Electrostatics – the simple solution for complicated snacks

Visit Spice Application Systems at Snackex 2011 on stand number 407

The drive for greater innovation in the snack market is creating problems for manufacturers when it comes to flavour application, according to one industry expert.

Peter King, managing director of UK-based Spice Application Systems (SAS), says the number of enquiries he receives from pasta snack manufacturers is increasingly focused on the need to find a solution to ensure flavours and powders stick to ever more complicated pasta shapes.

“Traditional ‘stick where they touch’ methods of flavour application simply don’t work well with some of the new pasta shapes which we are seeing coming onto the market or at development stage,” he said.

“As a result, product quality is suffering because customers aren’t enjoying an all-round flavour experience and production costs are increasing because manufacturers are seeing much higher fall-off of powders, which creates expensive wastage.”

He believes that the benefits and cost savings demonstrated by the use of electrostatics to apply flavourings and coatings can solve both problems in one easy step. And he says more and more manufacturers are coming round to the idea – his order book has doubled over the last 12 months and SAS now has more than 1,100 units on production lines around the world.

“Electrostatics has come of age and is demonstrating what a superb technology it really is,” he said. “We have proved time and again that it saves money by reducing wastage, provides pinpoint accuracy of quantities, improves production rates because of less downtime for cleaning, and importantly, it produces a much more consistent end product for the consumer.”

The technology works by applying a static charge to powders or flavourings as they are sprayed onto the snacks during the production line process. As these become ‘negatively’ charged, they automatically stick to the ‘positive’ base product – such as the pasta snack – creating a true wraparound effect.

Another added benefit is that the electrostatic spray heads, available to suit a range of different powder and oil applications, can either be retrofitted onto existing production lines or purchased as a complete new unit.

SAS will be showcasing its latest equipment at Snackex 2011, in Barcelona, where King will be on hand to talk about the benefits which can be achieved.

“We expect Snackex 2011 to be a great opportunity for us to further boost our business and spread the word that electrostatics really does make a difference. I’ll be extremely happy to talk to any manufacturers who want to discuss the difficulties they are having with flavour application,” he added.

SAS’s success within the overseas market was marked recently when the company was named a top six finalist in the Thames Valley Export Award, sponsored by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) South East.

For more information, visit www.spiceapplications.com.