Taste tests boom as manufacturers seek new high-end flavours

From gourmet popcorn to exotically flavoured crisps; with staying in now the new going out, many more consumers are spending their money on high-end treats instead of splashing out on cinema tickets, fancy meals and concerts.

Spice Application Systems has been busy helping food producers meet that demand at its new trials facility, enabling them to test new flavours and harness the cost-saving benefits of electrostatics.

SAS founder, Peter King, says: “The search is well and truly on for the next big flavours to tempt the lockdown tastebuds and our Oxfordshire laboratory is the perfect place to carry out that essential work in total confidence.

“We’re already working with a number of manufacturers who have been trying out new flavour combinations and they are seeing some amazing results. Not only do products taste better because using electrostatics means the flavouring is more targeted, but with average powder savings of up to 20%, they are achieving major financial savings too.”

The secret to electrostatics is its ability to precisely target spices, oils and flavouring onto a range of foodstuffs – including all shapes, sizes and styles of baked and extruded snacks, as well as popcorn, rice cakes, crisps and biscuits.

It works by fitting an electrostatic spray head onto production line processing equipment. This creates an electrostatic charge which is sprayed onto the oil or powder and, as it becomes negatively charged, it then wraps itself around the base product.

Key benefits include:

  • 98% wraparound coverage guaranteed
  • Dramatic reduction in powder wastage
  • Pinpoint accuracy of quantities used
  • Major cost savings due to less wastage
  • Better tasting product
  • Easy to change between flavours
  • Less dust in the air creates a cleaner working environment
  • Increased efficiency as equipment is easier to clean

The made-to-measure weighing and flavouring system

Flavour and electrostatic application specialist Spice Application Systems (SAS) has developed a new system which gauges exactly the right amount of powder each individual product needs to coat it for optimum taste.

Installing the new Loss and Weight System onto a production line means every item is now weighed before it reaches the flavouring drum, with instructions automatically sent to the screw feeder to increase or decrease the amount of flavouring or seasoning required.

SAS founder Peter King says the system is a “game changer” in helping food processors to cut powder costs.

“Every manufacturer wants optimum product quality at the right price,” he said. “This new system delivers both, giving the user much greater control in terms of how much powder or seasoning they want to apply.

“Each product – for example a potato chip or a piece of confectionery – is weighed as it travels along the non-stick belt into our drum and the amount of flavouring is automatically adjusted, giving processors the confidence that they don’t have to worry if too much or too little is being used.”

SAS is already well-known for pioneering the use of electrostatics within the food processing industry and at its trials laboratory in Oxfordshire it regularly works with top manufacturers to carry out tests and new product development.

King says the facility enables his team to share its extensive knowledge of electrostatics with customers and, because almost all of its equipment is designed and manufactured in the UK, designs can be customised to meet different demands.

SAS powder technology boost for new snack flavours

Innovative powder and oil application technologies developed by UK-based Spice Application Systems (SAS) are leading the way in helping food companies deliver new snack flavours to market.

SAS has been working closely with food processors in Scandinavia and the Middle East as they produce new ranges of energy snacks and vegetable-based snacks.

Both companies are using SAS’s electrostatic systems to ensure they maximise flavour and taste and minimise powder drop-off and wastage.

Peter King, founder of Spice Application Systems, said: “More and more food processors like these are now realising the benefits of electrostatics, which can transform the application of liquids and powders to many different types of snacks and other foodstuffs.

“Working with both companies, we carried out a series of trials and once these were successful, we supplied our complete electrostatic systems, including in-feed trays, screw feeders, drums and our unique electrostatic oil spray heads.

“The feedback from both customers has been excellent and we’re delighted to have played an integral part in helping them get their new products to market.”

In Scandinavia, consumers are now enjoying new-style energy-boosting snacks pumped full of flavour; while in the Middle East, the customer wanted to strengthen the natural flavours of its new mushroom vegetable snacks by adding extra mushroom powders.

SAS’s electrostatic equipment atomises the oils and powders as they are sprayed onto the snack product, creating an electrostatic charge which then ensures an all-over coating, guaranteeing a minimum 98% coverage.

A control panel measures exact quantities of flavouring and helps to ensure consistency.

The system promises to dramatically reduce powder wastage, helping to keep costs down, and it also means any powder residue in the air is minimal, leading to both cleaner equipment and a more pleasurable working environment.

A recognised leader in the development of electrostatics for the food sector, SAS has a portfolio of different spray technologies for different products.

All SAS’s spray heads can be retrofitted onto existing production lines or provided on new equipment.

Food Processing Online – Article April 18

A no-waste flavouring and coating technology

07 April 2018
This article was published in April 2018. You can find the original article here

Food Processing spoke to Judith Hewitt, managing director at Spice Application Systems, a company which offers an interesting product flavouring and coating solution which can offer a host of benefits for food producers.

Q. Could you explain a bit about the electrostatic coating technique and what benefits it can offer in food applications, when compared with more traditional coating solutions?

Electrostatics use the attraction of opposites to great effect. Imagine a food production line – anything from potato or corn snacks to confectionery, cereals, or pet food.

When it’s time to add flavourings and coatings, the electrostatic coating equipment uses an electrode at the tip of an electrostatic spray head or atomizer. As the oils or powders are sprayed onto the base product they move past the electrode, becoming negatively charged and creating an electrostatic field.

The positive and negative effect means the particles will automatically adhere to the ‘grounded’ food items and, due to the electrostatic attraction, spray that would normally be in the air, attaches itself to all sides of the product, creating a true ‘wraparound’ effect.

