Exploring the world of caramel cooking machinery
26 October 2023
Author: Lee Fish, Technical Sales & Process Engineer (Confectionery)
Caramel, is a confectionery product made by heating sugar to the point of caramelisation. Whether in the form of sauces and syrups or chewy caramels, the versatile nature of this sweet treat lends itself to a range of creations. It can serve as a filling or topping in pudding, desserts or to enjoy just on its own.
In this blog post we look at how the versatility of BCH’s machinery can mirror the adaptability of caramel itself. During National Caramel Month this October, we’ll explore the various ways we work with our customers to tailor solutions uniquely suited to their needs, ensuring consistency and repeatability in their caramel production process.
Types of caramel cooking machinery
Since BCH’s beginnings, caramel production has changed drastically. Today, our machines and processes offer a variety of options that not only enhance product quality but also enable prolonged production runs without the need for frequent cleaning.
Low Type Mixer – Caramel Cooker
Crafting high-quality caramel in a batch production is often a challenge for numerous food and confectionery manufacturers. A considerable number of batches often fall short in terms of consistency or visual appeal.
The ‘Low Type Mixer’ by BCH has been acknowledged as an industry standard for batch production, with customers emphasising how essential this machine is for making superior products.
Ideal for caramel production where a specific look is needed, the ‘Low Type’ Cooker by BCH has an impressive capacity of up to 500 Litres, making it perfect for producing large batches of caramel. Constructed from stainless steel, featuring robust hinged scrapers and a steam heating jacket, capable of withstanding pressures of up to 10 Bar G, this machine is engineered using quality materials for an extended lifespan.
The tilting bowl function, combined with the tilt-out contra-rotating agitator drive, creates an easier process of transferring product, cleaning, and maintenance, ensuring maximum efficiency and ease of use.
BCH’s cutting-edge extrusion technology can be incorporated to facilitate the manufacture of both fudge and caramel products. With a specially designed flow dividing extrusion manifold,
themachine has the capability to extrude a number of ropes across the width with precise weight control of each individual rope. These can then be easily cut to the desired length, whether for crafting small toffee pieces, fingers or as part of a multi-layered bar.
The extruders’ ability to eliminate messy slitting operations, sets it apart from traditional slab-forming lines, allowing the manufacturing process to be efficient and precise.
Frequently used in the confectionery production process, a BCH cooling tunnel is designed for efficient cooling and conditioning of a diverse range of products. Using high velocity air cooling along with a water-cooled table, where required, ensures parallel cooling from both above and below the belt.
BCH cooling tunnels are available in a range of lengths and belt widths to suit individual process requirements. Their hygienic design not only facilitates ease of access but also simplifies the cleaning process, ensuring optimal operational standards.
Caramel batch cooker
With options ranging from 50 to 500kg, the caramel batch cooker is the perfect addition to any caramel production line. Featuring a low-type mixer design, a two-speed agitator, and a contra-rotating agitator, this machine excels at ensuring thorough and precise cooking of the caramel product.
Integrated with vacuum evaporation and cooling technology, this can significantly improve the production process once the caramel product reaches an ideal consistency. This means that the caramel can be packaged, ready for sale, immediately after production, enhancing efficiency and time-to-market.
When it comes to creating smaller caramel pieces, the range of BCH guillotines provides the ideal solution. Machines are available with conventional stainless-steel blades or ultrasonic for soft and/or sticky products, all without the product adhering to the blade and reducing crumbling, particularly important in biscuit production.
The adaptability of BCH guillotines is a standout feature, with the capability for modifications to meet specific user requirements, ensuring a tailored experience. User-friendly design not only simplifies operation but also improves the cleaning process after each production run is completed.
BCH guillotines are equipped with servo driven cutting systems for precise cut length control. A cut frequency of up to 500 cuts per minute for conventional machines and 200 cuts per minute for ultrasonic machines. BCH guillotines are not only labour saving, but also allows for larger batch sizes. Belt speed and cut length can all be adjusted using the HMI, even during production, adding to its efficiency and versatility.
Continuous caramel production plant
A groundbreaking design in the BCH caramel production machinery list, this plant has the flexibility to produce caramel at variable rates, aligning with the specific process type and speed requirements.
Employing a well-thought-out sequence, starting with a system for ingredient mixing and blending, followed by passage through a Viscotator for optimal consistency. The introduction of browning tubes allows sufficient residence time for precise colour control of the caramel.
The product then progresses to a MaxiVap vacuum evaporator which facilitates precise control of final sugar solids of the caramel. supplementary equipment can be integrated, catering to specific needs, or the product can proceed directly to the production lines.
One remarkable feature of this continuous system is its endurance, capable of running non-stop for up to 14 days before necessitating cleaning, which translates to increased product output and reduced disruptions. Additionally, each continuous plant is meticulously designed to minimise burn-on, ensuring that fewer wasteful batches are produced.