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The textruder - ten years on.

The Textruder - Ten Years On

The flexibility of the cooker extruder designated the Textruder has been proved at the test facilities available in the Riso factory just outside Lisbon, where it is supported by the enthusiasm and technical skill of Arno Ell and his brother Werner. It is therefore perhaps surprising that fewer units have been sold on the international market than would have been expected. The principle and the advantages of using contra-rotating conical screws over co- rotating straight twin screws or even single screws are other well known. To achieve the same results without the flexibility it is necessary for straight screws to run at comparatively high speeds causing exceptional wear and high maintenance costs without the standardisation of output which is the hallmark of the Textruder. Of course with straight screws a level of standardisation is achieved by back mixing but this causes both texture and flavour variations when compared with the product emerging from a Textruder, where each pocket of material is entrapped in a single compartment, which ensures that every particle receives identical treatment.

By processing in what to all intents and purposes is a sealed capsule, plus the fact that the important parameters, such as temperature, time and back pressure, are all infinitely variable with precise control, adjustments can be made to achieve optimum end results. This occurs because there are four temperature zones along the barrel, a slow operational speed of not more than 40rpm is used with a controlled back pressure of up to 40bar. Processed material is released from the Textruder into a separate shear head which itself has a temperature control system. The net result is minimum wear on both screws and the barrel itself, coupled with low maintenance costs.

It is true to say that the Textruder remains a constant factor regardless of the type of product to be manufactured; there are only three main parameters to vary, plus the recipe, to change from one type of product to another. This means that when a product variation is required, from a hardware point of view, it is only necessary to change the shear head and die. It takes, say, only an hour to change the equipment from the production of, for example, extruded breakfast cereals to an expanded product or even 'half' products which require subsequent drying and frying.

The following is by no means an exhaustive list of products which can be handled on a Textruder:

- Breakfast cereals, including Corn Flakes, bran strands, puffed rice and puffed corn;

- Half products for drying and frying;

- All forms of puffed snack;

- High sugar and high fat combinations;

- Savoury flat bread from wheat, rye and other cereals;

- Precooking and sterilisation of baby foods and invalid products;

- Dry petfoods and fish pellets.

Those who have attended the seminars in Lisbon will be well aware that the Riso factory produces food products for the Iberian market in the same building as a successful plastics extrusion factory, which produces all types of container for foods and is the leading supplier for the Portuguese market. It is therefore possible to see the conical twin screw corotating system operating on a product for which it was designed.

Of course the exceptional features of the Textruder have allowed it to be used for processing a wide range of animal products, including scraps from poultry and fish which have been transformed into palatable food for dogs and cats. It would be correct to say that had the Textruder been used for processing the wide range of raw materials fed to poultry and other animals over the past years the salmonella scare would have been a non event because when processed under such conditions the end product is sterilised automatically.

A recent development undertaken by Textruder has been its use for the production of extruded Corn Flakes. Before that there was the successful development for the production of oat puffs, puffed rice and bran strands. In every case the main plus point has been the ability of the Textruder to make modest or significant changes to product flavour, nature and texture whilst the system is in operation. It is reasonable to expect that within a short run of, say, 100kg the alteration of individual parameters can take place 6 or 8 times, and production can continue without hindrance to demonstrate the effect even minor changes can have on the end product. Where the parameters are known to production staff, only 2-3kg of feed material will be lost or require reprocessing at the time of start up. There is no loss when the production run stops because the Textruder is self-cleaning and every pocket of material is treated in an identical manner.

What of the future? Undoubtedly Textruder will continue their development work and, generally speaking, they are abreast and sometimes slightly ahead of market requirements. The Textruder philosophy is to find partners in each European country for various segments of the market. This will continue to be the marketing philosophy, which will be supported by the Riso manufacturing facility producing both established and development products in sufficient quantity for test marketing.

In the UK this equipment is marketed by Bramigk Ltd of Towcester Road, Empson Street, London E3, tel: 071-515 6688.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Food Trade Press Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:extrusion machines made by Textruder Engineering AG, Portugal for food industry
Publication:Food Trade Review
Date:Sep 1, 1991
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