The growth of specialty artisanal foods with unique taste combinations has led to the increased use of inclusions in a variety of products. Inclusions are officially defined as food ingredients formulated to deliver a range of properties to the finished food product, including taste, texture, color and even added nutritional value. Inclusions can range from confetti in cake mixes to chocolate chips and nuts in confectionary products, or from bacon or dehydrated meat to chopped vegetables in snack foods. The growth of the plant protein market has also paved the way for the addition of nuts to many products, thus contributing a significant source of plant protein as well as the addition of crunch and color.
Inclusions can add not only texture, flavor and nutritional value, they can also be used to add moisture. Dried mushrooms, for example are often used in sauces and soups or fillings to absorb moisture and help ingredient binding properties.
Many of these specialty inclusions are also high in ingredient cost. For this reason, it is imperative that the method of delivery to the process below be extremely accurate and controlled, so that overfeeding is not experienced and control of these added costs can be maintained.
The use of Coperion K-Tron loss-in-weight (LIW) feeders for the accurate addition of inclusions to the process ensures a consistent flow of these high value ingredients, and more importantly, a higher control of ingredient costs. This application sheet focuses on the use of the new Coperion K-Tron LIW vibratory feeders for a wide assortment of inclusion materials.