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Crunchy nuts
 
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Product

A crunchy nut is a nut delivering the crunch of a light biscuit in addition of the nut itself.

Base

The core is a nut - typically a peanut. Small-size nuts are preferred as coating increases substantially the overall size of the nut.
Different bites can be offered : a hard but shallow coating or a light and thick coating depending of the expansion of the biscuit.

Ingredients

The raw nuts are first coated with a slurry acting as a glue.
This slurry is made of hydrocolloids which have filming and adhesive properties such as:
  • glucose syrupgum arabic,
  • maltodextrine.
Then a flour mix is added to build up the biscuit layer. It is composed of:
  • salt,
  • taste enhancers such as glutamate, yeast extract,
  • native flours such as rice, maize, or wheat to give body,
  • pre-cooked or modified starch to promote the expansion of the biscuit.
After frying, the coated nuts receive a flavouring mix.

Process

A slurry is prepared with water and an hydrocolloid (3 - 10 % dry ingredient depending of the hydrocolloid)
The coating process runs as follows:
  1. Introduction of the nuts in a rotating pan;
  2. Application and dispersion of the slurry on the nuts by the rotating motion;
  3. Addition and coating of the wet nuts with the flour mix,
    The powder sticks to the surface and forms progressively a uniform layer,
    Steps 1 and 2 are repeated to increase the thickness of the biscuit;
  4. Removal of the nuts from the pan and transfer into a fryer with hot oil,
    Frying completes the coating operation as it cooks the flour and expands the biscuit;
  5. Removal of the nuts from the fryer and transfer into a pan where various flavours are applied in smaller batches.
The process may vary to provide a different aspect and taste such as with Lebanese-style snacks : the nuts are first roasted then coated with a suspension of starch, the residual heat cooks the starch and remove the moisture; spices and flavours can be added in the process.
The crunchy coating principle can is applied in different industries : seed coating is used in the seed processing. A layer of clay with a binder is applied. The scope is to standardize the size of the seed, to protect it, to supply it with nutrients.

Coating system

The successive liquid and powder applications occur in a batch rotary pan.
The slurry is simply dripped over the nuts and dispersed by the motion.
The flour mix is dosed.
Depending of the size of the batches, the liquid and powder applications are done manually or mechanised with pump and feeder respectively.
As the powder tends to set quickly on the wet surface and form agglomerates, it is recommended to disperse the powder finely and progressively over the nuts.
Frying may be done in batch or continuous fryer.

Key features

Some aspects of this type of coating are critical:
  • Viscosity (thickness) and filming property of the slurry;
  • Adhesive and expansion properties of the flour mix; flours provided a better expansion when previously cooked or modified;
  • Timely and quantitative control of the liquid and powder addition to prevent excessive humidity;,agglomeration,ingredient losses.
 
 
Peanuts coated with a flour mix and fried prior to flavouring.
 
Successive coating, frying and flavouring process operations.
 
Rotating pan.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
 
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