Nut Processing Equipment: From Butter to Paste to Milk
In the past several years, nut products have become all the rage. An excellent alternative to dairy products, nut milk, butter, and paste offers a higher nutrient content, less fat, and fewer allergens than standard milk products. And thanks to advanced nut processing equipment, they’ve become more popular than ever before. In fact, the global peanut butter market was worth a staggering $3 billion in 2017, and it’s only grown since then. What’s more, the average American consumes about 6 pounds of nut products each year, with about half of that being some form of nut butter. If you’ve ever wondered how nuts are processed, and whether it’s possible to make nut milk from butter or paste, here’s what you need to know:
Why People Love Nut Butters
When we process nuts by grinding them to make them into nut butters, we change the way people consume and interact with them. Grinding the nuts makes it easier for people to consume them, digest the nutrient content of the nuts, and incorporate them into their daily diets. In addition to being convenient and easy to consume, nut butters also pack a dense punch of nutrients. Nut butters are high in fiber, micronutrients, anti-inflammatory fatty acids, and omega-3 fatty acids, to name a few. They’re also excellent sources of protein, and are the perfect grab-and-go snack for people who need something healthy and filling in the middle of a busy day. Today, the average 2-tablespoon serving of nut butter typically contains about 190 calories, 16 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, and carbs between 0-8 grams. Whether it’s cashew butter, almond butter, or even hazelnut butter, a growing number of people enjoy these tasty treats.
What is Nut Milk?
Nut milk is, in essence, exactly what it sounds like: milk made from nuts instead of dairy products. Today, most commercial nut milk contains about 5%-15% almonds, soy, or cashew matter, with the rest of the mixture water, sweeteners, binding agents, and thickeners added. Homemade nut milks generally have a slightly higher concentration of nut products. Usually, homemade nut milks are made up of about 30% nut products. These mixtures have no additives unless the home cook has included them. Home cooks can make nut milks with a mixture of 1 1/2 cups water and three tablespoons nut paste. The resulting drink will have about 12% nut matter, if the cook leaves it unstrained.
Dry Roasting: Batch vs. Continuous
Before nuts can be processed, they must be roasted. Dry roasting is either done by the batch, or via a continuous method. Here’s a breakdown of each:
In the batch method, peanuts are roasted in massive lots in a large, moving oven that reaches temperatures of 800 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. The amount of time the peanuts are roasted depends on the size of the batch and the desired purpose.
In the continuous method, peanuts are fed into a hopper, where they’re roasted, cooled, and ground into peanut butter. This method is quick and less labor-intensive. It also creates a more uniform roasting.
The batch method allows for the different kinds of nuts or nuts meant for separate applications to be roasted separately, which is a positive for companies making nut blends. Batch roasting is also popular since peanuts and other nuts include lots of different moisture levels and may need special consideration throughout the roasting process, which batch roasting can deliver.
While batch roasting may work for some production goals, continuous roasting is better for others.
A Note on Granulating
Granulating is another important niche method of nut processing. Granulating refers to the process of making nuts into an ingredient which most people have seen used for the top of ice cream cones. It involves grinding nuts to uniform size and not making a paste. The key to granulation is not producing a lot of fine material. While that seems straightforward, there are not many nut processing equipment technologies available for this. While dicers are applicable and practical, companies also use Angle disintegrators.
Investing in the Right Nut Processing Equipment
Nut processing equipment is critical to ensuring proper nut processing. Investing in the right materials is also essential. When you partner with a company likeCorenco, you know you’ll get high-quality, durable nut processing equipment you can rely on. When it comes to food grinding, there are dozens of different methods to choose from, and dozens of food grinding machines to do it on. Whether you’re grinding material for food production or preparing ingredients, these types of food grinding are most popular:
Juice processing is one of the most common applications in fruit and vegetables industries. While many people imagine that juice production involves the juicing of whole food items, that’s not always the case. In fact, many whole food products must be ground or crushed before they can be juiced. This, of course, requires the assistance of food grinding machines, specifically crushers and angle disintegrators, even for large, difficult-to-move items like apples or pineapples.
Food Powder Production
Dehydrated powdered material is a major product for the food industry. Food powders are used as baking additives, drink additives, supplements, nutraceutical supplements (any food supplement that doesn’t require FDA approval), whey powder, potato starch, and more. Food powders and dehydrated ingredients are also popular in certain military and survival applications. Powdered and dehydrated foods are common in Meals Ready to Eat (MREs), which are widespread throughout the military and backpacking communities. Because the food powders are so diverse, the methods of producing them are equally diverse. The machines used to create these items include roller mills, pin mills, and hammer mills for milling powders and flour. It all comes down to product characteristics and demands of the system.
Flour is a critical ingredient in baking, cooking, and more throughout the U.S. and the world. When it comes to ready made baking mixes, deglomeration of ingredients is an important consideration.Deglomeration refers to the process of breaking up oil chunks in things like baking mixes that include oil sometimes called “prills”. Deglomeration breaks up the combination of oil and flour and makes for a consistent mixture.
Aside from juice production, grinding is also used to prepare ingredients to be made into a paste, to produce products like canned baby food, and to process certain food additives and ingredients. Finally, grinding is an important part of oil production. Before they can be made into oil, olives, avocado flesh, and seeds must be crushed to release and extract the natural oils within the casing of the ingredient. This second process is sometimes called “expelling”.
Choosing the right type of food grinding machine depends substantially on your budget, process, and production needs. No two applications are created quite the same, and no two setups should be, either. Here are a few tips for finding the right fit for you:
Think about output. What do you need in terms of production? Organizations that need larger output quantities will benefit from choosing a machine that can keep up with performance requirements. Smaller operations, meanwhile, may benefit from smaller equipment that doesn’t provide the same level of capacity. Since this equipment is also likely to be less expensive, it’s more affordable for small companies.
Consider your budget. Budget is, of course, a significant consideration when it comes to finding an excellent grinding machine. While you can find a wide selection of food grinding machines, they’ll come at prices ranging from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. Make sure you’re shopping machines that work for both your application and your pocketbook.
Grind needs. Do you need to grind your items once or take two passes at the material? If you need to make two passes, you’ll need to find a machine that can suit this. Generally, it’s possible to make two passes through most devices, although you may need to change out screens to do so.
Finding Your Ideal Food Grinding Machine
Once You know what type of food grinding you’ll be doing, you can invest in a food grinding machine that will support it. By shopping with a reputable manufacturer, you can secure high-quality equipment that will serve your company and your needs for many years to come. Need some additional assistance finding the food processing machine of your dreams?Contact Corenco today.