Unfortunately, as we all know Summer is winding down and the colder temperatures will be upon us soon. Luckily, we still have a little time left to enjoy those cookouts, camping trips and bonfires. I can think of one thing that is truly a summertime staple and that is S’mores, and it just so happens August 10th in national s’mores day.
As much as most of us love a good s’more, many of us have no clue that air compressors help make those delicious treat a reality. Air compressors are used in the chocolate and marshmallow making process.
When it comes to chocolate, compressed air is a crucial role in creating the smooth and consistent texture that we associate with a chocolate bar.
Here’s how air compressors are involved:
Conching process – conching is a key step in chocolate production where the chocolate mass is continuously mixed and aerated for several hours to develop flavor, reduce moisture content, and achieve a smooth texture. Compressed air is often used to agitate and aerate the chocolate during the conching process.
Cooling and solidification – After conching, the chocolate needs to be cooled and solidified quickly to achieve the desired glossy appearance and snap when broken. Compressed air can cool the chocolate molds or convey the chocolate to cooling tunnels, assisting in the solidification process.
Packaging and handling – like most food and beverage products, compressed air is used in various packaging processes, such as filling chocolate bars or transferring chocolate products to packaging machines. It helps to ensure precise and efficient packaging operations.
Air compressors are also used to produce marshmallows as well. The process is not quite as extensive as chocolate making, but compressed air plays a specific role in the production of marshmallows.
Whipping and mixing – to make marshmallows, sugar, water, and other ingredients are mixed and heated to create a syrup. Compressed air can sometimes be added to this mixture to aid in whipping and aerating the syrup giving marshmallows their light and fluffy texture.
Cooling at setting - After the marshmallow mixture is whipped and aerated, it is deposited into molds or on a conveyor belt for shaping. It can then be transferred to cooling chambers to help set and stabilize the marshmallows’ structure.
Cutting and packaging – compressed air powered tools might be used for cutting or shaping large blocks of marshmallow into smaller pieces before packaging. The compressed air can also play a role in various aspects of packaging, like sealing bags or moving packages marshmallows through a production line.
While the role of compressed air in marshmallow production might not be as extensive as some other food processes, it still contributes to achieve the final product.
So, as we approach the cooling embrace of the upcoming months, let’s savor these remaining days with the companionship of S’mores, acknowledging the role that air compressors lend to our summertime experiences.