Do you know how to achieve the perfect crumb coating?

Discover the science behind superior crumb management


Consumers increasingly seek varied and high-quality convenience foods, and dry coating allows food processors to diversify their product range with minimal effort. But have you ever considered the science behind the perfect crumb coating? Though seemingly straightforward, truly effective dry coating depends on carefully developed technology to produce the delicious, crispy products your customers desire. In this article, we explore the science behind expert crumb management and how we've implemented it to create our RevoCrumb coating solution.

Your perfect end product is our starting point

Our product development process begins with a detailed understanding of our customers’ needs. Marel’s process technologists are actively involved in daily factory operations, gaining firsthand insights into challenges such as crumb management, and receiving feedback on what processors truly need from their coating equipment. We then transform this feedback into unique and innovative technologies that address the genuine demands of the market, enabling you to produce the exact products you envision.

Convenience Coated Tenders

What is crumb management and why does it matter?

Crumb management is the process of controlling the distribution of breadcrumbs onto food products. Effective crumb management is important to ensure:

Product quality and appearance: Proper crumb management ensures even coverage of fine and coarse crumbs on the top and bottom of the product. This improves the appearance and texture of your products and reduces the amount of debris in your fryer.

Reducing waste and costs: By reducing crumb breakdown, optimizing the usage of coating materials and creating top quality end products with fewer downgrades, crumb management helps minimize food waste and contribute to lower production costs.

Understanding the science behind crumb management

The RevoCrumb is an advanced crumb coating solution for products like schnitzels, tenders and nuggets. To create its unique crumb management technology, our experts focused on four key areas: crumb separation, the angle of repose, crumb transportation and a unique blow-off system. Let’s take a closer look.

Control Crumb Particle Distribution

Crumb separation

Managing crumb size is crucial in dry coating as it determines the appearance and crispiness of your products. RevoCrumb utilizes and manipulates the natural percolation process to separate larger and smaller crumbs. In this natural sorting method, smaller crumbs fall between the larger ones, much like how smaller cereal pieces settle at the bottom of the box while larger flakes remain on top. This is known as the Brazilian nut effect.

While many crumb coating machines on the market separate crumb sizes, only RevoCrumb offers the ability to manage the individual flows of fine and coarse crumbs for both the top and bottom layers and direct their flow onto the product.

By ensuring that the larger particles make contact with the product first, followed by the smaller particles, RevoCrumb achieves optimal particle size distribution on all surfaces of the product. This results in exceptional product appearance and quality.

Angle Of Repose

Angle of repose

The angle of repose is the steepest angle at which a pile of loose material remains stable, without particles sliding off. Materials with a larger particle size, such as crumbs and flakes, typically have a lower angle of repose, indicating that they flow more freely. On the other hand, finer materials like flour breading typically have a higher angle of repose, meaning they do not flow as easily and therefore maintain a steeper pile without collapsing.

We use this principle to help us determine the mechanisms for transporting different types of crumb coatings in our coating machines. An angle of repose of around 45° is used as the tipping point for determining which machine is suitable for the coating type.

For example, the RevoCrumb is suitable for coatings with an angle of repose below 45 degrees (called ‘free-flowing’ coatings), the Active Flour Applicator is suitable for coatings with an angle of repose above 45 degrees (called ‘non-free-flowing’ coatings) and the RevoBreader is suitable for both free-flowing and non-free-flowing coatings.

Crumb Solution Schematically

Crumb transport

The RevoCrumb is designed to handle coarse coatings such as dry panko and cornflakes, which are more fragile and prone to breaking down than finer coatings like flour breading. While traditional crumb coating machines use auger screws, we found these unsuitable for the RevoCrumb as they tend to grind and damage the crumbs. To avoid this, we designed a unique wheel mechanism that gently scoops and transports the crumbs without mechanical strain, thereby maintaining their size and texture.

Moreover, because crumbs flow freely, the RevoCrumb features a bunker that allows them to descend gently using gravity, without the need for mechanical force. This method not only minimizes breakdown of particle size but also improves coating quality by ensuring uniform adhesion to the product.

Unique blow-off system

One of the major challenges in crumb coating is that loose particles fall off the product and accumulate in the fryer, which can  leave unsightly dark spots on your product. They also soak up valuable frying oil and introduce impurities that can create an unpleasant flavor and shorten your oil’s lifespan.

To address these issues, our dry-coating machines feature a unique blow-off system that reduces loose particles in the frying oil by up to 80%. This innovation improves product quality and saves costs by decreasing the amount of oil exiting the fryer with the crumbs, extending your oils’ lifespan by reducing oxidation, and minimizing black spots on your end products.

Part of a full-line solution

As part of a comprehensive full-line coating solution, the RevoCrumb works seamlessly with other equipment. It follows the Active Batter Applicator, which expertly coats the product in batter before delivering it to the RevoCrumb. Together, these two machines effectively eliminate belt marks on the underside of the product, ensuring a flawless presentation every time. The RevoCrumb’s adjustable pressure rollers and vibrating plates also enhance crumb adhesion and pickup, significantly increasing yield. This integrated approach ensures a smooth, efficient and high-quality coating operation.

Further Processing Full Convenience Line

Want to learn even more about the RevoCrumb or any of Marel’s other coating equipment? Simply fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch!

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