Located in the freezer cylinder, a dasher and beater has two parts: a line of rotating blades, and a static beater against which the knives whip air into the ice cream mix.
The dasher blades scrape up the ice cream mix and ice particles and agitate them against the beater and cylinder surface, whipping the right amount of air into the mix to create a smooth, uniform texture.
“The dasher and beater is what turns your ice cream mix into ice cream. It’s the heart of your process,” explains Steen Gyldenloev, Tetra Pak Technical Product Manager.
Choosing the right dasher and beater is important. An optimal dasher applies the right amount of agitation without overworking the ice cream. Overworking could result in excessively large fat globules that cause undesirable buttery lumps in your final product.
“Typically, you’ll want a dasher with agitation that’s enough to make the right texture and incorporate the right volume of air to give your ice cream a good structure, with the right size of ice crystals and the proportion of air bubbles. That gives the mouthfeel you desire,” Gyldenloev says.
Getting this right depends on optimising the time the ice cream mix remains in the freezing cylinder. The number of scraper blades, the speed at which they rotate and their precision in scraping the cylinder surface are crucial to achieving the ideal freezing time, so the ice crystals reach the right size. The retention time must be accurate: if it is too long, the ice crystals can grow and give your ice cream a coarser mouthfeel.
A dasher and beater is the critical core of your ice cream freezer. This stainless-steel device uses an assembly of scraper blades to whip the ice cream mix into the perfect blend of ice crystals, air bubbles and cream for your consumers.
The dasher and beater should also be designed for maximum versatility in handling different product types.
“You want a setup that can handle multiple varieties and create the exact texture and mouthfeel for each product. Ice crystals can be the result of a poorly designed dasher and beater,” Gyldenloev says.
Many dashers and beaters are optimised for specific ice cream varieties, sometimes forcing a producer that wants to run multiple products to install more than one.
By contrast, the Multi Dasher and Wing Beater from Tetra Pak can handle all types of ice cream. This is because you can configure the agitation on a Multi Dasher to deliver exactly the right properties for a complete range of products.
“It’s one-size-fits-all. You can use the Multi Dasher to make water-based ice cream, standard ice cream and all-natural products such as plant-based and vegan varieties,” Gyldenloev says.
“The versatility is so high that our customers can use it more than 98 percent of the time. Thanks to excellent agitation and air incorporation, they get the perfect air mixture every time.”
In fact, the dasher’s air incorporation is so effective that it removes the need for an aerator, as some alternative setups may require.
Tetra Pak beaters also benefit from a smart design that almost touches the dasher. This accentuates the agitation effect and provides greater efficiency.
Another crucial area when choosing the right dasher and beater is cleaning, when some need to be opened. Choosing a version that allows easy cleaning in place is a much more effective and economical option.
The Solid Beater from Tetra Pak is a good example. This beater is often used in water ice production, where fouling tendency – and hence cleaning need – is greater than in dairy and plant-based ice cream production.
The Solid Beater treats the mix more gently than competitor alternatives and also requires a lower retention time than comparable models. This can reduce cleaning interval frequency by three or four times – an attractive cost saving for the producer.
At our dedicated ice cream solution product center in Aarhus, Denmark, engineers and application experts are on hand to help you meet the need for continuous revitalization in your product portfolio.