Application of sugar on a fried doughnut

The doughnut are best liked when dusted on with sugar. Simple at first sight, to do it at a high capacity, evenly and in a clean way is a challenge.

Updated Aug 02, 2021 - 10 min Read


Core products

The doughnut is a flour based dough, formed, fried and cooled.



The coating ingredient may consist in :
– A light spray of fat or diluted syrup on top to improve adhesion if the remaining fat from the frying phase is not enough
– A finely ground sugar, icing sugar or more often a “deco” mix, made of icing sugar, starch, fat and flavour


How does it work?

The coating principle relies on the application of the ingredients through dribbling over the articles or tumbling in a powder bed.

Typically, the doughnuts are deposited on a conveyor whose upper surface is already covered with the sugar mix or introduced in a tumbling system. While the doughnuts are moved forward, an overhead trough delivers a curtain of mix. The doughnuts are totally covered with sugar mix. The excess is shaken off and separated. The excess is recovered to be recycled. During recycling, the sugar mix may be sifted to remove agglomerates, thus preserving its initial functional quality.
It is usually a continuous operation in an industrial line. The coating sequences run as follows


Sugar dosing and application



Tumbling optionally



Sugar sieving and recycling


Coating system

There are various solutions to dust sugar on a doughnut. The operation occurs usually in an enrober or powder applicator. It can be either a topical dusting conveyor, a tumbler or a screw enclosed in a trough. The system is saturated with the sugar mix. It is large enough to accommodate the different doughnut sizes. Lab tests and pilot tests must be done to determine which system ensures best the adhesion of the powder on the surface


Coating system



How do you measure your success?

Key quality features

The main evaluation crietria are

Surface aspect

Even distribution of the sugar. Coating the side or not decides on the choice of the coating technique

Product integrity

The system should not affect the overall shape by crushing or cause losses of particles (shear)


The coating should hold or not been absorbed during the further cooling, freezing and handling operations

Key quality parameters

The process factors depend on the product and the technique used

Doughnut surface

The shape, texture and state (temperature) affect the distribution and adhesion

Sugar type

Plain sugar – of different size particle sizes – or special sugar mixes are available

Design and operation

The motion applied to the product depends on principle (conveyor, screw, vibrating tray), design and operation (speed)