Application of batter and bread crumb on nuggets
The nuggets are coated with a shallow to a thick layer of crispy dough and crumbs: the texture and appearance are intentionally rough. Combinations of operations and ingredients result in tasteful experiences when properly mastered.
The core product can be of various types: poultry, cheese, fish, vegetables, fruits.
The batter is prepared with:
- Wheat flour
- Finer flour (maize, rice, tapioca) or native starch of the sort
- Functional starch with expanding, binding, filming, barrier properties
- Functional ingredients (proteins, hydrocolloids)
- Leavening agents
- Flavour and colour
- Salt, spice
The dry ingredients are first mixed together then the liquid is added. To avoid lumps, progressive addition of the liquid and thorough mixing are required. The mix is prepared and stored at low temperature and kept agitated.
The choice of the ingredients will determine the thickness and expansion. In case of prawn nuggets, the coating is very thick; in case of French fries the thickness is very fine providing a barrier effect and retaining crispiness longer. After the liquid coating, the product is dusted and sprinkled with fine to coarse particles: breadcrumb, Japanese crumbs.
How does it work?
The process is a continuous operation.
Batter and crumb applications can be repeated 2 times to increase the thickness.
After coating, the product needs to be stabilized:
- Deep frying in oil,
- Cooling during which the oil is absorbed.
Industrial products are cooled or frozen after coating. Frying is then done just before use. The coating sequences run as follows
Pre-dusting with a fine flour (optional)
Deep frying in oil
Cooling during which the oil is absorbed
The operation occurs in a series of machines.
Flour duster, optionally
The choice depends on the product type (size and shape) and of the rheology of the coating ingredient mix (fluid/bridging, fine/coarse, fragile/resistant). The combination of machines depends on the recipe and number of operations.
Selecting a system requires to do test during which one observes the product motion during the application and its results, the behaviour of the ingredient mix, the recycling efficiency, the pollution and potential hygiene hazards. Picture courtesy of Barsso NV
How do you measure your success?
Key quality features
The evaluation of the nuggets is complex and carried out best by sensory evaluation.
The mouthfeel is characteristic. It associates softness and crispiness with limited oil pickup
Aspect and flavour
Roughness and colour appeals. The flavour of the coating enhances the core’s one.
The nuggets must retain its desired features along the logistic chain until its consumption
Key quality parameters
Factors influencing the product end quality are multiple
Type, shape, surface texture, moisture
Flour and batter recipe, breadcrumb type
Liquid and solid application plus frying and cooling conditions