A dough extruder can be used for making snack products, breakfast cereals, pasta, and expanded products. The breadmaking process involves dividing the dough into manageable portions. While pocket dividers have been used for this process, dough extrusion is becoming more and more popular as an alternative technology. With this alternative, a production can benefit from great control and subsequent efficiencies
Dough extrusion is a complex process because of the many parameters to think about. These parameters include screw combinations, screw speed, material throughput, pressure zones, or temperatures. When set, the settings are saved and can be used for many samples.
Dough Extrusion vs Dough Division
Dough extrusion and dough dividing have distinct differences. With extrusion, the dough is subject to a certain pressure that allows it to divide flow and form. This method allows the dough to be processed without destroying its structure, resulting in higher quality baked products. Also, the extruder can produce pre-proofed dough. Meanwhile, dough division uses the pocket method. When a specific amount of dough fills a pocket, the latter closes and the former is deposited. Pocket dividers are gentler; however, dependability and mineral oil requirements are drawbacks. But, some food product manufacturers combine both dough technologies, especially when producing bread and buns for greater scaling accuracy.
Benefits of Dough Extruders
- Automation. This benefit results in greater accuracy of the equipment and eliminates human errors. As a result, manufacturers can produce high-quality baked products. Automated dough extruders have a higher level of sanitisation that improves productivity, reducing downtime for cleaning. Moreover, automation makes it easier to work with dough and helps achieve the desired output.
- Flexibility. The flexibility of dough extruders provides performance characteristics that aid production. The machines’ specifications can also improve the flexibility of the process and improve the overall performance and quality of the dough. The baking and confectionery industry has seen several trends developing with respect to extrusion technology. With the increase in production needs, there is an increasing demand for wider machines with faster cutting speeds. These days, dough extruders have expanded to 2 m in width and have cutting speeds as high as 265 cuts per minute.
Furthermore, low-pressure extruders can provide even greater flexibility and extra benefits compared with their high-press counterparts. They can output both sticks and die-cut shapes and do not impart much work energy to the dough. Some of these extruders can be supplied with gauges on the compression head to indicate the dough pressure before extrusion.