A continuous mixing system constantly delivers a consistent flow of product. This is what is called ‘constant consistency’. Each piece of dough has had the same mechanical treatment and age. Traditional dough production, however, often results in undesirable batch to batch dough variations. The age differences between each batch cycle result in quality differences that might be visible throughout the entire production process.
LESS PRODUCT WASTE
One of the advantages of continuous mixing is that it helps reach a consistent finished product weight, size and texture. It allows weighing to be done more accurately. This results in less product waste and a higher yield. Also, food safety is optimized by ensuring dough is never exposed to the environment.
Each piece of dough gets the same (mechanical) treatment. This means the dough temperature is kept consistent at all times. Besides that, Sobatech continuous mixers have a large contact surface with a relatively small amount of dough inside the mixing chamber. This results in efficient cooling or heating by means of a jacketed mixing chamber. Lastly, in case there is a need for extreme high or low product temperature, Sobatech developed their patented HOT&COOL technology. This innovation allows to heat up or cool down the dough at the exact point of friction.
Sobatech constantly measures the energy put into the dough per kilogram (SME). This is an essential objective parameter that Sobatech uses to design their continuous mixers. During trials at the Sobatech testing facility, it is determined whether the product needs low- medium- or high kneading intensity to be correctly developed. This, in combination with the customer’s recipe, form the base for the continuous mixer design.
CONSTANT DOUGH DEVELOPMENT
Every piece of dough going through the continuous mixer has had the same mechanical treatment. Each piece of dough must pass through the entire mixing chamber before it is discharged. Besides that, the mixing chamber has a relatively large contact surface. This results in a constant (gluten) development of the dough.
MAXIMUM WATER ABSORPTION (due to a.o. Sobatech’s homogenizer)
The homogenizer phase (phase 1 mixing) guarantees a high level of water absorption and therefore more moisture in the final dough. In this phase the ingredients are not mixed mechanically, resulting in a homogeneous and consistent flow of dough. The excellent mixing characteristics of this first stage ensures, via a medium pressurized water injection system, a perfect hydration of the flour and a very substantial and homogeneous distribution of the active substances. The seperate ingredients first pass through the homogenizer phase before they enter the actual continuous mixer (the controlled mechanical kneading phase).