DUISBURG, GERMANY — Brabender has introduced the TwinLab-F 20/40 laboratory-sized twin-screw extruder with a modular, food-grade design.

It can be used for a variety of experiments in the food and feed sectors. Conveying, kneading and mixing elements can be combined according to the process sequence.

Different die geometries allow any shape of the extrudate. Cold formed products such as noodles and indirectly or directly expanded products such as feed or aquafeed pellets, flat bread or snack food can be produced on a laboratory scale as can textured protein, Brabender said.

Four liner openings at the top and two at the side allow the addition of ingredients such as solids and liquids at several process points. Optionally, a dosing unit can be used. Over the length of the extruder, four heating and cooling zones ensure the optimum temperature in each process area. The horizontal division of the liner allows evaluation of the screw configuration after the test and facilitates cleaning, saving time between test runs.

A lab extruder offers several benefits vs. those used in ongoing production, Brabender said. For example, in tests, only a small fraction of raw material is used. Formulations, textures and sensory properties of food can be tested in advance.

In addition, less time is required for assembly, modification and cleaning of the test setup. Also, using a production extruder means a loss of production during test preparation, test execution and subsequent recommissioning.

The TwinLab-F 20/40 is controlled via the MetaBridge software. Several measuring instruments can be connected to each other and measurement data can be automatically evaluated. In addition, the software allows simultaneous control of several laboratory instruments.