An enrober is a machine used in the confectionery industry to coat a food item with a coating medium, typically chocolate. Foods that are coated by enrobers include nuts, ice cream, toffee, biscuits and cookies. Enrobing is essentially a mechanized form of hand-dipping. Enrobing with chocolate extends a confection's shelf life.
Coating a confection in chocolate was traditionally a slow manual process involving dipping the pieces into melted chocolate by hand. As demand for chocolate-coated sweets grew, it became impractical or impossible to employ enough people to dip sweets into melted chocolate to keep up with required production capacity. To fulfill this need for high-capacity chocolate coating, the enrober machine was invented in France in 1903, brought to the United States, and perfected to perform the work of at least twenty people.
The process of enrobing involves placing the items on the enrober's feed band, which may consist of a wire mesh or containers in which the confection to be enrobed are placed, with each container having drain holes to recover excess chocolate. The enrober maintains the coating medium at a controlled constant temperature and pumps the medium into a flow pan. The medium flows from the flow pan in a continuous curtain and bottoming bed that the food items pass through, completely coating them. A wire mesh conveyor belt then transports the coated confection to a cooling area.
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