snack 103