GEA, Griffith Serve up Food Coating and Equipment Ideas
The GEA-Griffith Coating Inspiration Seminar held recently in Bakel, the Netherlands, was well attended by representatives from food processing companies and related sectors across Europe. The event was jointly sponsored by Griffith Laboratories, a leading food ingredients producer, and GEA Food Solutions, an equipment manufacturer.
Those at the seminar obtained a broad perspective on food coating trends, ingredients, processes and end products that should help them make better informed decisions in new product development. Some 140 food and nutrition specialists, product developers, plant managers and process engineers representing 76 food processing companies attended over the two days.
Presentations covered the main coating families, in line with European consumer and market trends, focusing on in-depth technical information on an ingredients level, coating passes and key process technologies.
Home-style Flour Breaders
The latest innovation in the fastest growing coating family, the flour breader, is the Buttermilk-style coating. Commonly known as “Buttermilk Fried Chicken,” this trendy flour breader has a rough, artisanal look, delivers robust flavor and serves up a crisp texture.
The Griffith coating application was demonstrated in the GEA Technology Center. GEA has designed and built an innovative multidrum breader that overcomes drawbacks of automated home-style breading to efficiently produce authentic looking natural bone-in and boneless products on an industrial scale.
Within the crumb coatings family, Griffith showed two of its latest innovations. The first is the no-added-gluten coating formulated to meet the needs of consumers with gluten intolerance, while maintaining the same “texture” one experiences when eating traditional wheat-based coatings. The second innovation is a recently launched breadcrumb called “Krystal,” a Japanese-style needle-shaped crumb with attractive appearance and crispiness.
Participants received insights on how to extend the lifespan of frying oil with the GEA Oberlin Oil Filter, a high-capacity system designed to filter out sediment particles down to one micron at high volumes.
The popularity of tempura batters has led to new product innovations based on modern culinary ideas. A consistent tempura viscosity is not only essential to preserve the tempura’s crunchiness after frying, but also to optimize pick-up. GEA TempuMixer supports both, by automatically controlling the mixing and dosing quantities of flour and water, the in-line viscosity measurement and temperature control of the tempura.
Glazed chicken wings have sparked renewed interest, which is partly in response to the growing street food scene. The combination of coatings and sauce leads to attractively glazed products increasingly enjoyed by consumers.
During the fourth and final demonstration in Bakel, a solution to bulk loading natural products on processing lines was shown. The GEA MultiDrum can be bulk loaded and, thanks to its patented multiple-drum design, product output is separated and coated before moving on to the GEA CookStar for high-yield cooking. Pre-made frozen wings were fried in the GEA EasyFry and covered with sauces developed by Griffith in four different taste profiles.
In addition to the live demonstrations, 10 new developments within the four coating families were prepared using either the GEA CookStar or GEA EasyFry. Among products shown were: Breakfast Bun (a complete English breakfast in a no-fry bread coating), Southern Style Chicken Tender, BBQ Crumb Chicken Bites, and Beer Tempura Chicken Bites.
For more inspiration, Chef John Feeney (who is also Griffith’s culinary director) gave a live culinary demonstration of “out-of-the-box” coating applications featuring inspirational dishes.
GEA Food Solutions, a member of GEA Group Aktiengesellschaft, specializes in supplying performance-focused manufacturing systems to the food industry. They range from single machines to complete production lines for the preparation, marination, processing, slicing and packaging of primarily meat, poultry, fish, seafood and cheese-based products. The company supports the performance of food processors throughout the lifecycle of their equipment by helping meet operational challenges such as product variety, process flexibility, food safety and the environment. GEA technologies improve output and reduce operating costs.
Griffith Laboratories, a privately-owned family company with headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, USA, is a global food ingredients specialist that makes seasonings, sauces and coating systems. Employing more than 3,000 people in North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, its industrial customer base includes branded and private label food processors catering to retail, foodservice and QSR markets.