Research and development company Foodwest Ltd., located in Seinäjoki, Finland, has expanded its food development center with a ZSK 27 Food Extruder in Hybrid Design. Thanks to the Coperion extrusion system’s modular construction, Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP), High Moisture Meat Analogues (HMMA), and numerous other extrudates such as snacks and cereals can be manufactured on the same machine. The extruder is particularly well suited for research and development with throughputs of up to 80 kg/h, and thanks to constant process parameters within the entire ZSK extruder series, ensures reliable scale up to higher throughput ranges. Along with the extruder, the Coperion system encompasses a highly accurate Coperion K-Tron K-ML-D5-KT20 gravimetric twin screw feeder for dry powders, a ZGF Centric Food Pelletizer from Coperion Pelletizing Technology, and a cooling nozzle.
Foodwest has been a successful development provider for innovative food products for over 25 years, and with this new ZSK 27 Food Extruder, expands its product tests, research, and development efforts to a much broader spectrum of applications.
ZSK Food Extruder in Hybrid Design for Maximum Flexibility
Foodwest will be able to manufacture both TVP and HMMA on the ZSK Food Extruder in Hybrid Design with only a minimum of retrofitting. The feeding and process section for both applications are nearly identical, while the discharge units differ significantly. While the ZGF Centric Pelletizer is attached to the process section for manufacturing TVP in order to cut the product directly at the nozzle plate, HMMA is discharged using a specialized cooling nozzle which produces a product strand that exhibits a texture closely resembling that of genuine meat. Using an adapter solution developed by Coperion, the ZSK Food Extruder’s discharge can now be switched from a ZGF to a cooling nozzle in no time. The same principle functions just as quickly in reverse when switching from an HMMA process to TVP.
The extruder twin screws’ combination of self-wiping and modular construction will allow Foodwest to develop and test numerous other products on the ZSK system alongside meat substitutes, including snacks and cereals; for production of the latter, Foodwest individually configures the extruder as well as the extensive array of peripheral equipment available. As a result, the company profits from the extruder’s very high hygiene standards, intensive dispersion performance, and gentle product handling.
Harri Latva-Mäenpää, PhD, Innovation Director at Foodwest says: “Extrusion is one of the most interesting technologies and we wanted to include it in our new food development and piloting facility in Finland. The versatile package and expertise offered by Coperion convinced us to make this investment. We can use the ZSK extruder for process and product development and also combine it with other food production and packaging technologies. This enables us to create commercially ready solutions in our food approved facility together with our customers all over the world.”
Stefan Gebhardt, General Manager of the Food & Pharma Business Unit at Coperion, adds: “We’re very pleased to equip such a renowned company as Foodwest with a ZSK Food Extruder in Hybrid Design. We are convinced that the ZSK extruder, with its high configuration flexibility and reliable scale up to larger extruder sizes, is the optimal technology for a large bandwidth of product tests, research, and development. Moreover, we are very pleased to announce that, moving forward, Coperion customers will have a testing area for production of meat analogues and other products at their disposal at the Foodwest test center in Finland.“