An Introduction to Twin Screw Extrusion

At Wyandot, we produce a wide variety of better-for-you snacks for some of the largest and most recognized CPG brands, food service accounts and restaurants in the world. To achieve the volume, uniformity and consistent quality and safety of our products, we have become experts in a number of technologies, twin screw extrusion being one of them. Twin screw extrusion is one of the most common food manufacturing processes used today to produce snack foods such as puffed corn, cheese and vegetable snacks. But what exactly is it? Where did it come from? And why is it one of Wyandot’s chosen methods of production? 

What is Twin Screw Extrusion?

Twin screw extrusion is a process during which a mixture of ingredients, called extrudate, is forced through an opening in a perforated plate or die to produce a quantity of specifically shaped food products. Wyandot achieves this through the use of a stationary barrel-shaped container to hold the extrudate, and two rotating side-by-side screws to push the extrudate through the opening. The resulting products are then cut to a specific size and allowed to dry. By adjusting some of the factors in the extrusion process, such as pressure, temperature and moisture level, Wyandot can produce different textures and colors of product. 

Twin Screw Extruder screws disassembled after a week of production

Twin Screw Extruder screws disassembled after a week of production

The History of Twin Screw Extrusion

The predecessor of twin screw extrusion, single screw food extrusion, was first invented by food manufacturers in the late 19th century as a way of producing sausages. Food manufacturers soon recognized the process as a reliable method to mass produce with uniformity, and during the 1930’s it was applied to making dry pasta and breakfast cereals. As time progressed, the applications for food extrusion grew, as did the technology for producing a wider variety of foods in a range of different textures and shapes. In the 1980’s, the twin screw extruder was invented, offering higher efficiency and more capacity to produce foods with complex recipes and ingredients. Today, the U.S. snack food market has grown to reach a value of over $45B in 2020

Using Food Extrusion to Produce Better-For-You Snacks

With over 85 years in operation, Wyandot has become experts in the process of twin screw extrusion. Our state-of-the-art equipment and technology allow us to quickly and reliably produce high-quality snack foods to our customer’s exact specifications. Using twin screw extrusion, we can add innovative ingredients to our snacks including fruits, vegetables, ancient grains, protein, fiber and vitamins. In addition to sourcing only the finest ingredients, we can fine tune our extrusion processes to produce better-for-you snack foods with a variety of characteristics that stand out from the rest. 

If you would like to know more about this story, or what Wyandot Snacks can do for your business, contact us today.

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