Extrusion as an innovation driver
by Dieter Preim, Brabender®, Germany
xtruder products rank among the pioneering opportunities for product innovation in the food sector with promising opportunities on the market. This is why practically relevant equipping with extrusion equipment is a fixed constituent of the “toolbox” that is required for product developers in the food industry. New developments in snack products, breakfast cereals, flat breads, sweets, pet food and other special products can be prepared on a laboratory scale using this modern key technology. Brabender® provides suitable instruments for experimental trials of potential product lines with extrudates in a wide range of shapes, colours and flavours. They are compact and can be put to versatile use in innovative food laboratories. They make it possible for modern foods to be developed under realistic process conditions. This means that ongoing production is not impacted, which saves money but is still consistently quality oriented.
Laboratory extruder as sensible alternative for practical applications
There are few procedures with as much potential for completely redesigning a product matrix. In order to develop innovative food textures and structures, the parameters of pressure, temperature, and shear can be varied during extrusion without changing the final product. Continuous operation in a closed system combines complex production steps into a constant, continuous production process. If product developers have to experiment on extruders during live operations in order to do this, this can lead easily to operational disruptions. This is why laboratory extruders are a sensible alternative for everyone involved in the development and testing of new processes and products – regardless of existing traditional processes, and with potential prospects for creating something completely new. Six arguments speak in favour of practical product development with laboratory extruders rather than experimental interventions in the production process: • You get to know new processes, and are able to test textures and sensory characteristics before trials have to be conducted on a production scale. 36 | Milling and Grain
• You can vary your application ideas in a wide variety of ways: in terms of raw materials, composition, machine or product. • You require significantly less material to carry out your trials, and hardly any product waste occurs. • You don’t have to worry about impacting your current quality management system. • You can establish methods for measuring your quality from raw material to end product in advance, in order to be in a position to react to quality variations in a better way at a later date. • You can easily achieve a return on investment with an appropriate philosophy of innovation within your company.
Triple extrusion expertise from Brabender®
The corporate group has many years of global experience with extruders and the practical deployment thereof: Thanks to the transfer of technology between plastics processing, With the LabCompounder KETSE 20 / 40 D, Brabender® offers a twin screw extruder as miniature scale with application to the food and animal feed industry for material research and process simulation