Dry Processing

Snack maker finds a better way to control ingredient flow

August 1, 2008
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+


At Zweifel, K-Tron loss-in-weight feeders accurately deliver the right amount of seasoning mix, producing consistently flavorful potato chips. Source: K-Tron


For more than 50 years, Zweifel Pomy-Chips, AG, (Spreitenbach, Switzerland) has been one of the largest snack food manufacturers in Europe. The company produces  about 5,000 tons of potato chips annually, and another 1,200 tons of snacks are produced from grain and corn.

Known for innovative chip flavors and recipes such as Nature, Paprika, Provençale, Curry and Mexican, Zweifel strives for quality coating and consistent delivery of the seasoning blend to the potato chip manufacturing process.  The problem was that existing equipment wasn’t delivering consistent quantities and perfectly repeatable blends to the coating process. This not only affected flavor but also wasted expensive ingredients when greater-than-needed amounts were delivered. Zweifel needed a better way to meter the ingredients to the coating process.

The processor looked at volumetric feeders and loss-in-weight (LIW) feeders. Volumetric feeders are relatively inexpensive, but are open-loop and don’t take into account fluctuations in material density. LIW feeders work on weight or mass and can be used in a closed-loop control system. Zweifel considered LIW feeders a good solution for controlling its ingredient flow, and it chose K-Tron LIW gravimetric screw feeders.

Martina Burger, manager technical services for Zweifel, describes the process. “During the coating process, the seasoning ingredient or blend is fed directly to the feeder hopper, which delivers the product to an extended single screw.” She adds, “Screw feeders are used due to their ability to deliver difficult flowing materials (e.g., seasoning powders with high oil contents) directly and evenly to the process and without surges in flow.  The seasoning powder flows from the screw directly to the coating drum, in which potato chips are rotating at a fixed rate.” The precisely measured flow of seasoning results in consistent coating of the chips while maintaining quality and taste. 

Single screw feeders equipped with a 60mm-diameter screw deliver salt, paprika and other seasonings at rates of 5 - 200 kilo/hour (1 - 440 lbs./hour).  A control system manages recipes. Depending on the seasoning to be added, the operator chooses which recipe is required, and the controller adjusts the feeder variables accordingly.  Zweifel finds the feeder is easy to clean and maintain, allowing quick process changeovers when the spices/ingredients are changed.

Zwiefel’s  LIW feeder consists of a hopper and feeder that are isolated from the process so the entire system can be continuously weighed. As the feeder discharges seasonings, system weight declines. The LIW feeder controller adjusts feeder speed to produce a rate of weight loss equal to the desired feed rate setpoint. With this technology, a constant mass flow is ensured, providing consistent product delivery to the coating device. LIW feeder controls verify the material is flowing and send an alarm if material flow is stopped by an upstream problem. u

For more information, Sharon Nowak, 856-256-3119, snowak@ktron.com

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

Recent Articles by Wayne Labs, Senior Technical Editor

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Fabulous Food Plant: Paramount Citrus

Learn more about this fabulous food plant in Food Engineering's article, found here.

Podcasts

Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

THE MAGAZINE

Food Engineering Magazine

Food engineering magazine 2014 april cover

2014 April

Catch a preview of the Powder and Bulk Show in this April 2014 edition of Food Engineering. Also, be sure to check out a coffee stick making a real stir and a major advancement in the the pet food industry.
Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE FOOD ENGINEERING STORE

Food-Authentication-Flyer-(.gif
Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

Food Master

Food Master Cover 2014Food Master 2014 is now available!

 

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit www.foodmaster.com to learn more.

STAY CONNECTED

FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.pnglinkedin_40px.png