Chocolate enrobing or coating is a multistep finishing process. The majority of chocolate enrobing machines are fully integrated with equipment that handles the coating process from start to finish. Also, smaller machines are available to be purchased separately from the cooling tunnel. Sometimes, the machines can come with a tempering system.
The Chocolate Enrobing Process
Below are the steps involved in the chocolate coating or enrobing process:
- Chocolate melting. This involves placing the chocolate in the tempering system for melting. With this system, the liquid chocolate can be easily and quickly transferred to another area for the coating stage.
- Coating. When the chocolate has melted, it will be placed on the feed band of the enrober, which could be a wire-mesh rack or containers. The part of the machine will carry the items through the bottom bed up to the coating area. Then, the products are transferred to the coating pumps that create a continuous chocolate waterfall to cover the product. It is the coating pump that performs the actual product coating.
- The wire rack that has the coated products moves through a preliminary conveyor, which transfers the product into a cooling tunnel. An enrobing machine’s cooing area is often a long, insulated tunnel that is maintained at a constant, low temperature. Without this tunnel, you will have to manually transfer the coated products to a refrigeration system for cooling.
Once food products are coated and cooled, it is time to sort them for uneven or improper coating. Some of the products may be damaged during the enrobing process. The remaining products are ready for packaging and distribution.
Uses of Chocolate Enrobers
A chocolate enrobing machine is meant to coat products with a uniform layer of chocolate. It is commonly used in the food manufacturing and processing industry for coating candies, nuts, dried fruits, biscuits, cakes, and more. Also, the machine is used in the pharmaceutical industry for coating pills, lozenges, and tablets to mask their taste and odor.
A dependable and quality chocolate enrober has all the necessary compliance certifications. One of these is the Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) certification. Ensure the machine’s design and structure comply with the CGMP standards. Also, the machine must conform to FDA manufacturing standards. Other certifications may include those that show the product is made with non-toxic material and the one needed when importing the machine to EU countries. A quality compliant enrobing machine, you can expect the highest quality chocolate processing.