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Does anyone have thoughts on "manually enrobing" product please?

I am panning freeze dried strawberries and I'd like to do raspberries and too and they are very fragile. Simply panning does not work - the fruit breaks up and it's a mess.

I have made a batch of the strawberries and they are sensational and I'd like to do the raspberries too. The way I did the strawberries was to temper some milk chocolate and pour the chocolate through the fruit while mixing it around. Then placing it all on trays. Then I pan the resultant product when the chocolate is hard. The "enrobing" takes AGES to do and is not really commercially viable (I sell it in markets). Also if I leave a spot "unenrobed" that breaks apart in the pan - messy messy.

The above does not work for the raspberries as they are even more fragile.

So I'd like to enrobe - but the eqipment is really costly (I have asked about machines in another forum so maybe I'll get some guideance there too).

So I am wondering if there is a better way that someone might know of please?

Thanks Guyz 'n Girlz!

Colin :-)

Tags: enrobing, manual, panning

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It seems like the problem is to cover the fragile product with enough chocolate so that it survives the panning process. I don't know that it's possible to put the product on a conventional enrobing belt as the product seems like it would be so small it would fall through the belt.

I wonder if spraying chocolate will work?

You can spread the product to be covered on a sheet pan (shake), and then spray and coat. When the chocolate is set (moments), you can use a spatula to loosen the items from the tray and turn them over. Repeat the spraying/turning process until coated enough to withstand panning.

Hi Clay,

You have emailed me too but I'll comment here in case it helps others too.

I think that the strawberries and raspberries will be OK on a belt - they are large enough but I will measure and respond.

You HAVE hit a nerve on the spraying process too as I'd like to be able to spray into my coating pan. But spraying units seem to be about $35,000! Is there a (MUCH) less costly way to you know?

Now you have me thinking about paint sraying systems from the hardware store. Wonder if that would work? Any thoughts please?


Colin :-)

What about spraying the fruit with choc/c.butter via an airgun to get a good coating on it, then panning it?

I have the D+R panning jobbie (K.Aid attachment) That I use all the time.  I have a cheap air conditioner that I have rigged up with a "mask" and 4" dryer hose.  I direct a stream of a/c air into the machine and have very short panning times.  In the winter, I wheel the mixer+panning pan into the commercial hallway of my bldg, which is usually around +10-+15 celc. during the winter months.

The couverture doesn't need to be tempered, I keep mine in a large squeeze bottle in a pan of warm water, one good squirt every few minutes.........  

Thanks for the thought Edward. My pan is 15Kg (about 33lb) and although I have to do a deal less when doing the strawberries it's still about 8Kg - and indeed I want to buy a bigger pan to do a lot more. The pan at that size crashes the product down quite hard and it breaks and/or the chocolate breaks off and the product beneath starts to come away too. That is not the same issue on a very small pan.

I only temper the couverture to apply it to the first layer - the "quasi-enrobed" layer which is what I am trying to find a cure for. The final layer tempers itself with the movement of the chocoate - at least so I understand it. I'm learning REALLY fast!

I do like your thought on the a/c with the mask! I have tried that myself and I'm going to try again. Last time I didn't have a large enough pipe and the air didn't get through and it was not cold enough either (rated at 18 degrees C although it gets colder than that).

Now I am battling relative humidity too which seems to be a trade-off between temperature and R/H. Aaaahhhhh!!!! Needs to be low to get a decent polish on the panned product. I mention this as where I live the humidty is too high to take it into the hallway.

You are clearly an innovative person! Love your thinking!

Thanks for your help

Colin :-)


I got the photo of the pieces you sent and I am waiting to hear back about whether or not they will fit. Some of the blueberries look like they might be a tad small. That said, an enrobing line is going to offer superior throughput over the modified panning you use when you consider that it's a two-step process (coat with tempered chocolate, then pan).

A quick Google search on "chocolate spray gun" returned this result from a US web site for Kerekes ( for a device from Campbell Hausfeld for US$365. I've seen these in use in Europe so I am confident you can find them in 50Hz current suitable for Oz.

Gee - you are an innovative man Clay! I wonder now if this could be my entry point. I believe that even if I can enrobe I will also need to pan to get that lovely round shape and thickness of chocolate. The spray option is cheap enough to try and discard if it's a problem.  I have responded back to Giuseppe so let's see what he says.

I do wonder if there would be enough chocolate if I sprayed and if it would be a very slow process. Have to think on that!

You mentioned earlier about there being a reversal option on the Prima for an additional payment. Why would one want to reverse the process? Just so I understand!

Thanks again for your help

Colin :-)

As you say, the option is inexpensive enough to try and discard if it doesn't work. I remember that the volume of chocolate can be regulated from very thin to relatively thick. Depending on what your needs it could take less than a minute per pan. That has to be faster (and less damaging) in volume than what you're doing now.

The FBM Prima comes with a reversible pump/auger as a standard feature. The reversible pump requires 3-phase power to operate. If you have single-phase power, the pump/auger only operates in the one direction. There is the option to make the pump/auger removable. This is not necessarily something you'd do every changeover, but it is a good part of maintenance.

Thinking it through the spray would not have much capacity hence choc thickness for a decent load and it would also cool quickly so the chocolate would lose temper. Not sure how vital the latter is given that I'll pan anyway where the chocolate tempers due to agitation. Just thoughs. The reversible pump/auger could be important if I am changing chocolate? Dark/Milk/White? I have a domestic power supply but there are devices that "make" 3 phase power if needed I am told.


i tried a spray gun from the hardware store.  I thought it was going to be a brilliant idea.  The problem is that the spray head is not heated so the chocolate mixed with the cold air under pressure sets up inside the spray head.  

Plus... when compressing the air, you are introducing much unwanted moisture.

Bottom line...  

It doesn't work...


Thanks for the thought Jeremy. The moisture could be handled with appropriate filters. But the chocolate setting inside the spray head is a worry! I have researched spraying quite a bit and what is really needed as I understand it, is not so much a "spray" as a "stream" pushed out with compressed air. The spray itself, when it can work, is pretty messy and you geta chocolated coated room. However, that is second-hand and I am very much trying to learn.

In fact Selmi have a nice unit - but it runs on electronics that are buried in their pan which is not cost-justifyable for me.

Colin :-)


As you know now, strawberries and raspberries...Two completely different animals!

They both will break apart, at different stages due to the water content. Raspberries are made of many little "capsules" holding juices. that is why you had better luck with strawberries (more meaty). Have you tried dehydrating the fruits a little (not all the way), then working with them. I believe the more water you draw out of the fruit, the more stable and manageble they will become...

Good luck,

Hi Ramon,

Thanks for that. I am working with freeze-dried product so not a drop of water in the equation. Water makes chocolate seize so I avoid any sniff of it.

As you say the raspberries are made of many small pieces of fruit and as such are especially fragile.I do beleiev that and enrober will fix the proble as it is non-impact as opposed to a pan that bashes the heck out of the product.

Thanks for your thoughts

Colin :-)


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