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Reading Bakery Systems Adds Expanded Snack System to Science and Innovation Center

ROBESONIA, PA, – Reading Bakery Systems (RBS), one of the world’s leading manufacturers of baking and process systems for the global food industry, has added an automated expanded snack system to its Science Innovation Center in Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania.

The installed expanded snack system allows real-world production of a wide variety of expanded snacks from corn, rice and other cereal ingredients. The new system is suited for producing corn curls and balls, but it can be used to produce a wider variety of expanded snacks, including ribbons, popcorn shapes, rings and more.

“The RBS expanded snack system allows for versatility and efficiency in snack food production processes,” said Joseph Cross, Product Line Manager, Mixing and Extrusion Technologies for RBS. “We are continually developing new shapes and formulas for this system at our Science and Innovation Center. We invite potential customers to come to the Center, and work with us to create samples and help develop their business plan.”

The RBS expanded snack system includes a ribbon blender, ingredient transfer system to automatically refill the extruder, a high-pressure extruder, and a pneumatic transfer system to move extruded products to the tumble dryer. The high-pressure extruder is capable of operating at variable speeds to adjust for the exact processing needs for each product.

“Our customers can now see exactly how the RBS expanded snack system will run in their facility,” said Cross. “This removes any guesswork– since this equipment at our Innovation Center is exactly the same as our production equipment.”

The 30,000 square foot RBS Science and Innovation Center is a fully equipped, licensed food processing research and development facility. The Center, which opened in 1996, moved into a new facility seven years ago and has a complete line of RBS equipment capable of producing a wide assortment of baked snacks and other food products. In addition to the expanded snack system, customers also have access to batch and continuous mixing, a variety of forming processes and convective and radiant baking equipment.

Components of the RBS expanded snack system include:

Dry Ingredient Ribbon Blender

The ribbon blender creates a homogenous blend of dry ingredients for a variety of recipes that can be run through the extrusion system. It may also be used to evenly distribute oil or increase the moisture level of the dry ingredient blend to promote better processing and higher system throughput.

High-Pressure Extruder

The high-pressure extruder mixes and cooks the raw ingredients to produce expanded shapes such as curls and balls. The flexible design enables quick and easy changeover of the screws, barrels and product dies. This allows for a wide variety of formulations to produce interesting textures and flavors in different shapes, including ribbons, popcorn shapes, rings and more.

Tumble Dryer

The tumble dryer reduces the moisture of the product to the proper, finished level, typically 1.5 to 4 percent. The dryer is designed for gentle tumbling action and allows for variation of residence time and temperature to control the exact process parameters required for different products.

For more information on the RBS Science and Innovation Center, the Expanded Snack System, and all equipment and services provided by Reading Bakery Systems, visit

Reading Bakery Systems is a world-leading manufacturer of innovative baking and process systems for the global snack food industry. Reading Bakery Systems provides processing solutions capable of producing a wide range of snack products, continuous mixing solutions for the food industry and oven profiling and consulting services. Company brands include Thomas L. Green, Reading Pretzel, Exact Mixing and Reading Thermal. Reading Bakery Systems is a Markel Food Group Company. For more information concerning equipment and services provided by Reading Bakery Systems, visit

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