Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 67

EQUIPMENT
Extrusion
Extruders help snack producers craft the latest better-for-you varieties.
by Lucas Cuni-Mertz
T
There's been plenty of innovation in the snack world
recently, led by the proliferation of healthy options that
are shaking up the category. These include plant-based
and gluten-free alternatives, as well as snacks packed with
more protein, less sugar, functional benefits and more.
" Snack companies and their R&D departments are
consistently coming to us asking for ways to make more
and innovative better-for-you (BFY) snacks, " noted Nico
Roesler, North American pretzel & snack equipment
sales manager, Reading Bakery Systems (RBS). " The big
thing is functional snacking: adding ingredients that not
only provide protein or other nutrients to a diet but also
taste great. "
While consumers are snapping up the BFY snacks
that hit these marks, these foods can push production to
the limit.
" Snack makers are working very hard to use ingredients
that are considered healthy without compromising
the taste and texture that make people want to eat them
when snacking, " explained Dave Nichols, vice president
of sales and marketing, Volkmann USA. " But the gluten-free,
sugar-free and plant-based demands put quite
a burden on food engineers and processors to replicate
the same properties. "
To ease this burden, producers are turning to the latest
extruders that can process even the trickiest ingredients,
textures and shapes of today's snacks.
Identifying the challenges
BFY snacks often feature emerging ingredients like pulses,
seeds and alternative and ancient grains, all of which
can be obstacles when extruding.
" Whether a particular ingredient will pose a challenge
depends on its level of starch, fat, oil, moisture content,
etc. " said John Barber, sales manager, US and Canada,
Clextral USA. " For example, when working with highwww.bakingbusiness.com
/ December 2022 Baking & Snack 67
protein recipes, pulses, or fruit and vegetable ingredients,
obtaining a quality shape, or a desired level of expansion
can be a challenge. For ingredients with higher
levels of fat, the challenge is finding the right balance for
the desired crunch, or hardness and expansion. "
Heat is often the biggest consideration for bakers
looking to achieve the perfect texture for their healthier
extruded snack, Mr. Roesler noted.
" Pulses tend to break down and burn at low temperatures
compared to corn, " he said. " For something like
peas, operators need to know the different acceptable
temperatures and how higher temperatures cause the
ingredient to react in an extruder. Pea flour and protein
can change state from good to firm very quickly
in an extruder, causing units to get blocked and then
burn ingredients. "
These plant protein blends and other alternaToday's
BFY snacks
include alternative
ingredients that can
challenge extruders.
SValeriia @stock.adobe.com
http://www.bakingbusiness.com

Baking & Snack - December 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - December 2022

Baking & Snack - December 2022 - Intro
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 1
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 2
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 3
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 4
Baking & Snack - December 2022 - 5
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