In the 1990s, many Polish consumers replaced traditional morning food like “jajecznica,” a large meal of eggs and sausages, with breakfast cereal. Poland’s grocery store shelves were stocked with corn flakes and other breakfast cereals produced outside the country. 

In 1997, Boguslaw Obst saw an opportunity to open his own cereal production facility in his town of Chelm and contacted leading technology manufacturers with that intention. That same year, Obst collaborated with GEA Pavan, and Obst S.A. became a local source for breakfast cereals.

Over the years, the business grew and Obst partnered with GEA Pavan on five more production lines. These six GEA Pavan lines allow Obst to produce 3.5 tons per year of breakfast cereal, with exports to Europe, Africa and Asia.

Obst cereals
A sampling of Obst products.
Photo courtesy of OBST/Beniamino Gelain

In early 2020, GEA Pavan installed a seventh production line that will allow the company to go to the market with cereal shaped like pillows. Starting with a line used for corn flake production, GEA added machinery that transforms the line into one that produces cereal pillows. The die for two-layered whole meal cereal is applied directly to the extrusion head, allowing the production of coextruded pillows.

The filling system is composed of a feeding system, a buffer and a dosing system, which allows for filling of the pillow and ensures accurate dosing calibration. Initially, the extruded product is processed by a two-layer forming unit that uses a roller to give the product its pillow shape. At the end, the product is separated through a rotating drum. Then the pillows dry in the oven and, once cooled on the belt, are ready to be packaged and distributed.

Extrusion technology key to efficiency, quality

“The GEA Pavan production lines assure high standards of quality and extreme flexibility,” says Obst. “These are the most important factors in our success, as we now produce high-quality breakfast cereals expressed in a range of 20 different products. We are able to serve the most demanding consumers with specific lines—healthy products, sugar-free, with vitamins, whole grains and also developed ‘super oat,’ specifically formulated to reduce cholesterol.”

The GEA Pavan extrusion machines, such as the TT twin-screw extruder series, enable the production of a range of final products using the combination of time, temperature and mechanical input in the cooking phase. 

Research and development collaboration between GEA Pavan and Obst allowed for the variety of products to be produced. Obst’s R&D department works on new products by analyzing the latest developments, technical solutions and innovations in the field of production technology.

GEA Pavan’s R&D activities are performed by a team of 30 people, including process technicians, analysts and mechanics. The Italy-based facility is equipped with three pilot plants and four flexible production lines. A complete laboratory is equipped with instruments for chemical, chemical physical, rheological and nutritional/organoleptic analysis of food. 

By testing new formulations, the GA Pavan R&D team supported Obst in developing recipes for new products. 

“This, added to a very interesting balance between costs and quality offered, made us very loyal to GEA Pavan, resulting in us continuing to develop new products and increasing our production capacity,” Obst says. “More than 20 years have passed since I decided to cooperate with GEA Pavan. I can confirm that this was the right decision.”

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