This movie shows some frames of a snack pellets factory where few different groups of snack pellets are produced. Click on each title to see an example of products type.
Through this technology it is possible to obtain traditional flat chips, rippled chips or even fancy shapes. The precise control of the sheet thickness is very important in obtaining the maximum quality both in pelletized dry chips (for later frying) and wet fried products. This has been achieved by a double stage lamination system using rolls of optimum diameter. The extrusion under total vacuum allows to use a wide range of raw materials and to obtain products with suitable organoleptic characteristics.
These new generation snacks are becoming more and more popular. technology ensures optimum product shape definition through the use of a precision system which controls sheet dimensions and rheological properties. The continuous process of cooking-extrusion, and the sheet thermal conditioning system before coupling allows for wide possibilities in the range of raw materials and on the degree of cooking. A specially designed cutting machine simultaneously cuts and pinches the edges of two sheets to form a hollow pillow, which will expand into a tridimensional shape when fried or toasted after drying.
The partially or fully cooked dough is forced through fancy shaped die inserts (stars, wheels, shrimps and many others) and immediately cut by means of a rotating blade pressing against the die face. The proper cooling of the extruder barrel and of the head holding the die allows precise control of the rheological properties of the dough and facilitates shape maintenance and cutting. The pellets are subsequently dried to moisture levels that permit optimum expansion during frying or toasting.
These fancy shaped pellets are uniform in thickness (essential for the maintenance of shape definition upon frying or toasting), generally flat, with holes on the surface. They can be produced by using a specially designed high-speed rotary cutting machine which sequentially and synchronizedly punches the holes and cuts the sheet to the desired shape. Precise control of sheet dimensions and rheological properties, as well as the level of synchronization during cutting, are fundamental factors in achieving the desired product quality.