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New Baker Perkins cooker to boost energy savings for confectioners

By Helen Glaberson , 23-Mar-2011

Baker Perkins has updated a cooker and depositor so that they reuse otherwise wasted heat to reduce energy needs for confectionery cooking.

The confectionery cooking and depositing equipment supplier is adding new features to its Microfilm cooker and ServoForm depositor, 500 of which are currently installed around the world.

The technology can be used to create high boiled and hard candies and lollipops, soft confectionery, caramel, gums, jellies and fruit pastes.

Keith Graham, marketing manager for Baker Perkins told ConfectioneryNews.com that the two new developments had addressed areas in confectionery processing where there was scope for improvement without affecting the method or end quality of the finished product. This, he said is the biggest challenge the company faces when trying to make energy savings for its customers.

“Every development we look at is judged in this light,” he added.

Graham said the company is expecting to see increased sales of the Microfilm cooker and ServoForm depositor as the importance of energy efficiency to confectionery manufacturers increases.

New method

The previous Microfilm model captured the flash vapour released by the product between the pre- and final-cook stage, releasing it into atmosphere. However, the new machine passes the heat through an exchanger which heats water that can be used in hot water systems or process applications, said the company.

The updated technology also uses the high temperature condensate from the steam heating system for the Microfilm tube to generate flash steam that is used in the syrup pre-cooker. This lowers the steam requirement for the Microfilm cooker and reduces energy losses from the condensate as it returns to the boiler, according to Baker Perkins.

Previous energy savings

In addition to these new developments, Graham said the processes that the company currently uses for cooking and depositing confectionery are highly energy efficient.

“We use a vacuum to lower cooking temperatures and final cooking takes less than 10 seconds, so very little energy is wasted,” he said.

Furthermore, the company’s equipment cooks to final solids so there is no additional energy required for drying, said Graham. A clever mould design is used to ensure that hard candy and lollipops can be cooled under ambient conditions, he added.

The equipment can also be specified with high efficiency motors if required by the customer, he said.

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