Overview:

yet2 client is seeking novel technologies for seasoning application on fabricated potato chips.

Background:

During the production of fabricated potato chips, the application of seasoning is an important but inefficient process. For a demonstration of how such chips are made, please view this link.

The typical method for the application of seasoning is for the chips to pass through a curtain of falling powder. This system has the undesirable side effect of a portion of the seasoning falling between chips. To counter this inefficiency, this seasoning can be recycled for use during later production runs. Unfortunately, the flow characteristics of the powdered seasoning can be negatively impacted by exposure to air or airborne oil particles, limiting reuse potential.

Additionally, the need for even coverage across individual chip surfaces and consistency between production lanes can be challenging as well.

To improve production efficiency and ensure product quality, this organization seeks the next generation in powder application technologies.

Constraints:

Components must have:

  • “Paradigm shift” from a typical loose powder-based system
  • Must significantly reduce the seasoning loss associated with current method – zero loss goal
  • Have no impact on the quality (e.g. increased sodium levels)
  • Chips must be dry “instantly” after seasoning is applied – they need to stack effectively without chip to chip adhesion

Nice-to-haves:

  • Two-sided application
  • Be applicable to other products
  • No major modifications needed on the line – compatible with existing lines

Possible Solution Areas:

The organization is open (with the exceptions noted below) to all approaches capable of achieving the desire performance including powder or liquid application systems from non-food industries.

Approaches not of interest:

Unless significant advancement has been achieved, the organization is already familiar with the following technologies:

  • Scarf plate
  • Screw feed
  • Belts