Secret Sauce: In-House Testing of our Sauce Applicators

target sauce applicator

Target sauce applicators like our QTSA and QTMC Series evenly apply sauce to your product while maintaining a sauce free border. When properly integrated into your production line , these machines can greatly increase efficiency. They also improve the appearance and consistency of your product. The decrease in cost of labor and waste will improve your bottom line.

But what kind of sauces are compatible with these automated machines, and how can I know that my sauce will work with a Quantum Sauce Applicator? Below, we investigate how these machines work, the criteria that a sauce must meet to be compatible with sauce applicators, and how our in-house testing ensures a consistent and accurate deposit.


Sauce Applicators, at a Glance

As part of a full production line, sauce applicators like our QTMC Series can produce up to 80 12” pizzas per minute. As pizza crusts are moved down a conveyor and pass into position under the applicating head, sauce is accurately deposited onto the crust in an even coating. From there, it moves down the line where cheese, meats, vegetables, or other ingredients can be applied.

Watch a video of a target sauce applicator in action.

Sauce applicators are not limited to tomato sauce and can be used to top other products as well. The versatility of these machines means that they can be used to apply a variety of sauces, such as alfredo or barbeque sauce.

However, not all sauces are compatible with this type of depositor.  This is due to several factors that we will examine below. We can customize pattern plates to work with a variety of sauces, but to ensure that a sauce will work it is highly recommended to use our in-house testing before introducing a new sauce to your production line. Pattern plates are custom designed based on the sauce characteristics and the deposit requirements.


Which Sauces Work With Target Sauce Applicators?

Before purchasing a sauce applicator, it is highly recommended that a sample of the sauce, dressing, or other product is tested by our in-house services to determine if it is compatible with our machines.

When testing, we look at certain elements to ensure that our sauce applicators can apply an even coating of sauce to whatever product you are looking to cover. Some of these variables include:

  • Low and High Viscosities – If an ingredient is too thick or too thin, it may not be able to be applied properly. Olive oil and honey are two examples. The Bostwick Meter is a tool used to measure the consistency and flow rate of viscous materials such as sauces, dressings, or other ingredients that may be used in food manufacturing. We use this tool as a starting point for testing.
  • Particulate Size – In order for a sauce applicator to function properly, the sauce must be able to pass through check valves and holes in the pattern plate. Particulate matter such as tomato chunks or onion pieces can clog the holes in these plates, rendering them ineffective. Sometimes this can be overcome by slight modifications to the sauce and/or using different hole geometry in the pattern plate.


Our In-House Testing

Prior to an order, Quantum tests a customer’s sauce to ensure that the correct pattern plate is supplied. While a sauce applicator can be compatible with any number of sauces, individual pattern plates may need to be used for specific sauces.

Each pattern plate is customized to the type of sauce used, the volume applied, and the size of the product that it is applied to. This testing process is typically recommended both for new customers along with existing customers who are using a new type of ingredient with their sauce applicator.


How Do I Get Started?

During the process of ordering a sauce applicator, a few variables are required. All that is needed is: sauce sample, pizza size, deposit size, and deposit volume.

Our testing technicians can handle the rest, and provide you with the sauce applicator as well as the appropriate pattern plates.

If you have any questions about what this testing process looks like in detail, or inquiries about our target sauce applicators, contact us and we can provide you with all of the information you require.