Tetra Pak doubles ice cream production speeds with large-sized inclusions

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18 May 2018 --- Liquid packaging specialists, Tetra Pak, has launched an Extrusion Wheel that produces stick ice cream products with large-sized inclusions, such as whole nuts, real fruit segments, or cookie dough chunks at the highest capacity on the market.

“We have already tested 40 different kinds of inclusions, and we believe the combinations are endless,” Elsebeth Baungaard, Product and Concept Manager for Ice Cream Extrusion at Tetra Pak, tells FoodIngredientsFirst.

“The main benefit of the TetrClick to Enlargea Pak Extrusion Wheel is that it lets customers easily develop new ice cream products with large inclusions at the same capacity and production costs as a traditional extrusion line,” says Baungaard.

The Extrusion Wheel, which can be added to existing lines, moves continuously at a synchronized speed to the line, to produce up to 12,000 products per hour per lane, double the capacity of what is currently available.

“Our solution is completely new,” claims Baungaard. “It adds a vertical rotating wheel with a cavity system – combined with a clever stick-placement function at the start of the process – to a traditional extrusion line. This solves the challenge of cutting through large inclusions without damaging the smooth ice cream surface, or nudging sticks and inclusions out of position.”

“Our solution also eliminates the need for nitrogen-based cooling, which is much more costly and complex. Instead, the ice cream products are extruded into cooled cavities in a vertical rotating wheel on an extrusion Click to Enlargeline. This saves on the cost of a nitrogen set-up, saves on time lost when required to stop and thaw the equipment (which is not necessary with our solution) and makes work simpler and safer for operators.”

The new equipment reverses the traditional method of stick ice cream production: rather than inserting the stick into the ice cream at the end of production, it is there from the start, so the ice cream with large inclusions is then filled around it. This maintains the position of the stick as well as the integrity of the inclusions – which can be up to 25mm in diameter. The wheel design includes molding cavities that also ensure uniform product shapes, and a smooth surface every time.

“Since the wheel is positioned very near to the trays, the products are not dropped but rather laid gently on the tray.  Since the trays are cold, the products do not slide out of position. So positioning on the tray – as well as line performance – is very accurate with minimal waste.”

“Our patented new extrusion wheel is placed on the worktable of our extrusion lines – it enables customers to quickly and easily create new products with large inclusions on existing equipment. The equipment runs continuously, without the need for operators to monitor or adjust during production,” adds Baungaard.

Elsebeth Baungaard speaks in more depth about thClick to Enlargee Extrusion Wheel’s capabilities in an expert video.

Paal Otto Hennig-Olsen from ice cream producer Hennig Olsen Iskrem says, “As an ice cream producer focused on innovation, the Tetra Pak Extrusion Wheel allows us to be more responsive to fast-growing consumer trends for novel and high-quality products. The flexibility to adjust production capacity and adapt recipes to meet tastes and flavor preferences in different markets has also helped give us a competitive advantage.”

By Joshua Poole

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