Gourmet chip manufacturer Naturally Homegrown Foods, Ltd. supplies its batch-fried chips to retail locations in Canada, the United States and Asia. In the face of growing demand for its signature Hardbite Chips, the company was looking to replace an out-of-date steel coating drum and dry powder applicator with an efficient automated system.
The Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada-based company needed a flexible seasoning solution that ensured the consistent and efficient application of eight different dry seasonings, with minimum machine downtime between flavor changes. In addition, the new system had to integrate and work seamlessly alongside other processing machinery in the facility.
With a primary objective to improve overall product consistency, Naturally Homegrown Foods installed the tna intelli-flav OMS 5 seasoning system to ensure uniformity for every chip produced.
“We’ve seen a vast improvement in seasoning consistency as a result of installing the tna intelli-flav OMS 5,” says Kirk Homenick, president of Naturally Homegrown Foods. “Most notably, we’ve been able to reduce our seasoning application rate from 8 to 9 percent down to 5 to 6 percent.”
The tna intelli-flav OMS 5 system features a responsive variable mass seasoning system with a dynamic vibratory weigher to control powder application directly from the drum. This enables an accurate, proportional amount of seasoning to be consistently applied to the product for improved coverage and flavor dispersion—even for products with irregular surfaces, including batch-fried chips.
Also, since the scarfplate on the tna intelli-flav OMS 5 infeed is positioned closer to the top of the tumbling product, the scarf adds dry powder into the flavoring area more accurately, providing more consistent seasoning.
With the Hardbite Chips range including eight different flavor profiles, Naturally Homegrown Foods required a seasoning system that offered rapid cleaning time for flavor changes and minimum downtime. The tna intelli-flav OMS 5 has a modular design that is enclosed to help prevent any materials from building up, thus allowing for increased levels of hygiene and ease of cleaning. In addition, the system’s pivoting drum provides accessibility for hard-to-reach areas.
“As a small plant that is experiencing growing demand, it’s imperative that seasoning changeovers and cleaning downtime is kept to a minimum to ensure optimum production levels,” says Homenick. “Changeover times have been reduced by 15 to 20 percent. Now we are able to carry out a seasoning changeover in less than 20 minutes, thanks to the system’s simple design.”
In addition, the scallop-designed infeed conveyor curves to match the shape of the drum, which reduces product drop, helps control product direction and results in reduced product waste. Rapidly changing consumer demands have increased pressure on snack manufacturers to run a variety of capacities, package sizes and materials within their plants.
“The addition of this equipment has made such a difference for our facility compared to the older screw auger feature in our previous system,” notes Homenick.
For more information:
tna, (972) 462-6500,