Whether it’s a creamy mousse, a fruity, nutty or exotic filling, a bread spread or aromatic chocolate, increasingly sophisticated recipes and creations are meant to continuously whet the consumer’s appetite anew for chocolate and sweets that contain cocoa. At the same time, profitability and efficiency must add up on the production side, especially for processing essential commodities such as sugar and cocoa. Agitator bead mills from Netzsch set the standard for design and features – and facilitate a variety of applications with just one machine.
Flavour enhancers for chocolate and fillings containing chocolate, sugar, cocoa and milk powder delight the taste-buds, and the lower the processing temperature, the better the taste experience. Generally, temperatures of 50ºC to 75ºC are generated when grinding confectionery masses with traditional agitator bead mills.
In contrast, depending on the application and requirements, agitator bead mills from the Netzsch LME chocolate refiner series operate in the range of 40ºC and are easy on the valuable feedstock – to the benefit of the flavour quality as well as the economic efficiency. In numbers: if the conventional production process for a chocolate mass requires a total of around 250kW hours per ton, for example, a comparable Netzsch plant requires only 140kW hours.
An energetically ingenious design makes the difference
This is based not least on the ingenious design and features of the separator system and grinding media with a bead diameter of only a few millimeters. As a result, the agitator bead mills can achieve an efficient, high throughput even for the fine grinding of sugar, cocoa or milk powder in highly-viscous confectionery masses.
During the grinding process, the DCC separator system mechanically prevents the beads from creating unnecessary frictional pressure at the grinding chamber outlet. Combined with optimised grinding tools, this reduces the energy expenditure by up to 40%, thus considerably lowering the process temperature for the very same production capacity.
Broad range of recipes and products with only one machine
This essential advantage for energy-efficient production is not the only advantage of the Netzsch agitator bead mills. "This concept and design opens not only a broader window of temperatures but a broader range of product properties as well," explains Theron Harbs, managing director of Netzsch Confectionery. With one and the same machine, the user can expand his variety of applications and products with respect to fat content and viscosity. In addition, the mills can be equipped with the Samba pre-grinding system, which increases the hourly output of the LME6, for example, from 20kg/hr to 36kg/hr.
In this way, the most varied recipes can be run and frequent, rapid product changeover cycles are possible – a prerequisite for continuous utilisation during contract production. A manufacturer that produces fillings for waffles today can make chocolaty spreads with the same plant tomorrow. "Thus," stresses Harbs, "manufacturers can meet customer requirements and emerging taste preferences far into the future."
Stable product quality included
The concept of the Netzsch agitator bead mills, optimised for confectionery products in design and features, delivers another advantage in addition to the expanded application range: the risk that high temperatures during the grinding of confectionery masses could result in undesired caramelisation and compromise the quality of the end product, belongs once and for all in the past in a well-run production process. This creates reliability for a consistent flavour profile and ensures stable product quality.
Netzsch Confectionery at Interpack 2014 in Düsseldorf
We will be exhibiting this and other innovations during Interpack 2014 at the exhibition centre in Düsseldorf. You are cordially invited to visit our stand in Hall 03/F28 from 8-14 May. We look forward to seeing you there.