Fritsch is working on a filling machine that can pump stiff product like beans into baked goods; a development that could boost sales by 10-15%, its technical head says.
The company exhibited a bakery filling unit at Interpack 2014 last week – Multifiller S – but the company’s senior manager for technical and projects Josef Hoos said Fritsch was in the lab advancing this machine further.
He told BakeryandSnacks.com at the show in Düsseldorf, Germany, that the company was developing a method to enable stiffer product to be pumped through the filling machine. So far, using agitators in the hopper to squeeze material and make it more ‘pumpable’ showed potential.
“It’s at an idea stage, but we’re already experimenting a little bit, doing some trials to see whether it works or not. At the moment it’s really promising,” he said.
Chinese beans and longer shelf-life desires
Most bakery fillings were easy to pump – jam, custard, chocolate, fruit or meat, he said, but there were others that were harder to pump.
“With Chinese beans, it’s a very stiff filling. The beans are a very chewy mass and it’s really difficult to handle but it’s an extremely common bakery filling in China and Japan,” he said. Similarly, most long shelf-life fillings were hard to pump because of the starch content, he added.
Asked how development of such a machine would change business, Hoos said: “It’s more a niche product, but I would say we could increase our sales by 10-15% with this progress.”
Flexibility and increased capacity
Speaking about Fritsch’s latest multifiller unit on display that was launched last year, he said it offered bakers more flexibility because it worked off a monopump system, enabling bakers to operate each pump with different fillings and different mass – spots or stripes.
“Bakers need a high flexibility. They want all types of fillings, from sweet to savory,” he said.
In addition, the machine was easier to take apart and clean, something Joos said was increasingly important for the bakery sector.