Americans love snacking. Snacking is one of the most popular pastimes in America. According to Mintel, 94% of Americans snack at least once per day – and more than half of all adults snack 2-3 times a day.
Whether you’re binging on a Netflix show, watching the big game, or just looking for a tasty treat to tide you over until lunchtime, chances are you’re a snacker – just like the rest of us.
In our modern, fast-paced world, snacking has become a popular way to satisfy cravings without the time investment of a full meal. Higher disposable incomes, more nutritious snack foods, and changing attitudes towards eating have combined to make convenience snack foods incredibly popular.
Before you eat your next snack, think about how it got to you – how it was produced, packaged, and delivered.
In this article, we will take a look at the manufacturing process from two perspectives: traditional, vertical form fill sealed chip/snack bags, and horizontal form fill sealed granola bar/health food packages.
How A Snack Is Made And Packaged With Vertical Form Fill Sealing: Cheese Puffs.
TGW International supplies sealing components such as back seal heat bands, sealing jaw sets, and crimper sets for vertical form sealing – as well as high-quality knives used for food service production.
Let’s take a look at how a snack, such as a bag of cheese puffs, is made – and how industrial machine knives contribute to the process.
Often, a large block of cheese must be cut down to size to create the dough mixture, usually using a guillotine blade. After the dough has been produced, it must be reduced in size. The product is then fed through an extruder to ensure the proper “puff” size and shape.
There, an extruder knife and cut off knives work together to cut each cheese puff into the proper dimensions. From there, the puffs are usually cooked in gigantic fryers, and cooled down to be sent to a Vertical Form Fill Machine.
The puffs are weighed on a scale and dropped into the feeder, which utilizes automation to cut and seal the bag – preventing the ingress of air, and ensuring a long shelf life.
Here’s an example of the process on YouTube, using yogurt chips. As you can see, a sharp and reliable blade is absolutely critical for proper packaging of these snacks. In a low-margin, high-volume business, the failure of sealing components and a dull knife can lead to enormous losses due to downtime.
How A Snack Is Made And Packaged With Horizontal Form Fill Sealing: Granola Bars.
If you’re more into healthy snacks, you may be a big granola bar lover – so let’s talk about these snacks now.
Though granola bars are packaged horizontally, much of the process is similar to vertical form fill sealing. However, very sharp industrial blades are often required due to the firm, sticky nature of granola bars.
Most granola bars are manufactured in the same manner. All of the ingredients (oats, nuts, raisins, sugars, and other additives) are mixed together in gigantic industrial mixers, and fed out of the mixer in a flat “sheet” on a conveyor belt. This sheet is cooked in a large, conveyor-fed oven.
Here is where high-quality industrial knives from TGW International are so critical. These bars are soft, sticky, and hot – but must be sliced perfectly. There are often 30-40 slicer blades lined up in a row on the conveyor belt, and each one must perform reliably, and be able to slice through these raw, soft granola bars.
Next, a large guillotine knife slices the bars into their proper length. From here, the granola bars will be sent to harden before packaging.
Then, a Horizontal Form Fill Sealing Machine is used to perfectly package and seal each individual granola bar. Here’s an example of an HFFS machine in action on YouTube.
As you can see, high-quality knives and sealing equipment are absolutely essential at every stage of manufacturing. For granola bars, buildup and stickiness must be taken into account, so you must select the appropriate knives with the right coating to avoid manufacturing downtime.
Measure Twice, Cut Once – With TGW International.
Whether you’re manufacturing foods, consumer products, or you’re in the printing industry, TGW International is the most reliable choice for high-quality knives and sealing products.
So next time you’re snacking, think about how your snack got to you – and how TGW International can help improve your business.
We’ve been in business for over 100 years. Using our experienced, consultative approach, we pride ourselves on helping our business partners find the right products for their needs – at a reasonable price. Contact us now and see how we can help revolutionize your business.