Food Design by Extrusion

Shaping foods for consumer acceptance

Food extrusion is an established and highly versatile technique for the production of food, feed, nutritional additives and flavors. It enables a continuous and cost-effective means of production, and its precise control ensures a high and constant product quality.

Different extruder dies are available to shape foods with high starch content such as pasta, cereals, snacks and pet food, and to determine their final texture for an optimal product. Tools are also available for co-extruded food products. This is often how you get the light, crispy, crunchy food consumers want with the right encapsulation of ingredients.

Extrusion cooking takes the process to the next level by utilizing the extruders’ precise temperature control and shear energy which is applied by the rotating screws. When passing through the extruder, the food is actually cooked. Due to the changed physical condition of the food, specific denaturation of proteins can occur as well as the rupture of starches resulting in such complex products as meat analogues. Simultaneously the short and controlled residence time in the extruder restricts unwanted decomposition of vitamins, amino acids and enzymes.

Featured extruders used for food extrusion and food design

During new product development and process optimization, food engineers need highly flexible systems to handle small throughput volumes starting at gram levels up to a few kilograms per hours. They should also be easy to clean, intuitive to operate, and able to mimic a complete processing line. The Thermo Scientific™ Process 11 Parallel Twin-screw Extruder offers all those features and facilitates a streamlined, flexible R&D workflow.

After successful development of a new food on a laboratory scale, the wide range of Thermo Scientific co-rotating twin-screw extruders allows easy, fast process scale-up with minimal parameter changes to pilot-scale production or efficient manufacturing at a higher volume.

Thermo Scientific co-rotating twin-screw extruders feature:

  • Segmented screws and modular barrels for a versatile process design
  • Full-length split-barrel design that enables easy access and fast, thorough cleaning
  • A small footprint to save floor space.
Meat analogues

Get the Right Feel for Meat Substitutes Made from Vegetable Proteins

Environmental and health concerns are driving the desire to create meat alternatives from vegetables. But doing so successfully is no easy task.

The application note Extrusion solution for meat analogues explains how to achieve the right mouthfeel for meat substitutes by cooling the extruded protein down in a long flow channel to generate a meat-like fibrous structure. The process can be performed with the Thermo Scientific Process 11 Hygienic extruder and special die head.

Webinar: How extrusion conditions influence the properties of starch compounds

Watch this webinar to see the benefits of adeptly designing a starch matrix by twin-screw extrusion.

Learn how to influence the texture, stability and further processability of the final product via extrusion.

Watch now