The very light texture of expanded corn seeds – popcorn – makes them sensitive to moisture. Only high solid-content sugar syrup can be applied. The alternatives are 100 % fat-based ingredientssuch as a savoury slurry, chocoalte
The addition of an oil or emulsifier prevents agglomeration and eases the dispersion.
How does it work?
The maize cores are popped by applying a intense heat. The water inside reaches a boiling point and the cores expand brutally under the build-up pressure
The coating consists in the application of a dense and hot sugar syrup which disperses partially. It leaves parts of popped corn apprent, white flesh and yellow skin, in a mesh of yellow sugar.
Syrup preparation by dissolution, cooking, vacuuum ev
The highly concentrated syrup sets by cooling, next to nil moisture being left in it. Conversely, the coated product must be packed and protected from moisture which would soften the inner and melt the syrup
Syrup dosage 10-20 %
Cooling and setting
The operation occurs in a rotary tumbler whose length and diameter are calculated to accommodate the product flow. Baffles inside enhance the tumbling action. The coating relies on the dispersion of the liquid ingredients first, then on the mechanical friction caused by tumbling. Liquid and powder ingredients can be added separately.
One option is to mix finely ground powder into the syrup (cocoa, cinnamon) and carry out just one application. This ‘slurry’ needs to be constantly agitated until it is applied.
The liquid ingredients are best dispersed by dedicated spraying systems. The powder can be dispersed with a vibratory tray. It is a continuous operation.
Rotation speed and tumbler tilt angle are adjusted to achieve the required friction and residence time. After coating, the product needs to be thoroughly dried in 2 or 3-tier driers to be ready for packaging.
Syrup application drum
How do you measure your success?
Key quality features
Coated popcron is the unique combination of a crunchy and soft bite
Balanced colour contrast of the popped product and its coating
Crispy texture of the hard syrup and soft bite of the popcorn flesh. No stickiness
No broken product nor fine and dust
Key quality parameters
A controlled combination of material (water evaporation, syrup application), mechanical (application and dispersion) and thermal (boiling, cooling) transfers
Key parameter in syrup preparation, handling, dosing, dispersion and setting
Thorough mixing to disperse the syrup while gentle enough to preserve the fragile popped structure
Balance dosing of the low-density popped cores and the syrup