Pellet snacks are produced dried and semi-processed for easy storage and shipment and in a second phase are expanded, seasoned and packed. The pellet snacks’ peculiar capability of expanding is due to the presence of gelatinized or partially gelatinized starch in their matrix.


Starches, fibers and liquids are introduced into a batch mixer according to the recipe for the end product and the dough is then conveyed continuously and uniformly to the heart of the twin-screw system where it is cooked, formed and cut to extrude a homogeneous and controlled product under pressure. This combined cooking, forming and cutting process in a single integrated unit is the critical advantage of Clextral system over traditional pellet making machine. Multiple shapes are produced by the die inserts at this point, including stars, wheels, cones, animals and other 2D and 3D variations. Wet pellets are then sent to a drying line where the product is smoothly dried.

Process for producing expandable pellets

With the process for producing potato based expandable pellets, an intermediary product is manufactured that is capable of being stored for up to about six months. These pellets can be later expanded into a food product, particularly a potato based snack product that has improved flavor qualities and increased oil pick up. To form the pellets, a potato meal is passed through a twin screw extruder at a relatively low extruder rotational speed, which increases the residence time and the volume of bed pack in the extruder while decreasing shear. The extrudate produced is then split into ribbons that are subsequently perforated. These ribbons are then formed into shaped pellets.