This solution can help save powder and oil. Most systems simply ‘remain where they touch’ so there’s a great deal of wastage. Because electrostatic adhesion is so precise, all the flavouring and coating ends up on the product, not in the bottom of the drum.

It is also a quicker and more efficient process, using less time and powder, so is also more environmentally-friendly. There are less dusting and misting emissions so workplaces are much cleaner.

Depending on the quantities manufactured, we believe companies can see a return on investment within around four months in terms of savings alone – mainly through less wastage and greater energy efficiency.

The system is also great for coating fragile products. Due to the shape of the tumbling drum, even intricate shapes and sizes will come out the same as they went in.

Q. Is the technology a mature one, might we expect to see any developments in the coming year?

SAS pioneered the use of electrostatics in the food sector and has been a recognised industry leader for well over a decade and we are always working on new and innovative equipment. For example, we are currently working on a new snacking system and exploring new developments in confectionery. There is a trend to move away from sugar so manufacturers want to be able to use different and exciting new flavours to tempt the taste-buds. We offer trials and tasting facilities to help them get the results they want.

Q. Can electrostatic coating systems be retrofitted into existing coating lines?

Yes, you can either retrofit or buy new equipment with the electrostatic elements built in, which is often the most efficient and effective way – especially the system is in the process of being upgraded.

Q. In your four years at SAS have you seen an increase in the use of electrostatic technology in the food industry? If so, in any particular food production sector, and to what do you attribute this?

I’d certainly say that electrostatics continues to make steady inroads. Once manufacturers try it, they don’t want to go back. For example, pop chips are now a staple on supermarket shelves today. Yet, when we started using electrostatics to flavour them, they were a novelty product and we’re proud to have played an important part in helping popularise them.

Another area where we are seeing a real increase is the cheese sector. Shredded cheese is in huge demand, both for use in standalone packets and on food items such as pizzas and pasta dishes. To stop grated cheese sticking together, it needs to be coated with starch powder and this has caused real problems as the dust settles on production lines. Using electrostatics can now almost completely eradicate that problem as it dramatically cuts the amount of powder in the air during the application process and at the same time reduces wastage offering 100% product coating.

Q. Do you see any undiscovered areas in the food industry that could particularly benefit from the use of electrostatic coating technique?

Rather than food-related areas, I would actually say most of the UK food manufacturing industry. It’s astonishing how little enthusiasm there is for change in the UK, it’s very much a question of doing things the same way they have always done. European manufacturers were among the first to see the benefits of the technology but more recently our biggest growth is coming from the Asian and Far East, as well as the Eastern Europe.

New sales rep hits the right notes at SAS 

Spice Application Systems food flavouring equipment specialists appoint new salesperson James Taylor Experienced salesman James Taylor has joined the team at electrostatics expert Spice Application Systems.

With a strong track record in retail and sales management, he has been involved in both the technology and fast food sectors.

His arrival at the Oxfordshire-based company follows soon after SAS’s success at the recent Anuga FoodTec 2018 exhibition in Cologne, Germany, where its stand generated dozens of enquiries.

“I am thrilled to have joined such a dynamic and forward-thinking company,” said James, who has spent his first few weeks on the road with SAS founder Peter King.

“The potential of electrostatics is huge and when you see the benefits it can achieve for customers, the only question is why aren’t more people using it? The feedback has been excellent, and I’m looking forward to visiting many more companies to see the difference that electrostatics is delivering for them.”

Peter King, founder of SAS, said: “We’re on a strong growth curve, we have lots of exciting plans in the pipeline and James’s arrival will help us take best advantage of increasing interest in electrostatics.

“Having worked in the fast food industry, he understands the need for quality and service and he is already proving a valuable addition to the SAS family.”

Away from the office, James enjoys DIY and spending time with his two young sons.

SAS pioneered the use of electrostatics to apply spices and flavourings to a wide range of foodstuffs, including snacks, confectionery and cereals, as well as cheese, frozen foods and meats. It now has customers and distributors worldwide.

For more information email Peter King at peter.king@nullspiceapplications.com.

Spice Application Systems at Anuga Foodtec 2018

Electrostatic flavouring system at Anuga Foodtec 2018Cologne, Germany – March 20-23 Visit SAS in Hall 4.2 Aisle C, No. 056

The countdown is on to Anuga FoodTec 2018, so put a date in your diary to visit Spice Application Systems’ stand at the exhibition and find out more about the latest electrostatic technology now available.

SAS will be showcasing its complete flavouring systems, with key benefits including:

  • non-breakage of fragile products
  • powder efficient applications
  • less wastage
  • unbeatable flavouring techniques

Electrostatic expert and SAS founder, Peter King, will be on hand to discuss how electrostatics can work for you and your range of food products. Email us now to book a dedicated appointment time or simply come along to Hall 4.2 Aisle C, No. 056 and see what we have on show.

Managing Director appointed at Spice Application Systems

Spice Application Systems, (SAS), has appointed Judith Hewitt as Managing Director, to be responsible for the day-to-day running of the business as well as business administration and a company director role.

Judith is a Fellow of the Institute of Administrative Management and has worked at SAS for the past four years as Personal Assistant to the company’s founder Peter King, during which time she has gained an in depth understanding of the electrostatic industry.

Peter King says: “Judith’s background covers a multitude of different business disciplines and her excellent organisations skills, attention to detail and specialist knowledge, means she will continue to be a huge asset to the company.”

Judith looks forward to working alongside Peter to build on the company’s success in China and Southern Asia as well as developing the company’s relationship with their existing European customer base.