Food Coating Expertise (FCE) provides assistance at several stages of a coating project: product formulation, ingredient sourcing, experiment supervision, equipment design, process engineering, plant implementation and production audit.
Coating refers to the application of a liquid or a powder on a product in a certain pattern. It requires product, ingredient and equipment to combine into a process. The process design depends upon multiple parameters as well as an existing working production environment. It can be said to be effective only after hours of production runs; it is a sum of industrial knowledge as well as practical experience.
Coatings for food products
Understanding the intent of a coating is important; agreeing on the scope helps in opening the research field, selecting options, and making decisions at key milestones of the project.
Food products come in an infinite variety. Many of them are coated to convey an enticing aspect, palatability, enjoyment or protection. Knowing the product’s characteristics is essential to the fulfilment of the purpose.
Traditionally, coating ingredients were mostly derived from nature and minimally processed: honey, sugar, chocolate, sauce… There were few choices but significant quality variations.
Nowadays, the range of coating ingredients has grown tremendously and they are created to serve specific purposes. A slight change in the choice of the ingredient may greatly help the whole process in terms of feasibility and simplification. At the same time, the tolerance in their characteristics has narrowed in order to offer reliable and repeatable behaviour during the production process.
The food coating process
A coating process fulfils two basic functions – application and motion – which can be further split into multiple sub-operations. Application implies storing, dosing, heating or cooling, and dispersing the ingredient. Moving the product means creating the right motion to expose it to the ingredient. In addition, post treatment (drying, cooling, freezing and polymerizing) also has a significant influence on the end result.
The coating process is implemented by a complex assembly of dedicated equipment: conveyor, tumbler, feeder, pump, etc. Although base designs readily exist on the market, they often need to be adapted to cope with the required specifications.
The installed process is expected to meet the required quality (function, dosage, homogeneity) and quantity (capacity, saving). Because of the nature of the process, it faces specific challenges in minimising the causes of downtime; e.g. clogging, pollution, cleaning and recipe changeover time.
Please use the contact details or enquiry form below to find out how FCE coating solutions and systems could benefit your operation.