Exclusive – Coating: The End-product Needs to Come First
Most formed potato products are coated with standard linear battering and breading equipment. Typically, it is a two-step system. Battering with liquid and breading with a dry substrate. This article will explore the latest technologies in this particular step of the potato processing.
By Dan Orehov
According to specialists, a properly designed coating equipment will incorporate accurate dosing, mixing chilled water, tanks and transfers to the application system, which must be designed to allow complete coating of all the products, as well as excellent removal of excess and carry-over batter during transfer to different parts of the complete system. Experts say that good quality systems are not low cost, however the impact on the product is critical and processors should always be looking to use good quality equipment that ensures good effective coating and management of the batter, mixing, applying and excess removal.
Coating can be applied before or after frying, or post freezing. Before frying, this would be in the form of a starch-based batter, with or without flavor. A very accurately controlled batter mixing and storage system is required that includes batter application systems as well as better removal to ensure all excess batter is removed. The coating process employed before frying is dependent upon the desired end-product, for example, in the case of coated French fries, batter coated varying in viscosities is used, depending on the crispiness and outer “shell” desired. Mixing ingredients, such as herbs and spices into the batter is also common. For formed potato products, these are generally shaped and can be coated or non-coated – for example potato croquettes or hash browns. Potato croquettes or potato balls generally have a two-stage coating system: batter/milk wash applied, followed by breadcrumbs, to give the product a crispy hard outer coating and texture.
Read the entire article in our latest May-June 2019 issue of Potato Processing International.