Food Forming Machines simplify the process of forming food into various shapes such as:
There are many types of machines to do the job and they fit all kinds of scales, from small kitchen appliances to large industrial installations. The amount of product the machine processes (volume) is a critical factor in determining the type of food former that fits your needs. As volume of product ramps up to thousands of pounds of product or thousands of patties per hour, machine up time becomes equally critical. For this reason industrial grade food formers have evolved to utilize high tech alloys, processes and techniques. One of the most important considerations in food forming is food safety, industrial equipment is designed from the start to address food safety. This is another area where much innovation has taken place.
Lets break it down this way starting with the simplest way to form food; using your bare hands, then using tools and finally various degrees of automation.
A person can easily smash a patty or roll a meatball by getting some ground meat such as beef, turkey and chicken, or your favorite vegan mixture. If someone is good they can probably make six hamburger patties per minute or maybe 10 meatballs per minute, not too bad for feeding a small family, not so good for feeding a small army. There are three issues with forming patties by hand: Food Safety, Product Uniformity, Product Quality. Regarding food safety; it is important to keep surfaces clean, hands washed and constantly keep utensils clean to limit the spread of food borne pathogens. Another challenge with forming food by hand is uniformity: if a patty is thick on one side and thin on the other it will cook unevenly and give an unpleasant eating experience. The last issue is food quality, when forming patties and/or meatballs by hand it is common work the meat too hard making it tough and dry. Tools can help to really improve the eating experience by ensuring these three concerns are addressed in some degree or another.
The next advancement in food forming is to accomplish the and goal using tools. Oddly some tools might be slower but the result is better; if your end goal is quality tools might help. Some tools help you make forms that are difficult or impossible by hand. Product uniformity is the main reason for tools. Patty forming tools, for example, typically include a form (a mold) of the desired shape, just pack in the food and it will take the form of the mold. The second benefit of tools is product quality, while part of the process is by hand, the product will be worked less, lending to juicer and more tender patties. Food forming tools can help keep your operation hands free which in turn aids in food safety.Tools might also help to automate to some degree. "Hamburguer mold"by Diego Leira is licensed under CC CC0 1.0
Tools are great for taking the burden out of food forming, however machines are where things are done en-mass.
Our last category is machines. When the volume of patties or food balls that you want to form is significant even tools will fall short. Its time to automate. Food forming machines typically handle many operations related to formation, including grinding, mixing and some parts of the packaging process after patties are formed (stacking burgers). We really split forming machines into two sub-levels because there are two specific markets; localized processors, and industrial food processors. Localized processors such as butchers, large farming operations, small/regional restaurant chains will benefit from the first level of machines. They are meant to turn out formed food in a rapid automated fashion on occasion. Industrial food processors really change the field. In addition to creating product at a more rapid pace industrial food forming equipment is designed to run for long unterrupted periods.