The seasoning coverage on a snack food product is an important aspect of the quality a consumer sees, and determines the overall flavour and taste a person experiences.

The high cost of seasoning and increased application rates are placing more importance on how seasoning is applied and determining the best way to ensure it stays on the end product.

With more people travelling than ever before, customers are being exposed to different foods and flavours, placing additional demand on snack food manufacturers to provide a broader range of snack foods. This has seen seasoning application rates increase from 5% to more than 12% in some instances. On Machine Seasoning (OMS) systems which can increase productivity and seasoning accuracy are now considered to be standard equipment in the snack food industry. 

Heat and Control’s range of FastBack® OMS systems can offer manufacturers the most economical and accurate means of delivering consistent seasoning coverage with the lowest usage rates. The Revolution™ On-Machine Seasoning Systems (OMS) can reduce product breakage and seasoning loss and allow for different flavourings to be applied at each weigher/bagmaker system. Combined with reduced seasoning loss as product moves through the system, reducing seasoning usage by as much as three percent when compared to traditional in-kitchen applicators, the OMS offers more efficient application and uniform coverage. The FastBack OMS system accomplishes this in three stages: product flow control, seasoning flow control, and seasoning coverage.

To be truly effective, an OMS system must continuously condition the product stream to ensure long, uninterrupted bagger runs, improving both output and seasoning quality. Patented FastBack Revolution Proportional Gate and WeighBack loadcell-based technology work together to achieve precise product flow control, producing a product stream that is continuously proportioned per weigher-bagger demand even before seasoning is introduced.

A steady, unwavering product stream is foundational to accurate seasoning interpolation so that neither too much nor too little seasoning is introduced into the product stream. Equally important is seasoning flow control, which seeks to meter seasoning in a continuous and proportional manner. The FastBack OMS system accomplishes this with a highly accurate feeding auger, which meters only the seasoning needed into the tumble drum.

Heat and Control’s patented AccuFlavor™ tumble drum improves seasoning coverage with its two-stage dynamic design. The cylindrical first stage exposes product in the seasoning zone for a consistent time. The cone-shape and flight profile of the second stage gently tumbles  product for twice the time of traditional drums. Dynamic tumbling action uses the FastBack’s gently horizontal motion, not gravity, to convey product consistently while it is being seasoned. The result is superior seasoning adherence and coverage with less fall-off waste even under frequent start-stop conditions.

These critical FastBack OMS system features work in tandem with Ishida weighers and baggers through advanced integrated controls, incorporating the entire packaging line to yield product with pristine seasoning coverage.

Previously, the majority of volume fall-off occurred during seasoning application and the product handling stage, when many manufacturers used vibratory conveyors. The constant bouncing and impact of product on the pan caused product breakage and the seasoning and coatings to fall off. The development of Heat and Control FastBack horizontal motion conveyors has revolutionised the product handling market by sliding product along the pan. These conveyors virtually eliminate seasoning fall off and can save food processors thousands of dollars each year in direct seasoning waste, along with the labour costs associated with cleaning. 

The latest Model in the FastBack range, the 260E-G3, transports product by cycling through slow-forward and fast-back horizontal motion, which neither damages product nor disturbs coatings, and can dependably convey heavy loads. The 260E-G3 provides the fastest product travel rate of any horizontal motion conveyor, delivering twice the rate of comparable conveyors and making it ideal for high-volume production. 

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