While pocket dividers have been traditionally used for dividing the dough into manageable portions, dough extrusion is increasingly used as an alternative technology. A dough extruder offers control and subsequent efficiencies to a product line. The benefits of extrusion technology are centred on higher sanitation levels, greater automation, and increased applications which result in overall enhanced product quality.
Benefits of a Dough Extruder
Here’s why extruders are gaining popularity in the confectionery market:
- Improved automation. This results in greater equipment accuracy and eliminates human errors. A higher sanitation level improves productivity, reducing downtime for cleaning. Also, automation means that the dough is easier to work with and helps in achieving the desired output. In general, with extrusion technology, the dough isn’t worked as much and operators can insert intermediate proofing in the production line to allow the dough to develop after the rigors of extrusion, giving the final product a more open texture.
- Less maintenance. An extruder does not require intricate maintenance and is faster than other kinds of dough dividers. A recipe-driven extruder can be adjusted easily to maintain weight control.
- Increased speed and width. This benefit has created more demands for dough-feed automation with metal detection. This reduces labour costs, minimises worker complaints, and enhances piece-weight accuracy.
- Increased flexibility. Lower-pressure extruders provide greater flexibility and extra benefits compared with high-pressure extruders. They output both sticks and die-cut shapes and do not impart much work energy to the dough. These machines can be supplied with gauges on the compression head indicating the pressure of the dough before extrusion. To change the shapes, the die assembly must be replaced.
Dough Extrusion or Dividing?
While dough extrusion and dough dividing mean the same things, they have distinct differences.
With extrusion, the dough is subjected to a certain pressure that lets it divide flow and form. Dividing uses the pocket method. In this process, after filling a pocket, the latter closes and the dough is deposited.
Extrusion technology provides major benefits over dividing technology. For instance, dough extrusion lets the dough be processed without destroying the structure, resulting in higher-quality baked products. Also, this lets the dough extrusion machine produce pre-proofed dough.
Finding the Right Technological Features
To find the right extrude features, it is important for bakers and technicians to understand their needs. Indeed, extrusion technology has been improved by equipment manufacturers. The right technology mix for dough extrusion will drive the expansion of technology.