Baking & Snack - July 2020 - 56

PRETZEL TECH

product as it is baked creates a huge mess and can
shut down a line.
"While moisture content and dough consistency are largely formulating issues, a coextruder
can help pretzel producers manage production
and provide accurately filled products, consistent
dough flow and proper sealing," Mr. Giacoio said.
Rheon coextruders can inject 10 to 300 grams
of filling per piece as long as the dough has the extensibility to handle the amount and type of filling. After
makeup and dividing, pretzel dough, filled or not, faces
one of its trickiest hurdles yet.

Waterfall applications of
caustic solution ensure
consistent coating on all
parts of a pretzel.
Gemini Bakery Equipment/
KB Systems

Automatic pretzel cookers adjust to either hot or cool caustic applications,
depending on the desired texture and taste.

Caustic calibrations

Reading Bakery Systems

Caustic, or lye, solutions are difficult to work with because of their alkalinity. Traditional sodium hydroxide
caustic solutions eat away at aluminum pans and present a potential risk to employees handling it. Because
of this, some pretzel makers have shifted to a sodium
bicarbonate (baking soda) solution that's much safer to
manually handle. However, nothing gives a pretzel its
flavor like a true caustic bath.
Ultimately, Ken Zvoncheck, director of process technology, RBS, explained the quality of the finished pretzel
is determined by three things: time, temperature and
caustic concentration.
The RBS Pretzel Cooker can automatically manage
those variables. An operator can dial in a 1.7% concentration of causticity, for example, to give a prede-

termined color to the pretzels while also automatically
setting how much time they spend in the solution. The
causticity of the solution used can vary depending on
desired final results.
"If the caustic level is too low, it'll come out looking
like a bread stick, tan or white," Mr. Zvoncheck said.
"The cooker puts that caustic shell on it which makes it
brown and shiny and of course gives it a lot of flavor."
The other factor is temperature. In the pretzel cooker,
bakers can choose a hot or cool caustic bath. The RBS
cooker features a burner that warms the solution to
up to 190°F, just short of boiling. If the baker prefers
a cool or ambient bath for the pretzels, it'll run at the
surrounding temperature inside the manufacturing
plant. Cooler temperatures require higher causticity

56 Baking & Snack July 2020 / www.bakingbusiness.com


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Baking & Snack - July 2020

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Baking & Snack - July 2020 - 1
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