Monday, 19 November 2018


With the development of proportional product distribution and On-Machine Seasoning (OMS) systems, food processors now have the tools to perfectly season their products. OMS moves seasoning application from the production floor to the packaging room.

By Blake Svejkovsky, Product Handling Systems manager, Heat and Control, Inc.

The best systems make it easy to manage product and seasoning flow, application rates, and dwell time. They can also apply different seasonings at each packaging station without cross-contamination. This means faster order fulfillment for a wider range of products with less warehousing.

OMS provides many benefits – and with more systems being installed in the USA, Europe, and the UK, processors are under competitive pressure to find the seasoning system that best meets their present and anticipated needs.

Presentation matters

Perfect application of flavorings starts long before the actual powder hits your product. Being prepared a few steps before the end product, will ensure consistently uniform coverage that meets all your seasoning targets. Much of the success in seasoning application comes from how your product is presented to the actual salt, cheese, barbecue, and other flavorings your customers crave. Regardless of throughput, maintaining a steady uninterrupted flow of product through the seasoning applicator is critical. Consistent product delivery stabilizes the application rate - and operation of the weigher and bagmaker - to obtain optimal performance and reduce waste.

Proportional distribution is the solution

Proportional product distribution, like that provided by Heat and Control’s FastBack Revolution Gate conveyor system, assures each seasoning/packaging station receives exactly the product it requires. For small and large throughputs, the Revolution system delivers an even flow of product. Particularly useful for small bag packaging, Revolution accurately controls the delivery of product necessary for high speeds.

Unlike slide gates, the cylindrical Revolution Gate has no pinch-points that can damage product or injure operators. One Revolution Gate is dedicated to each seasoning station. When the bagmaker or weigher demands product, the Gate rotates to transfer the exact amount while allowing product to continue on to other stations. The latest variation of this design is the Revolution Mid-Gate. Smaller than the original Revolution Gate, it can be located anywhere on the pan of a FastBack conveyor. You can even install two on the same pan. This is particularly useful for tight installations with minimal space between weighers.

The best On-Machine Seasoning systems also measure product before it enters the seasoning applicator. Load cell conveyors, such as Heat and Control’s WeighBack, continuously communicate product weight to the seasoning feeder so it will dispense the exact amount of seasoning needed. This eliminates the sanitation issues of weigh belts and produces a repeatable travel rate with more accurate product measurement than is possible with vibratory weigh conveyors.

Controlling application and dwell time

Matching seasoning feed to product volume reduces waste and under-seasoning. The next challenge is to disperse the seasoning evenly onto your product. The latest technology uses a two-stage horizontal tumble drum to control application rates, coverage, and dwell time. The AccuCoat drum from Heat and Control has a cylindrical section for seasoning application, and a cone-shaped section for mixing. The cylindrical first stage controls exposure of seasoning to the product. The final cone-shaped stage produces a longer dwell time than cylindrical drums. This greatly improves seasoning coverage and adhesion.

Not just for the big boys

Even for medium-capacity snack and potato products producers, OMS improves processing line output, packaging efficiency, and production versatility, specifically providing:

  • Ability to produce a greater range of products on-demand
  • Longer equipment uptime for consistent product quality, reduced waste
  • Better packaging utilization
  • Reduced warehouse requirements
  • Lower energy usage
  • Longer shelf time for the product

Market flexibility & production uptime

As client demands for different flavors continue to grow, OMS allows you to quickly and efficiently adjust production to meet consumer tastes. It also permits small production runs to serve niche markets. Marketing can now pursue – and production can deliver - regional and specialty flavors associated with a holiday or major events.

You can read more in our print magazine Potato Processing International (May/Jun 2017)! 

Digital edition

 Click or tap to view our digital magazine 
on your tablet or mobile device. 

Latest Events

Nov 25th 2018 - Nov 28th 2018
Jan 8th 2019 - Jan 10th 2019
Jan 9th 2019 - Jan 11th 2019
Potato Expo
Feb 6th 2019 - Feb 9th 2019

Trade Media Solutions S.R.L. | 1-5 G-ral David Praporgescu Str., 1st Floor, District 2, 020965 Bucharest, Romania.
Tel: +40 (0) 21 31 590 31  | E-mail: