Snack pellets expanded with a commercial Air Fryer

The Snacking category is an expanding market segment. Snacks are increasingly used as a meal replacement to give convenience in the day to day modern life.

There is a wider social trend towards healthier living, changing preferences towards sugar, fat and protein consumption.​ Product innovations are growing in the snacking segment on topics like convenience, vegan/vegetarian, passive health claims.​

Perceived healthy snacks such as puffed snacks are estimated to strongly grow. ​Further there are trends to personalized food.​

Air fryer and healthy snacking

In specific snack segments like French fries and other snack products the use of an air fryer has grown. The air fryer market is growing, driven by rising health consciousness and healthy diet awareness​.

Home style preparing of snack products can appeal to combinations of above descripted trends.

Snack pellets

One of Avebe’s latest developments for snack products manufacturers is the use of a special starch in extruded snack pellets production that boosts expansion of such snacks when prepared in an air fryer.

With this concept manufacturers of snack pellets can offer consumer products  with non-expanded snack pellets that consumers themselves prepare before consumption. Therefore they bake the snacks in an air fryer and get fully expanded potato snacks. Adding seasoning will give consumers another fun factor to make their homestyle healthy expanded potato snacks.

Non-expanded dried pellets generally are expanded by deep fryers. A typical formulation of such dried pellets prepared by extrusion comprises native potato starch 45% – 55%, potato granules or potato flakes 35% – 45%, pregelatinized starch 6% – 10%, salt 0.5% – 3% and flavouring q.s.. With regular cook-up potato starch the expansion is suboptimal in an air fryer. However, when using a cook up amylopectin potato starch to partially replace between 5 to 20% regular native potato starch in the formulation a higher expansion of around 20% is achieved compared to regular native potato starch when “fried” in an air fryer. Typically the dried pellets are air fried at a temperature between 150⁰C and 175⁰C for up to 2 min.

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