Tetra Pak has manufactured an innovative extrusion wheel which is capable of producing stick ice cream products with large inclusions, such as cookie dough pieces, nuts and fruit.
The Tetra Pak Extrusion Wheel was created following a four-year development process, and Tetra Pak claims that the new wheel is capable of producing 12,000 ice cream products per lane every hour, which the company claims is double the capacity of any extrusion line currently on the market.
Tetra Pak’s Extrusion Wheels are currently only compatible with Tetra Pak production lines, and up to four wheels can be fitted on a single production line.
The constantly rotating wheel includes moulded cavities where a stick is pre-inserted, then ice cream containing inclusions is injected into the mould around the stick, meaning the inclusions are not damaged, are evenly spread and the position of the stick remains the same.
The wheel is also very energy efficient as no liquid nitrogen is needed to cool the ice cream, as the ice cream is directly injected into the mould before being pushed from the cavities by continuous piston movement.
Both the stick-first placement and the constantly-operating pistons are currently patent pending.
To ensure minimal food wastage in the production process, the wheel gently places the ice cream products onto the production line rather than dropping them, and Tetra Pak claims that this process drastically reduces food wastage.
Elsebeth Baungaard, Tetra Pak product and concept manager said: “The ice cream market is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 3.8% in value, and 2.2% in volume between 2017 and 2022, mainly driven by premium single-serve ice cream products with new flavours and recipes.
“We look forward to seeing how our new extrusion wheel helps customers create novel and exciting products on their existing lines, with flexible capacity and the highest quality, all at the lowest cost per product in the industry.”
Paal Otto Hennig-Olsen, president of ice cream producer Hennig Olsen Iskrem said: “As an ice cream producer focused on innovation, the Tetra Pak Extrusion Wheel allows us to be more responsive to fast-growing consumer trends for novel and high-quality products.
“The flexibility to adjust production capacity and adapt recipes to meet tastes and flavour preferences in different markets has also helped give us a competitive advantage.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2018