Hard candies need constant transportation, with that being said how are conveyors becoming more robust, sustainable and how does this impact on hard candy production.
Every food product, especially those on the confectionery line, spend the majority of their time on some form of belt and conveyor. This is because conveyor belts promote more of a hygienic and faster method of food handling and transportation. At the end of the production line, conveyors are constantly used to ensure that the final product is directed and sent towards the correct areas to be packaged. Conveyor systems and belts are continuing to adapt depending on various manufacturer desires, changing food laws and governmental requirements. A growing trend with conveyor systems in recent years has revolved around energy efficient and sustainable practices. Subsequently, this exclusive feature wishes to assess the growth in robust, energy efficient and sustainable conveyor belt machines, why this growth is occurring and how this correlates particularly to the manufacturing of hard candies.
An overview of conveyors and hard candy
As reiterated in previous editions of International Confectionery, a conveyor system is a common piece of mechanical handling equipment that moves materials from one location to another. Conveyor systems are useful when it comes to transporting bulk, heavy, and a vast array of materials. Conveyor systems have been adopted by the majority of corporate global industries because they are incredibly fast and efficient. The food industry is one of the main industries that has adopted conveyors with a plethora of “food conveyors”, available on the market. Food conveyors move food and organic materials safely and quickly. Conveyors are much more manageable when it comes to hygiene, which is important when it comes to following food hygiene and safety standards. Food conveyors cover a wide variety of systems ranging from rollers, belts and dumpers.
As noted by The Food Machinery Company, “Food conveyors are the pipes which connect your network of machines, from the weighers to the processing machinery and packagers, and keep production going at a steady rate”. Typically, most conveyors work by having belts that form a closed loop around the pulley so it can continuously rotate, allowing the stretch belt attached to the conveyor to move. The belt is stretched across two or more pulleys that also aid in the belt’s movement. One pulley, known as the drive pulley, drives or tows the belt, moving items from one location to another.
Depending on the type of food product being handled, there may be various conveyor systems that might be needed. Particularly in the hard candies sector, there are various chambers that the confectionery item must enter to ensure that the item has the correct flavour and temperature setting to ensure that the candy is set and structured effectively. This is shown through the fact that hard candies require a cooling conveyor. A cooling conveyor transports the hard candies into a chamber that reduces the temperature and humidity of the hard candies surrounding the environment. This will ensure that the candies are set quickly meaning that their shape will be retained – without the cooling chamber the hard candies may be susceptible to losing their structure creating uneven products. An example of this is shown through the iSweetech toffee confectionery production line. Their KD300 Cooling tunnel is believed to cool and transport toffee in a speedy and productive manner. This showcases how in the hard candy sector; the conveyor system is a paramount tool. Hard candy is very temperamental in nature as it can be affected by the smallest of variable changes. Therefore, hard candies need to be handled fairly quickly throughout their cooking, depositing and packaging production process. Consequently, conveyor systems are required to ensure that candies are transported at a fast rate.
Having established the importance of conveyor systems in the food and hard candy sector, it is time to recognise the various growth and development occurring in the conveyor sector.
Read more of the latest industry news and developments here: April 2022 Single Issue form – International Confectionery Magazine (in-confectionery.com)
Editor, International Confectionery
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