Application Example: Feeding, Conveying and Extrusion in Confectionery and Chocolate Manufacture
The candy manufacturing industry is expected to experience significant growth in the near future due to product innovations in established markets such as the US and Western Europe, and rising disposable incomes in developing markets such as India and China. The growth typically includes three major segments: companies that make chocolate directly from cocoa beans, companies that make chocolate directly from cocoa beans, companies that use purchased chocolate to make candy products, and companies that make sugar-based candy. The non chocolate candy sector includes a wide variety of products including jellybeans, chewing/bubble gum, licorice and hard candies. Processes for each of these manufacturing sectors can involve batch and continuous operations. In all of these sectors, whether batch or continuous, the completely integrated material handling and feeding systems supplied by Coperion K-Tron ensure the optimum in accurate, cost efficient and safe process design. Coperion K-Tron's highly accurate feeders and pneumatic conveying systems are used for transfer, weighing and feeding to batch cookers and/or mixers. In addition, Coperion provides food components that fulfill highest demands in hygiene, ease of cleaning and gentle product handling. This equipment, in combination with Coperion's high efficiency twin screw extruders, is used for the production of a variety of products including caramel and chocolate, licorice and various filled candies. Innovations in both material handling and extrusion for confectionery manufacture are an integral part of the overall Coperion systems solution.
Transfer of Major Ingredients
Each of the confectionery types outlined above usually requires the transfer of bulk ingredients such as corn syrup solids and sugar from the source to the process. These major ingredients (including starch) can arrive at the plant in a variety of forms, such as railcar, truck or bulk bag systems. The major ingredients are usually stored in specialized silos and then conveyed to the specific weigh batch stations as required for the blend.
Specialty design options on the silos and conveying lines can be incorporated to avoid such hazards as moisture and product temperature when entering the plant. These options can include dessicant dryer systems, and/or use of heaters on silo fluidizers and system blowers.