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One System for Topping them All

RFX - 190319

This opportunity is closed

R&D, innovation partner, innovation partnership, innovation strategy consulting, business innovation, generate demand

Xinova seeks the disclosure of inventions that allow the purposeful placement of toppings in a specific pattern for high-volume production lines.

Snacks, for the purposes of this RFI, have two parts: the substrate and the topping. The substrate is the main part of a snack, a cracker for example. Substrates can further be divided into two kinds based on when the topping is applied: before-cooking and after-cooking. An example of a beforecooking substrate is sheeted dough after it’s been molded into shape. An example of an after-cooking substrate is a cracker, tortilla, or biscuit. The topping is placed in a two-dimensional (2D) pattern. 

Toppings on snacks provide an extra dimension on flavor but are difficult to deposit especially if a specific pattern is desired. Food production equipment manufacturers mass produce turn-key equipment for a variety of food production tasks but generally not for the placement of snack toppings. The situation is more onerous for snack manufacturers that wish to place toppings in a specific pattern on a high-volume production line. Thus, snack manufacturers manually place toppings in a specific pattern in low-volume production lines, which leads to low throughput and high costs. People want snacks with savory toppings, but repeatable and precise placement of toppings is a high-cost low-volume manual task that mass-production equipment isn’t designed for.

Xinova seeks innovative ideas for placing toppings on snacks for high-volume production lines. Different types of equipment use different processes to make snacks like crackers, biscuits or tortillas.

Understanding the various processes and equipment involved will inform solutions, which could be applied in the dough or the cooked phase of snacks. The new method should produce 2D patterns of toppings at high throughput and for less or equal cost than current systems.”

We are interested in three types of toppings:

  • Seeds: pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower
  • Nuts: cashews, almonds, and pistachios
  • Vegetables: broccoli, kale, mushrooms, beets, and quinoa

This opportunity comes from the efforts of Xinova’s R&D Consulting and Innovation team.

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