Food and Beverage
Seasoning and coating
Seasoning and coating are necessary processes in the food industry. Seasoning the food products with spices, oil, or various ingredients that add more flavor, is part of the product development process. This ensures that the aroma is being brought to the end product, making the taste more appetizing to consumers.
Food coating, on the other hand, is the process of applying a powder or a liquid over a comestible product. The effect of coating ingredients is to convey layers on a particular product, to enhance its properties. Moreover, coating can also be applied by spraying oil, or lubricant (e.g.: for the process of conveyor belt lubrication).
The objective of coating is to enhance the visual aspects and palatability (the taste quality) of the food products. Thus, following coating process assist in realizing the objective:
- Color addition;
- Change of the surface aspects;
- Addition or change of flavors or textures.
The process of coating
There are 4 steps within the process of coating.
The first step is the coating application. Automation and quantity measuring are critical factors for both seasoning and coating. For the coating layer to stick to the coated product, and adhesion to occur, a certain compatibility between the product and the coating ingredients must exist.
However, if a liquid is sprayed, the coated droplets will form a unified layer (Coalescence). In this step, it is imperative to consider the sprayed ingredients’ viscosity and the surface tension. Lastly, to stabilize the coating, various processes can be implemented, such as: crystallization, thermal treatment, or solvent elimination.
Besides the 4 steps, there are additional flows that aid the coating process. Air blowing can be used to carry the product or the coating ingredients, for drying purposes, or to create energy in a mechanical (agitation) or thermal form.
Seasoning and coating solutions
Manual operation of seasoning and coating, or the selection of improper equipment, can create certain operating issues, such as:
- Uneven and infrequent seasoning or coating;
- The products can break;
- Clogging of spraying systems;
- Products congestion;
- Airborne pollution;
However, selecting and implementing the optimal spraying nozzles and system can assist with the delivery of a more efficient and effective process. Moreover, they can resolve or reduce the possibility of the above-mentioned issues from occurring. Thus, IKEUCHI provides the following seasoning and coating spraying solutions:
- Seasoning and coating can be sprayed at an even and constant rate;
- Spraying a fine-atomized oil as a thin layer on the steel plates;
- Spraying lubricant on the conveyor belts without splashing.