Technology

Puffing

Puffing involves a hydrothermal process in which a raw material expands to many times its volume exclusively through the application of heat and pressure. The necessary prerequisites are a water percentage of 10-15% and a starch content of 60-80%. Protein and fat content also play a role. Because native starch, as is present in most natural products, cannot be digested by the human stomach, it must be solubilised. This takes place, for example, with the help of puffing technology. The actual process thereby consists of three partial steps:

1. Preheating

Preheating prepares the raw product to be processed for the actual puffing process. The raw material is heated without the moisture being lost. Because the system is equipped with a so-called free jet fluidised bed, the heat jet flows optimally around the individual particles and prevents burns on the container walls. The objective of preheating is the reinforcement of the outer shell of the raw material through the gelatinisation of the starch from the inside. This is carried outward by the water and solidifies on the surface.

2. Reactor

The raw material is supplied with saturated, overheated steam in the reactor. This finds its way from the exterior of the reactor through several openings into the interior. In this way the flow takes place evenly around the raw material. The reactor is then filled with pressurised steam from above, which pushes the raw material downward. The thus suddenly escaping pressure (through a jet) vaporises the water bound in the raw material and releases energy. As a result, the starch molecules of the raw material are torn, resulting in an up to 12-fold increase in volume.

3. Expansion channel

The expansion channel primarily collects the finished product and concludes the expansion process. This involves an approximately 8 metre long drum, similar to a silo placed horizontally. Due to the even flowing in of the product via the jet, a high yield is ensured. The channel also collects the energy of the excess pressure and diverts it. At the same time, the finished product is drawn by gravity into a channel from which it is transported away.

Coating

Coating designates the coating of a product with honey or aroma in the course of the refinement process. This is carried out with a highly modern high-Brix system. In the process, heat conductors and steam precipitators are used to apply a sugar syrup solution, or similar coating like honey.This is variable in its percentage, so for example, various sweetnesses can be achieved. After this solution has been applied in a drum, the finished product is cooled.

Packaging

The finished product can be packaged in containers, big bags or sacks of various sizes. It is also possible to fill the product into various small packages for retail sale.