Cereals & Snack Foods

Accurate feeding, gentle material handling and highly efficient extrusion

From material transfer of your ingredients, to automatization of your batch weighing process for majors, minors and micros, to extrusion of your snack food or cereals, the Coperion and Coperion K-Tron team can provide the optimal process solution. Coperion K-Tron highly accurate feeders and pneumatic conveying systems are used for the transfer, weighing and feeding to the mixer and/or extrusion steps. Coperion provides snack food and cereal ingredients components that fulfill the highest demands in hygiene, easy cleaning and gentle product handling. Coperion highly efficient, wear-resistant twin screw extruders are used for the production of various cereal and snack food types including cold formed pellets for flaked cereal, puffed cereals, as well as direct expanded and coextruded cereals and snacks.

Products and ingredients may include: flaked cereal, puffed cereals, puffed snacks, pillow snacks, muesli, trail mix or party mix, flatbreads, popcorn, salt and seasonings for coating snack foods, corn meal, grains (including corn, wheat , oats, rice and barley), various nuts, various flours.



  • Complete systems design integration of the cereal or snack food process for one source supply
  • Global systems engineering with extensive application experience
  • Coperion twin screw food extruders supply highest free screw volume to ensure maximum material loading and gentle product handling
  • Innovative custom engineered Coperion rotary valves and diverter valves ensure reliable, long term operation
  • Standard materials of construction on Coperion extruders provide optimal wear resistance on abrasive ingredients used in snack and cereal processing
  • Coperion K-Tron line of feeders and batch weighers provide the highest accuracy to ensure optimal control of ingredient costs
  • Superior global service network to ensure 24-7 support and coverage of your complete cereal and snack food processing line

Vidoe: Extrusion of Direct Expanded Products with Coperion's ZSK Food Extruder

Application Examples

Process diagram for an extruded breakfast cereal application

This application sheet on Extruded Breakfast Cereals defines the steps required in extruded breakfast cereal manufacture, and the  options for various  cereal types.  The completed integrated material handling, feeding and extrusion systems supplied by Coperion and Coperion K-Tron ensure the optimum in accurate, cost efficient and safe process design.

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3D diagram of snack food production plant

This application sheet on Extruded Snack Foods defines the complete snack food extrusion process from raw ingredient receipt to extrusion of final product. Coperion K-Tron pneumatic transfer systems and feeders are used throughout the extruded snack food process to accurately and safely deliver the exact amount of major, minor, and micro ingredients to the process.  Coperion’s food components meet hygienic design demands and are used for gentle product handling.  Finally high efficiency Coperion extruders are used for the production of extruded and co extruded snack products.

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Smart Weigh Belt feeders accurate meter ingredients in a snack mix line

Accurate proportioning and weighing of high value ingredients for snack blends (such as nuts, dried fruit, candy pieces, etc) can save significantly on ingredient costs.  This application sheet defines the manufacturing and packaging processes used by a variety of snack and party mix manufacturers to optimize production.

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Pressure conveying is used to transfer the kernels from a super sack pick-up station to storage tanks

The popcorn processing and packaging industry typically relies on low velocity, dense phase pneumatic conveying to transfer popcorn kernels.  This is primarily due to the friability of the popcorn kernel. If hull damage to the kernel occurs while being pneumatically transported, the internal pressure of the kernel is compromised, and it will not pop.  By combining the respective advantages of both pressure transfer and vacuum sequencing systems, along with some specific design additions to ensure gentle action on the popcorn kernel, the experienced Systems Group at Coperion K-Tron was able to provide an economical and custom designed solution for the transfer of this extremely sensitive product.

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Comprehensive Product Range

Coperion twin screw extruder ZSK 54 Mv diagonal

Food Extruders

Wear-resistant, highly efficient extrusion

The Coperion line of ZSK extruders are designed specifically for processing the often abrasive and aggressive ingredients for cereals and snack foods.  Our high percentage of free screw volume also results in improved feed intake of low bulk density materials like flour and starch.  In addition, significant increases in throughput are realized due to increased speed and machine torque, making the snack food and cereal design extruders more efficient than ever!

The Coperion centric pelletizer ZGF has been used successfully for many years in extrusion plants for the production of directly expanded cereals.

Food Extruders

Feeding Equipment

Highly accurate, gentle feeding

Coperion K-Tron’s line of high accuracy feeding equipment is specifically designed to meter even the most difficult to handle ingredients for snack foods and cereals.  Our weigh belt feeders are ideally designed to meter snacks prior to packaging.  Our screw feeders are available in both single and twin screw design and can handle difficult flowing powders like cheese powders and seasoning blends  at rates from 0.0016 – 45,300 l/hr (.0006 – 1080 cu ft/hr). Finally, our vibratory loss-in-weight feeders offer gentle high accuracy feeding of even the most fragile snack foods.

Volumetric and gravimetric feeders

Material Handling

Hygienic and Reliable Design

Coperion and Coperion K-Tron’s line of rotary and diverter valves, and ancillary material handling components, such as filters, scale hoppers and vacuum receivers are all available in easy clean designs with food safety in mind.  The ZRD and WYK line of valves include  EHEDG and USDA certified versions for ease of cleaning and changeover. The SFR Sanitary Filter Receiver is ideal for conveying of difficult powders like spice blends and snack food blends due to its easy clean design.

Process Equipment

Plants & Systems

High Efficiency to ensure Product and Process safety

Whether it is unloading trucks and railcars via pneumatic transfer (vacuum or pressure, dense or dilute phase), transfer of your snack food and cereal  raw ingredients to blenders or extruders, or extrusion and pelletizing of your cereal and snack food, the system engineers at Coperion and Coperion K-Tron have only the utmost in safety and efficiency in mind. Our  systems designs include the latest in controls and technology innovations for ease in cleaning and product changeover, as well as recording and maintaining your process parameters.

Plants & Systems
Coperion Service


Coperion and Coperion K-Tron offer a comprehensive range of services. Regular inspections by our service technicians e.g. increase the availability of your systems. Possible breakdown risks are detected early and can be avoided.

After Sales Service

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I proportion my cereal or snack food blends or trail mixes?

In the production of multi-component cereal or snack mix blends such as muesli or cereal flake mixtures with oat flakes, raisins, nuts and/or sugar, or trail mix blends with nuts, dried fruit and candies, Coperion K-Tron weigh belt feeders are used to ensure the accurate proportion and desired ratio and rate. The use of these highly accurate devices ensures product quality and has proven to be an added benefit in overall ingredient cost savings. 

Continuous or batch proportioning systems employ component feeding devices appropriate to the individual ingredient handling requirements. Coordinated proportioning is achieved through centralized recipe control or via programmed master/slave relationships between each of the ingredient feeders.

For example, if one ingredient is an extruded breakfast cereal (e.g. corn flakes), the mass flow rate is normally measured by a weigh belt meter and the other ingredients are fed in the correct ratio, as defined by the recipe, onto a belt or vibratory conveyor which is installed after the weigh belt meter. 

If no extruded breakfast cereals are used, all ingredients are fed directly in the correct ratio, as defined by the recipe, onto a belt or vibratory conveyor.

For further information on this proportioning see the Extruded Breakfast Cereal and Metering Ingredients for Snack Mixes application examples listed above.


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Coperion and Coperion K-Tron offer a full range of products and services for process solutions in the food industry

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