We depend on food processing machines like crumblers, tumbling drums, vibratory screeners, and the food crusher to ensure that all the food processed in America makes it to plates safely and securely. There are many types of food processing machines that can do all kinds of things, from instant packaging and cutting to screening out contaminants, to crumblers that crush up or separate larger pieces into the sizes we want to eat. While some machines are used by nearly everyone in the industry, others are special. Here are five amazing food machines that do very specialized jobs that make our lives easier.
The Sandwich-Making Robot
We are all used to the idea of conveyor belt food processing, but the new sandwich-making robot, known as the BistroBot, takes this enormous food processing production and tailors it down to individual made-to-order sandwiches. Customers can make a request and customize their order in any way they like. The machine then sends bread down a conveyor belt where it gets toasted, covered in toppings, filled, and then closed up in a little box and spat out. Currently, the most magical sandwich it’s able to make is the “works” sandwich which is made up of Nutella, cinnamon, chai powder, peanut butter, apple butter, and blackberry and strawberry jams.
The FarmBot Genesis
this amazing precision farming machine is essentially a kind of giant 3D printer, but it doesn’t use plastic. Instead, the FarmBot Genesis is able to utilize that same technology for precision operations in farming like soil preparation, weed control, watering, seeding, and fertilizing. It can change its own heads to move on from one project to the next, and it comes with a decision support system that can analyze and automatically adjust based on soil and weather conditions and all kinds of other sensor data. It’s been used in small raised beds, urban rooftops, retrofitted greenhouses, and even in enormous commercial and industrial setups.
These amazing machines were first made to do things like separate frozen vegetable products. There also able to separate a huge array of dried products, such as raisins, pineapple, sliced bananas, and more. These jobs required a bit of finesse, but crumblers can also be used to break down powders and even granular products into even smaller sizes. Most amazing, the newest crumblers on the market are capable of gently separating a grape from its own stem without damaging the grape. Crumblers are an almost magic device that can powerfully separate foods while inflicting minimal or no damage.
The Puffing Machine
Your breakfast cereal is made up of a puffed grain. The enormous puffing machines that are used to produce these grains feature pressure cookers as powerful as a cannon. Different grains are loaded into the chambers and then rotated and heated until the pressure is so high that the lid is smashed open and everything inside explodes out. The moisture in the grains, which turns to steam and creates the pressure, can’t escape until that lid comes off: so the moment it does all the moisture disappears at once, puffing the grains. The Museum of Food and Drink in New York City once built a puffing machine that weighed 3,200 pounds.
The Precision Smoker
You might have a personal smoker in your backyard, and the barbecue restaurant down the street probably has a bigger one that has to be pulled by a powerful truck if it needs to move, but not many people have a specialty 12-foot smoker built by GE and Sheet Metal Alchemist. This enormous smoker was built for the Science of Barbecue Experience in 2015, and is completely state-of-the-art with thermocouplers, velocity sensors, humidity sensors, and thermometers throughout so that every variable can be measured in real time. This allows the pit chemist and the BBQ master to instantly maintain all the variables to create the world’s most perfectly cooked brisket.
Machines have been improving our lives since the wheel was invented, and now we’re turning some of the amazing power of technology towards our food. Who knows what will invent next?