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Using the Right Coating Technology for the Desired End Product

Gabler Engineering Joins Coperion: Stronger Together

In 2022, Coperion acquired German food and pharma specialist GABLER Engineering. Together, both companies now offer an extensive portfolio and additional services for new and existing customers.

For over 115 years, Gabler Engineering has represented the perfect combination of experience and innovation, offering comprehensive solutions for the development, construction and manufacture of complex, tailor-made processing systems for the confectionary and pharma industries. Innovative technology and highly flexible machinery such as extruders, molding lines, coating machines or spraying systems are all part of Gabler’s portfolio. The flexibility of the manufacturing process ensures that every system can be individually modified to the customer’s requirements. Gabler systems represent high quality, reliability, and safety.

Alongside solutions for chewing gum manufacturing, another company emphasis is dragee manufacturing. Among the end products in the confectionery sector are soft and hard candy coatings as well as chocolate-coated products.

Dragee Manufacturing

To ensure that the end product’s taste matches customer expectations, various manufacturing steps and necessary expertise in the appropriate process is required.

Dragee manufacturing at the desired end product quality requires several synchronized process stages. The first stage results in isolation/covering: Among other things, the core is mechanically reinforced in order to avoid issues such as moisture penetrating the core. Likewise, a potentially bad original taste can be isolated. To achieve this end, a liquid solution, such as a starch solution, is applied to the core. Following that, powder such as starch or powdered sugar is dusted across the surface to dry it.

In the next production step, the coating layer — either soft sugar, hard sugar, or chocolate — is applied to the core, occurring in several stages. For hard sugar or suspension coating, a layer of sugar solution is applied to the core and the surface is dried with warm or cold dry air. The coating can require up to 100 layers, depending upon the desired thickness.

For soft sugar coating, a glucose/sugar solution is applied to the core and the surface is then dusted with crystallized or powdered sugar to dry the surface. This procedure may be repeated up to 20 times in order to achieve the desired coating thickness.

For chocolate coating, a chocolate or fat mass is applied to the core and the surface is hardened with cold, dry air. This manufacturing stage also takes place in several steps until the desired coating thickness is achieved. Following the coating process, the finished lozenges are overlaid with a glazing agent such as one of various waxes, and finally sealed with a solution.

The right equipment for high end product quality

Gabler offers semi- and fully automatic coating systems, from laboratory scale up to production lines. The latter can achieve throughputs of up to 500 kg or 700 liters per batch (1100 lb or 450 gallons). These systems enable flexible, rapid processes as well as simple, quick cleaning. Moreover, each individual step is synchronized with the others. Gabler’s systems offer the advantage that their machines can be implemented flexibly for different types of dragees; depending upon production, differently coated end products can be manufactured on the same line.  What’s more, recipe control is integrated into the fully automatic coating system, enabling a fully automated, documentable process.

To achieve the desired end product, a number of questions must be clarified at the outset, including analysis of the core: if its constitution is brittle or temperature sensitive, appropriate measures must be taken to protect the core. Further issues involve the viscosity and composition of the spray medium if two components (fluid and powder) are to be used.  

With years of experience in the field of coating technology and its process, Gabler can deliver just the right machine for every individual customer requirement. Comprehensive testing in which different procedures and the addition of excipients can be tested, enable the company to find the right solution for every process. Fast solutions, flexible production machine design, and comprehensive expertise make Gabler systems the ideal choice for manufacturing dragees. 

Your Contact

  • Patrick Gabler

    Sales Director Gabler Engineering

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