Case study - Orkla Confectionary and Snacks

Orkla Confectionary and Snacks is a large European snackfood producer. With a turnover of MEUR 600 and five snackfoods factories across the Nordic and Baltic countries they are a market leader. As part of a program to improve product quality and increase efficiency, the Orkla factory in Finland decided to evaluate the DA 7440 from Perten – an advanced On-line NIR sensor which measures moisture, fat, salt/seasonings and color in all types of snackfoods.

During the evaluation, the instrument was installed in the production of potato chips as well as extruded snackfoods. Perten specialists worked very closely with Orkla to optimize measurements for Orkla’s products. In addition to moisture and fat, the DA 7440 was calibrated to measure salt/seasoning and color. While neither salt nor color can be measured directly with NIR, they correlate with other product changes that an advanced NIR instrument can detect. In the case of salt, the NIR instrument can measure the amount of seasoning mix which typically correlates strongly with salt content.

Moisture and fat were measured with the same accuracy as the lab NIR instrument used. It was found that one and the same calibration could be used for all potato chip varieties, and one for all extruded snacks, reducing maintenance significantly. Salt and color measurements were less accurate, but good enough to help detect issues in production, and therefore providing value.

The DA 7440 proved to bring strong benefits:

  • Wastage was reduced during product change-overs, thanks to confirmed stability of seasoning addition.
  • Extruder start-up time was decreased, and any extruder issues were found much more quickly.
  • Production also became more stable overall, as operators became more engaged in the process when they could monitor changes in real-time.

In addition to the reduced wastage, customer claims were reduced and labor savings could be realized. Based on this Orkla decided to invest in two DA 7440s for its Finland factory, and to approve it for use in all their snackfood factories.