PET Food Processing - September 2020 - 44

Ingredient portion
control requires
flexibility for
multiple formulas
and accuracy to
mitigate risks, create
repeatable results
and ensure finished
product quality.
KSE Process Technology B.V.

the ability to work within tighter portioning parameters
for the lifetime of the equipment, not just when it's new."
Because of the many textures and forms in pet food
products and treats, manufacturers offer a variety of
equipment choices for effective portioning. One of
the most common pieces of equipment being a rotary
moulder with the ability to produce three-dimensional
treats shaped by the cavities in the die. In addition to
its rotary moulder, Reading Bakery Systems (RBS),
Robesonia, Penn., supplies other portioning machines.
Focusing on the production of two-dough products
such as peanut butter treats, the company's low-pressure
extruder can also be used to sheet products. Wirecut
machines uniformly cut individual shapes by an adjustable wireframe assembly and produce shaped products
of a softer texture and higher water percentage.

Creating consistency
Because portioning technology can have various levels
of impact on finished product quality, meticulous controls must be in place. Factors influencing the quality
of finished products include formulation, quality and
quantities of ingredients used, attention to standard
operating procedures (SOPs), time and temperature
process controls, as well as the intensity of the machinery during processing that the product can withstand,
according to Jeff Zeak, application specialist, Reiser,
Canton, Mass.
Inconsistencies of the mix can impact the weight and
shape of the product and the ability to obtain an even
bake, creating significant deviation in the quality of the
final product. Another impact to product quality can
occur through friction, which causes product degradation. The hygienic design and servo-controlled precision
of the Handtmann VF 800 with its adjustable vane cell
feed system creates less of the product-to-surface contact that smears and degrades product, according to
McGady. The company's automated monitoring of critical feed system parameters provides a protective layer of

44

PET FOOD PROCESSING | September 2020 | www.petfoodprocessing.net

safety that reduces risk and ensures consistent operation
within product specifications.
Having additional safety measures in place is especially important when working with essential nutrients such
as vitamin D. Although critical for bone development,
heart functions, skin and coat health, vision, kidney
function and immune system health, an overdose can be
toxic or even fatal to an animal. Karen Neola, pack lead,
My Perfect Pet, Poway, Calif., cautions portion control
equipment for fresh, whole ingredients may not have
the same level of sophistication, making precision critical to ensure perfect nutrient ratios. Tight controls on
processes are necessary to ensure the finished product is
safe and to avoid product recalls as a result of potentially
dangerous levels of vitamins and minerals due to malfunctioning equipment, Neola added.
For finished product, when planning the final packaging portion sizes, it's important to involve a packaging supplier early in the process, advised Bill Kuecker,
vice president of marketing, Mondi Consumer Flexibles,
Jackson, Mo.
"Early engagement with a packaging supplier can help
ensure compatibility between fill/portioning equipment
and your packaging approach," Kuecker continued.
"Partners with deep technical resources will supply samples, trial materials and useful input into the machine
design process itself."

Minimizing waste
Maintaining quality also means considering how to reduce unnecessary waste, a hot topic dovetailing with sustainability goals for consumers and manufacturers alike.
Portioning technology can minimize waste on multiple
levels from the amount of product giveaway to improved
weight control standards. Controls on portioning technology reduce the time needed to rework product due
to underweight portions that may be rejected at the process control weight check device.
Incorrect portioning might also translate into the


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PET Food Processing - September 2020

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