Enrobing is a process in the confectionery industry meant to cover a confection or snack with chocolate or chocolate coatings. This was used to be a slow process as it involved manually dipping the pieces into melted chocolate by hand. But, with the increasing demand for chocolate-coated sweets, the process has been improved by using a chocolate enrober.
Chocolate enrobing is performed with chocolate or compound coatings, which are replacement products made from a combination of cocoa, sweeteners, and vegetable fat. Compound coatings tend to set faster and don’t require tempering. They include wafer bars, jellies, fondant centres, ice cream, biscuits, and nuts. Enrobing chocolate allows for greater production rates with lower capital costs than moulding.
Read to learn more about how the process works:
The Basic Components of a Chocolate Enrobing Machine
Chocolate enrobers come in various sizes, suitable for small-scale and large-scale production. Also, they are available in various designs to meet all requirements. Whether fitted with a tempering machine internally or externally, chocolate enrobers come with the basic components. The centres that enter the enrober must be maintained. Warmer centres may result in potential bloom issues because of the residual heat increasing the chocolate temperature of the enrobed sweets. Also, cold centres can cause the coating shell to bloom and crack because of the expansion of the centre mass when it warms.
The centres of the machine are fed on a feed band and moved to a wire belt. It is imperative to maintain the coating medium at a constant temperature and in a controlled condition in an agitated tank. The coating medium is then pumped to a flow pan, which creates a continuous curtain of coating and feeds a bottoming device. This results in a bed of coating forming and flooding the mesh band. To complete the coating process, the centres are passed through this curtain and bed and covered on all surfaces. An air blower forces off the excess chocolate from the product while a licking roller controls the amount of mass left on the sweet’s underside. A vibrator removes excess chocolate and improves the sweet’s look.
Cooling the Chocolate-Enrobed Products
After the enrobing process, the products enter a cooling tunnel where their coatings harden. Temperature changes in the tunnel are done gradually to avoid blooming issues. The chocolate coating and the filling are cooled own to around 18 degrees Celsius to make sure there won’t be any issues when packing them.