Baking & Snack - October 2020 - 57

EQUIPMENT
Ingredient Handling

automating for
Designing the proper ingredient handling system can ensure minor
and micro ingredients are precisely scaled consistently.
by Charlotte Atchley

W

When it comes to automation, smaller ingredients are often
overlooked. Because of the capital investment required, it
can be hard to justify the cost of an ingredient handling system for such small pieces of a formulation. However, one of
the greatest benefits - accuracy - is something that minor and micro ingredients are greatly affected by.
"Minor and micro ingredients are the active ingredients
in a formula" said Jason Stricker, director of sales and marketing, Shick Esteve. "They are added in small amounts, but
their function in the formula is very important. There is a
very narrow band allowed for the activity of those ingredients, thus accuracy plays a critical role."
These ingredients are often the ones that help products differentiate from the competition. And because
in bread and roll formulations at least there isn't much
in the formulation to begin with, a slip in accuracy can
have a big impact.
"These are frequently items that contribute to the color,
nutritional value or taste of the finished product, so accuracy of these ingredients is extremely important to producing

a consistent quality product," said Mike Drew, engineering
supervisor, Sterling Systems & Controls. "If there are large
variances in these critical ingredients, people notice."
Despite this, bakers often wait on automating the storing
and scaling process. Part of that is a return on investment
(ROI) issue, but trying to achieve consistent accuracy when
automating later can be tricky.
"Frequently, minors and micros are an afterthought in
the overall system design, and then it's hard to try to find
that accuracy using the legacy system that you have," said
Darren Adams, vice president, engineering, The Fred D.
Pfening Co. "You really do need a precise system dedicated for that specific application, and once you have that, it
should operate to the same level of accuracy as your other
ingredient systems do."

Merging automation
with mechanical design
ensures accuracy when
handling minor and micro
ingredients, from storage
to scaling to delivery.
B├╝hler Group

The accuracy challenge
Micro and minor ingredients create issues for automation
that bulk ingredients might not. The precision bakers need
alone is a challenge.

www.bakingbusiness.com / October 2020 Baking & Snack 57


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Baking & Snack - October 2020

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