Accuracy Matters in Depositing

Image courtesy of Unifiller
 
Depositing cake batter or other fillings requires accuracy on two fronts — hitting the right target, whether it’s the cake pan or tray, and depositing the right amount of batter. Accurate weight also helps producers from giving product away.

“There are several challenges when depositing Danish filling,” says Eric Riggle, vice president of Rademaker USA. “First and foremost is how to minimize waste and loss — due to the fact that Danish filling can be expensive.”

Batter and filling consistency can have a major impact on deposit accuracy, as well as final product quality. As batter sits in the mixing bowl or hopper waiting to be deposited, it can get thicker, and some aeration from the leavening agent can occur.

“When you start getting air pockets, that’s going to affect a smaller deposit, particularly because now we have varying specific gravity from one batch to the next,” says Stewart MacPherson, vice president of sales and marketing for Unifiller. “As density changes, so does specific gravity and flowability, which will have an impact on deposit weights.”

Specific gravity is determined in the mixing bowl, MacPherson says, by beating air into the batter to nucleate the gases released by the leavening system. But there are ways to maintain and improve consistency as the batter or filling flows to the depositor and into the cake pan that minimize the impact aeration and density changes may have on the deposit weights.

Unifiller accomplishes this with its Hopper Topper, a gentle transfer pump that draws batter from the mixing bowl to the depositor. According to MacPherson, the pump uses lifting action instead of suction to be gentler on the product. This produces two benefits: by the time batter enters the depositor’s hopper, it has a smoother consistency, and second, the system maintains the level of batter in the hopper from start to finish.

Hinds-Bock’s standard single piston SP-64 Filler/Depositors are classic workhorses of the baking industry — easy to clean and operate, and versatile and gentle on all products. Hinds-Bock manufactures stand-alone and complete topping systems, which are ideal for applying cream toppings to desserts, cakes or pies in the form of rosettes or twisted stars.

New generation servo-controlled depositors are ideal for spreading or layering batters or toppings into various size sheet pans. Hinds-Bock also manufactures a wide variety of equipment for topping, icing or glazing.

Luc Imberechts, president of Bakon USA, points to the extrusion setup of his company’s Mavericks depositor, which allows the production of hard doughs like cookies, with or without particulates. “All you have to think about is the all-time favorite chocolate chip cookie,” he says. “You can handle doughs for those cookies and then, with the same machine, you can go to the gearwheel depositor type of configuration that will allow you to deposit sponge batters, mousses, icings and more.”

For added versatility, the machine can be equipped with a heated hopper, which can be used for chocolate, caramel and other toppings or fillings. Rotary depositing heads can be used to create various decorations.

All of these innovations help producers hit the sweet spot of accuracy and consistency in every batch.