Advances in packaging materials continue to extend shelf life, while adding convenience and freshness to bakery and snack goods. Innovations in modified-atmosphere packaging (MAP), microbial-inhibiting film, and the use of cellulose nanocrystals are helping to push the envelope.
Bakeries and snack makers in the market for ovens, proofers, fryers, and dryers have a healthy list of features and benefits in mind. These include capabilities for customization and flexibility, reliability and consistency, temperature control, faster processing times and continuous production, and automation that operators can control and monitor remotely.
The nature of snack and bakery operations poses challenges to manufacturers of robotics equipment. Space is an issue. Also, the equipment must be able to handle a wide range of products of different shapes and sizes at high speeds while not damaging the goods.
Snack and bakery customers in the market for dough-handling equipment like dividers, depositors, and rounders are looking for versatility, greater precision, higher capacity, longer maintenance intervals, adjustability of qualities like width and weight, and machines that can handle natural, clean-label, and gluten-free products.
A desire for sustainability is one of the key factors driving the latest packaging innovations in baggers, closing equipment, twist ties, clips, zippers, resealable materials, heat sealing, and ultrasonic sealing.
Manufacturers and researchers worldwide are striving to develop new ways to keep snack and bakery products safe and fresh over the course of their intended shelf life.
Flexibility, greater sanitation, gentle handling of ingredients, quicker changeovers, more precise weight control, and the ability to make products with healthier ingredients are top of mind features and benefits for snack and bakery customers of extrusion equipment and technology.
Customers of ingredient handling equipment are focused on a wide mix of factors to come up with their optimal formulation. These include accuracy, traceability, food safety, automation, cleanability, efficiency, flexibility, batch quality and fire safety, manufacturers say.
The latest product handling equipment, cartoners, case erectors and packers, loaders and palletizers, features maximum flexibility in terms of product handling and packaging styles, which is good news for bakery and snack producers.
Snack and bakery industry customers want belts and conveyors that are fast and easy to clean, maximize energy efficiency, offer strength and durability, require as few tools as possible, and provide flexibility to either switch out products and/or run multiple products at once.