Cinnamon stars, lebkuchen or macaroons – biscuits are as much a part of the Christmas period as fir trees and candles. Every year, countless different varieties are baked in home kitchens, lovingly decorated and eaten with pleasure during Advent. Yet those who have neither the time nor inclination to bake, do not have to go without the sweet delicacies either: a large choice of Christmas biscuits can also be found in food stores.
What is made by hand at home taking a lot of time can be done much quicker and more efficiently in an industrial production process. Here, fully automated production lines produce huge quantities of lebkuchen or cinnamon stars. As always with the manufacture and processing of food, the highest hygiene standards apply – because just like in the kitchen at home, everything here has to be clean too.
Highest hygiene standards
As machinery parts could come into contact with the food, the parts of the equipment must be particularly accessible and easy to clean. An important condition in this respect is that the component surfaces are dirt-repellent and resistant to corrosion and cleaning agents. This means that they can be cleaned perfectly hygienically and efficiently in a short time frame – leaving more time for the production of the tasty treats.
It all comes down to the „glaze“
In order to achieve this, special coatings can be used, for example, which are applied to the automation components to give them these desired properties. In this respect, a wide variety of materials and methods can be used. Whilst when it comes to choosing between a chocolate or sugar coating for Christmas biscuits, it is more a question of taste and looks, in the case of the surface finish on components, the required functionality is decisive.
An example of this are coatings that give surfaces self-cleaning properties. The lotus plant is well known from the natural world:water drips off its leaves and also removes all the dirt particles from the surface in the process. A complex, water-repellent property of the surface, which greatly reduces the adhesion of dirt particles, is responsible for this effect. If these properties can be transferred to the machines used in food production, it will make them much easier to clean.
The right one for every taste
Besides the self-cleaning effect, there are many more surface properties that make the automation components fit for the respective application, for example freedom from abrasion, corrosion protection or heat resistance.
And the same applies as it does to Christmas biscuits: for every taste, or every application, there is the right recipe!