Making chocolate santas

Monday, 09 December, 2019

Making chocolate santas

Seasonal sweet treats are playing a growing role on the sweets shelves. The best examples are chocolate hollow figures like santas, snowmen and Easter bunnies.

The cold stamping method is being implemented as an alternative to the conventional centrifugal casting method, which offers product developers a wealth of new creative options.

Not only can individual half moulds with an even wall thickness of under 2 mm be shaped precisely using this technology, chunky recipe ingredients like brittle or almond slivers can also be added, if they are homogeneously mixed with the chocolate before being stamped. A further aspect of the technology is the possibility to integrate small surprises like balls of chewing gum or toy figures into the hollow body using a simple process.

Even before the chocolate is centrifuged or cold stamped, the empty halves of the mould are decorated. Whereas this decorating procedure was carried out by hand in the past, today program-controlled decorating systems are increasingly implemented for this task. Here, infinitely adjustable nozzles as well as robots, which paint the hollow figures autonomously, represent the trend towards more flexibility.

A wide variety of combinations comprising dark or white chocolate can be applied accurately to the desired position and errors such as air pockets can be avoided. At the same time, the systems save all of the data and the decoration pattern can be called up at the push of a button.

Automation and intelligent software for the filling of chocolates or chocolate bars are also on the advance. Equipped with one-shot or triple-/quadro-shot technology, the pouring machines of the latest generation can process a practically unlimited number of liquid and highly viscous masses into extremely thin-walled sweets specialities with a filling share of up to 80%.

All this and more will be very much in the spirit of the ‘Sweets & Snacks 4.0’ theme that will be discussed at the ProSweets international fair, being held from 2 to 5 February 2020, Cologne, Germany. Presenting a range of innovative process and packing technology solutions for sweets and snacks, the international fair will showcase several fully automated processing and packing machines that are easy to operate and clean, alongside machines that can provide information about raw materials and recipe data at any time.

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