Sticks, chips, corn curls, rings, arrows, bears, elephants, dinosaurs… snacks come in many different shapes, sizes and flavours these days. The technology behind this is called “direct extrusion”. Direct extrusion is a process where grits of corn, nuts or potatoes are forced through a die plate, under high pressure, in to the final shape. Flavourings are then added to produce a tasty snack. Lalesse Extrusion B.V. has been in this crispy business for more than five decades now. Our mechanical engineers have created tailor-made extrusion lines for many customers around the globe.
Snack manufacturing, the full production process, is not only a crispy but also a very complex business. Starting with the raw materials; the raw materials are blended and brought to the desired moisture level in a mixer. The mix is then transferred to the extruder hopper by means of a screw feeder. In the extruder the raw materials are pressed through a die plate. This die plate determines the actual shape of the product. The pressure-drop after the plate causes the snacks to expand. After having been cut to the defined length and weight, the snacks are dried for more crispness and shelflife. Finally, they are coated with a mix of oil and flavour powder in the coating drum. Now the snacks are ready to be packed and shipped.
The extruder line
Lalesse manufactures all machine components required in the process, the extruders and all related equipment from mixers and moisteners right through to flavouring equipment and buffer silos. Apart from one-stop-shopping, we offer our customers another unique advantage: the complete extruder line, including all of its modules, is made to order. Changes, alterations, options and upgrading are readily executed. Currently, the customers can choose from 100 different snacks shapes, and new ideas are always welcome.