As the demand grows for chef-inspired ready-made foods, processors are finding more efficient ways to improve product consistency while gaining an edge on recipe variations.

In the past, prepared batch food was mostly cooked in conventional vertical cookers, an oval kettle with a steam jacket. Agitators scraped the sidewalls to eliminate product build up or scorch. When finished, the food was pumped directly from the kettle vessel. This slowed down production, often taking the cooker offline 50 percent of the time.

Material Transportation Company’s (MTC) new SmartCooker™  substantially increases  production by operating seamlessly. One of the cookers is always working while another discharges finished foods into the surge hopper. As soon as the finished food is discharged, the other can resume cooking. The result is a continuous flow of foods in increased volumes with improved consistency in taste and texture. To achieve the same output, this system also occupies considerably less floor space than conventional equipment.

The system’s PLC reduces human error and ensures that the cooking gives a consistent, high-quality product.  To enhance the advantages of smart cooking, MTC complements its line with a test cooker, a scaled down version of the SmartCooker that holds 250 pounds. Users find this piece of equipment especially helpful in product development, or in the variation of a product. -- Materials Transportation Company

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