Sobatech proclaims to be the specialist in creating homogeneous food products; but what is dough homogeneity and how do we measure it?
Evidently, there are multiple ways to measure dough homogeneity. During trials at Sobatech’s testing facility, we sometimes simply dose a few drops of liquid coloring into the dough to see how the coloring diffuses into the product. Please see below pictures for some of the results.
Visual check – oval glasses
Another way to measure dough homogeneity is to take a small amount of product and put it in between two oval glasses. The dough is pressed in between the glasses and hold against bright day-light. This allows to closely analyze the mass, its texture and possible lumps or other inconsistencies. To show you the effectiveness of this measure – we executed a small experiment. A liquid dough consisting of water and a premix of solids was created. Thereafter, we treated the dough with three separate mechanical forces:
- 10 minutes on a spiral batch mixer
- A pass through a Sobatech continuous mixer including low shear tooling
- A pass through a Sobatech continuous mixer including wing-shaped tooling (high shear)
Please see below pictures for the results.
The darker spots show lumps of product and/or other inconsistencies.
This picture shows less darker spots and/or inconsistencies compared to picture 1.
This picture shows limited to no inconsistencies.
Conclusion – it is all about shear force
All in all, it can be concluded that the best blender is actually a kneader. Put differently, dough homogeneity is all about shear force. Shear is needed in order to disclose lumps (pieces of flour capsulized by liquid ingredients). For exactly that reason, Sobatech designed a new type of (extreme high shear) tooling. This tooling is called the wing-shaped tool and is all about maximizing shear force. This mixing tool design, in combination with the fact that a continuous mixer has a relatively large contact surface, results in a remarkable shear force.
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