Guest Column | November 10, 2015

Choose Dry-Filling Method To Match Product Needs

By John Henry, www.changeover.com

John Henry

Many food products are dry and these present problems. The problems may not be more difficult filling problems than “not liquid” products but, at least the very least, they are different ones. This article will explain the process of choosing a dry-filling method based on your product type.

Perhaps the first question that needs to be answered is, “How is the product sold?” There are three ways a dry product can be sold: by volume, by weight or by count. The product itself has some bearing on this. One can't sell a powder or granular product by the piece. Other products, such as chicken nuggets, could be sold by weight or count, but probably not by volume.

The product label claim usually determines the filler. Tic Tacs and Dynamints are similar products and are packaged similarly. Back in the 1990s, Tic Tacs claimed 30 mints per box. Dynamint claimed 0.55 grams. Dynamint could use a simple, volumetric filler that ran at high speed and which was mounted right on the cartoner. Tic Tac needed to use a lower-speed, complex pharmaceutical slat filler to guarantee the counts. I was not privy to the decision-making process, but my suspicion is that this may have been one more example of a bad decision caused by the design department not talking to the manufacturing department.

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