ZSK Food Extruder in Hybrid Version – For TVP and HMMA

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Highly Flexible Technology for the Production of Plant-Based Proteins

Coperion’s ZSK Food Extruder in Hybrid Version offers manufacturers of meat substitutues the benefit of rapid switching between TVP (Texturized Vegetable Proteins) and HMMA (High Moisture Meat Analogues) production. The system provides maximum flexibility to be able to profitably react to changing market demands for meat analogues, even on short notice.

Both processes use the same ZSK Food Extruder, but final product structure is achieved either via the ZGF centric pelletizer for TVP or a cooling die for HMMA.

Using an adapter solution, the ZSK Food Exutruder’s discharge can be changed over from the ZGF centric pelletizer to a cooling die in as little as one to two hours. The same principle functions just as quickly in reverse when performing product changeovers from an HMMA process to TVP. The machine’s operator personnel can perform the changeover without support from an electrician.

Cleaning of the ZSK Food Extruder in Hybrid Version is important when switching plant-based protein products due to the risk of contamination. The ZSK’s twin screws have a self-cleaning profile. The screws are intermeshing and self-wiping. Therefore, there are no stagnant zones over the whole length of the process section.

ZSK Food Extruders in Hybrid Version are most useful for small to mid-scale operations, research units and start-ups in particular as they offer an ideal opportunity to enter the rapidly growing market for plant-based products. Until now, different extrusion lines were required for the production of TPV and HMMA - and thus high investments. With the ZSK Food Extruder in Hybrid Version TVP and HMMA can be produced with just one production line.

Coperion Whitepaper on Plant-Based Protein Processing

WHITEPAPER:
PRODUCTION OF PLANT-BASED MEAT SUBSTITUTES

We have compiled valuable know-how and helpful tips on all aspects of TVP and HMMA production for you in this whitepaper.
Download

Coperion's process for the production of TVP and HMMA on one extruder
Coperion's ZSK Food Extruder in Hybrid Version allows flexible changes between TVP and HMMA production.

Rapid switching between TVP and HMMA production

Even though TVP and HMMA both use an extrusion system, the process conditions vary significantly. In addition the extruder discharge must be changed when switching between TVP and HMMA: While the ZGF centric pelletizer is attached to the process section for manufacturing TVP in order to cut the product directly at the nozzle plate, HMMA is discharged using a cooling die which produces a product strand exhibiting a texture closely resembling that of genuine meat.

Coperion’s ZSK Food Extruders in Hybrid Version take all these differences into account and enable the production of TVP and HMMA on one and the same line.

Using an adapter solution, the ZSK Food Extruder’s discharge can be changed over from a ZGF to a cooling die. The machine’s operator personnel can perform the changeover; no electrician is needed. The process set-up, including material transfer, feeding and the ZSK Food Extruder’s process section, remains unchanged. In combination with the self-cleaning profile of the extruder’s twin screws, product conversion is completed in shortest time.

The ZGF is first opened and moved to the side. Next, after the nozzle plate is opened by loosening a few screws; the nozzle is switched using the adapter, and the cooling die is flanged. The same principle functions just as quickly in reverse when performing product changeovers from an HMMA process to TVP.

Coperion ZSK Food Extruder in Hybrid Version for fast switch from TVP to HMMA
Adapter solution of Coperion's ZSK Food Extruder in Hybrid Version allows fast switching from cooling die for HMMA to ZGF centric pelletizer for TVP production.
ZSK Food Extruder in Hybrid Version for TVP and HMMA Production
For the production of TVP the ZGF centric pelletizer is attached to the ZSK Food Extruder. This configuration can rapidly be switched to a cooling die for the production of HMMA.
Coperion Texturized Vegetable Proteins (TVP)

TVP Extrusion

TVP is used both as a meat substitute and as a supplement to meat products. It can be produced in various sizes and forms, as smaller pellets or larger chunks, broken down or ground. TVP is a dry, expanded product with a long shelf life under normal ambient conditions. TVP requires rehydration in water/liquid before use.

Several actions take place within the ZSK Food Extruder for TVP production. First, the raw materials are mixed to form a homogenous melt. Then there is the kneading or plasticizing step and finally, denaturation, where the protein molecules unfold and reform in the required structure for the specific product design.

The melt is heated by dissipation. This means that the mechanical energy introduced by the rotation of the extruder screws is converted to thermal energy. Additional thermal energy required can be brought in via heated barrels.

The TVP product exits the ZSK Food Extruder through a die plate which aligns the product fibers. The die plate provides back pressure on the extruder, which is necessary for the energy transfer within the extruder itself. When the material passes through the holes of the die plate, the pressure drop results in a release of water vapor, causing the material's expansion into a porous, foamy structure. The product then passes the ZGF centric pelletizer which cuts the melt strands into granules. These granules then finally to be dried for stable long-term storage.

Coperion High Moisture Meat Analogue (HMMA)

HMMA Extrusion

HMMA is primarily used as a high-quality meat-analogue product in ready-to-eat meals. By adjusting recipe and process parameters, structures of different meat types can be replicated with striking similarity to the original. HMMA’s moisture content lies between approximately 50-80% and must therefore be refrigerated.

Protein sources used to manufacture high-quality HMMA are primarily legumes such as soy, lupine or pea. In certain cases, i.e., when manufacturing meat product extenders, lesser quantities of genuine meat or fish products are added.

For HMMA extrusion similar actions take place within the ZSK Food Extruder as for the extrusion of TVP. However, water content necessary for HMMA products is higher than for TVP. Protein molecules denature and unfold. Protein agglomerates are separated.

At the end of the extrusion process, a cooling die cools the product down and forces it into a laminar flow. The product exits the cooling die as a rubbery strand or ribbon, which is conveyed to further processing. Transformation to solid-phase happens as fibers are built through freezing the laminar flow profile into meat-like structures.

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