For leavened bread products, particularly in warmer environments, a mixture of Potassium Sorbate and other mould inhibitors are applied to the external surfaces of the bread to increases the shelf life. By inhibiting the growth of mould, the shelf life can be significantly extended without compromising either the taste or the cosmetic appearance of the bread. The Potassium Sorbate needs to be applied with an evenness and precision to ensure that the loaf is completely coated.
Preservatives are precision sprayed onto the bread, as one of the last manufacturing processes the bread is subjected to after it exits the oven. Here it is important to ensure that adjacent products do not mask or inhibit the application of the Potassium Sorbate spray. Divergent conveyor belts or spreaders are used to increase the gap between the loaves until full spray coverage can be completed. A converging conveyor is often used to return the loaves to their previous belt configuration.
The picture below shows loaves too close for spraying. These would need to pass through a devergent conveyor unit which will increase the spacing between the loaves to prevent product masking of the spray.
Saturn’s DiscMaster™ and DiscMatic™ Spinning Disc Spraying Systems both equally lend themselves to this application. The choice of systems depends on the conveyor belt size and scale of the operation. High volume bread production invariably requires the belt widths available only with the DiscMatic™ system.
The key success drivers in this process are:
- Accuracy in the spraying of bread loaves
- Accurate control of the deposition rate with equal three-dimensional spray strength
- Conveyor spreaders and convergers to remove the inter-product masking effects
- Effectively operate in a high volume - High yield environment