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FoodTech Report

Volume 6 Issue 3

Flexibility is secret ingredient
to cost-efficient coating lines

By Frank Paschoalini, Engineering R&D Manager, JBT FoodTech

Fried food

In the past decade, fryers, ovens and freezers have undergone significant technological upgrades. However, coating and breading equipment has remained relatively unchanged. This year, JBT FoodTech bucked that trend with the launch of two coating systems designed for processors that need greater versatility without extended downtime.

The Ultra V™ Coating System is part of a versatile family of coating machines that will be introduced in January 2009, which includes the Ultra V Breader, Ultra V Batter Applicator and Ultra V Mixer. The Ultra V Coating System, in particular, can handle different types of dry coating materials with simple changeover.

The 5-STAR Home Style™ Breader was introduced last year as a separate solution to the product damage that can occur in a rotary drum breader. The linear breading application system features full-belt-width product loading, which eliminates the need to correct product orientation as with a drum breader.

These coating solutions were developed to address specific processor needs — from improving product condition to increasing efficiency. JBT FoodTech drew upon its 50-year heritage as a pioneer in the development of commercial coating machines to help processors meet the increasing demand for breaded products in the foodservice and retail markets.

Less is more when using the Ultra V Coating System

Ultra V breader

The Ultra V Coating System offers processors versatility in coating options with the ability to run bread crumbs and flour with a simple changeover.

Processors running multiple products typically use machines dedicated to flour or more free-flowing coatings, such as bread crumbs. Flour is difficult to move through the coating process because it is heavy, dense and sticks to the machine surface. Alternatively, coarse breading is dry and light, allowing it to flow more easily through a coating application.

Converting the coating line to run a different type of coating requires the processor to switch many parts of the breader, if not the entire breader, which causes a minimum of an hour for the changeover, depending on the resources available. With the Ultra V Coating System, conversion can be completed in 15 minutes to a half hour, mainly because there are very few parts to be changed. The hopper stays in place and other components that are smaller and easier to move are changed instead.

This development gives processors the versatility to use the same coating machine for pre-dusting and the final coat, or to run different recipes on the same line. In the past, processors would achieve this by running one recipe per day, but the Ultra V can run Japanese bread crumbs in the morning and flour in the early afternoon. Less downtime to change coating materials results in higher throughput.

Innovative 5-STAR breader decreases damage

Coating applications run the risk of product damage, mainly because of the fragility of the products being coated, such as formed meat nuggets, fish fillets and sliced vegetables. Even processors coating dense, whole-muscle products such as chicken tenders or chicken wings must take precautions against wasted product.

Rotary drum breaders have long been the simplest solution to achieving the hand-breaded look and taste that make products such as fried chicken popular. But the rotary drum has a high risk of product damage due to the tumbling effect of the drum, and it requires manual sorting because of the bottleneck created at its narrow loading and discharge areas.

The full-belt-width product loading feature on the 5-STAR Home Style Breader allows products to maintain a linear orientation as they receive a top and bottom layer of breading. Products then gently descend through the system’s five star wheels, which simulate the manual breading process without the high risk of product damage. An adjustable discharge belt flip conveyor allows for perfect alignment with the next transfer conveyor, eliminating the need for hand-sorting as the system finishes the breading process.

Home Style Breader
The 5-STAR Home Style Breader was developed to offer processors an alternative to the rotary drum breader. Food products gently descend through the five star-shaped wheels, decreasing product damage. The linear design of the 5-STAR reduces product pile-up from the narrow loading and discharge areas of the drum breader.

Clean Design

The simple designs of the 5-STAR Home Style Breader and Ultra V Coating Line contribute to ease of maintenance and improved sanitation. Both coating systems pay special attention to dust containment to reduce the amount of dust expelled from the machines while in operation. The Ultra V line is also available with an electric drive, which is easier to operate than a hydraulic drive; improves food safety; and reduces installation costs because it does not require the pressurized oil lines.

Robust coating applications can contribute greatly to optimal operation levels. Processors gain a competitive edge through the cost savings that come with limited downtime, increased throughput and maximum production yield.

For more information on coating lines, visit the JBT FoodTech Web site.

Ultra V™, 5-STAR Home Style™ and Stein™ are trademarks of JBT Corporation. ©2008 JBT Corporation. All rights reserved.

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