Spices play a big role in the ultimate quality of savoury food products, but their delicate properties make most spices vulnerable during processing. This presents manufacturers with a sizable challenge: how can they achieve the desired level of product quality as efficiently and safely as possible? “There is such a diverse range of spices, that selecting the best technology is a complex process of interacting criteria,” says Daan Goris from Hosokawa Micron B.V.
Almost every kind of powder-based savoury food product or ingredient
contains one or more spices to add flavour, aroma and/or colour. “Food is emotion, and spices have a huge influence on how food products look, smell and taste. But the delicate properties of spices make them susceptible to the impact of various processing steps,” comments Goris. “Besides that, spices – just like any other ingredients – are subject to food safety guidelines.”
Retaining the spice properties during grinding and milling:
Spice processing usually starts with crushing/cutting to reduce the spices to a coarse particle size of 3mm or less, followed by fine milling. “It’s important to ensure that the unique characteristics of your spices are preserved during this entire operation to maintain the quality of the end product.
Matching the amount of shear when mixing:
When it comes to selecting the right equipment for the next step of mixing/blending, it is important to match the amount of shear introduced to the spice properties, such as fragility, cohesiveness and the fat/oil/fibre content, according to Goris: “It’s all about achieving optimal homogeneity while preserving the product quality and not damaging the product integrity.
The experts within the Hosokawa Group discuss application-specific challenges and advise customers. “In fact, we have a policy of ‘try before you buy’,” he states. “Manufacturers are welcome to conduct trials using their own product