An increase in the amount of new product development in Europe and the US was the trigger behind two confectionery machinery launches that provide increased capacity and a greater range of layers, centre-filling and inclusion applications, claims Baker Perkins.
The supplier said that the new ServoForm Gemini Plus is an adaption of its Gemini twin-headed model used for two-component ‘long term’ layered confectionery, with the latest unit’s triple-headed depositor able to produce products that have market appeal based on novel texture and mouth feel such as sweets with hard candy on the top and bottom of a Xylitol layer.
‘Long term’ layering involves a dwell time between each deposit, allowing the first level to partially set before the next one is deposited. This ensures that there is clear separation between deposits giving a true ‘layered’ effect.
This physical separation means that each layer can involve different colours, textures and flavours – contrasting or complementary – with consumers, according to industry analysts, showing strong preference for lemon and lime, sweet and sour, as well as spicy and sweet flavour combinations.
Keith Graham, marketing manager, based at the UK office of the global group, told FoodProductionDaily.com that ongoing consultation with industry prompted the design of the Gemini Plus, with the supplier recognising an industry need for a machine that could offer premium products at very high output rates.
“Innovative lollipop and candy development has been behind the driver behind the recent resurgence in the confectionery sector in the more developed markets and our R&D looked to ensure that the Gemini Plus would ensure highly profitable lines for the big volume producers.
The new unit allows a run of triple layer products at the rate of 7-10,000 pieces per minute,” said Graham.
Baker Perkins is also releasing the twin-headed ServoForm Candy Max onto the market, which, it said, can reach maximum outputs of 1,800 kg/hour and is capable of the same broad product range as the standard ServoForm Candy depositor for both sugar and sugar-free varieties.
Introduced in response to demands from leading confectionery producers for higher productivity from a single line, the supplier said that the Candy Max features two heads which deposit the product into alternate rows of moulds.
Graham said that potentially existing standard ServoForm Candy depositor installations could be adapted to allow for the additional head but that the supplier could encounter problems with the length of the cooling tunnels when doing so.
“However, the current demand in Europe, North America and Asia is for added capacity and not retrofitting so we do not anticipate those types of engineering requests from the market,” he explained.
According to Graham, both machines are easy to clean as the mechanics ensure very little product is left in the depositor head after a run. Additionally they are energy efficient, as all cooling is ambient and the depositor works off a low motor requirement, he said.
Interestingly, the marketing manager notes a levelling off in demand for sugar-free confectionery:
“We sold a lot of equipment a few years ago based on growth in the sugar-free candy category, as well as converting existing cookers to allow for this type of production but we have seen demand levelling off now and see the category as remaining somewhat niche, with nothing near the potential of the sugar-free gum market,” added Graham.