The new Microfilm confectionery cooker is the latest addition to Baker Perkins’ AutoCook systems.
The firm said the thin-film cooking process is suitable for most types of sugar, low-sugar and sugar-free candies, including those with dairy components.
The machine saves energy by capturing flash vapour released by the product between the pre- and final-cook stages which is normally vented to atmosphere.
The vapour is passed through a heat exchanger to heat water for use in hot water systems or process applications.
The cooker also uses the high temperature condensate from the steam heating system for the Microfilm tube to generate flash steam that is used in the syrup pre-cooker.
This lowers the overall steam requirement for the Microfilm cooker and reduces energy losses from the condensate as it returns to the boiler, according to Baker Perkins.
Rapid cooking process
A rapid cooking process is achieved by applying a vacuum directly onto a thin, swept film, said the firm.
Baker Perkins spokesperson Keith Graham told ConfectioneryNews.com the machine cooks the syrup in under 10 seconds by spreading a very thin layer onto a heated surface under vacuum.
He said the “rapid” cooking prevents burning and process inversion by splitting the sucrose into glucose and fructose.
“By cooking small amounts very quickly and using a sophisticated electronic control system, the process remains stable and cooks the syrups very consistently,” added Graham.
For hard candy and lollipops, rapid cooking results in minimal process inversion, meaning that the candies are hard, clear and resist going sticky, he said.
It also means that there is no burning on syrups that include dairy ingredients, said Graham.