Panned Raisins 101
- California Raisins are generally pretreated prior to panning. The treatments involve application of a base coating or flavor. Although most confectioners use oil coated “confectionery” raisins, others apply their own coating which involves the application of a light fat, sugar or starch coating. California Raisin packers are experts at supplying the exact right product for panning raisins.
- Before panning, raisins should be cooled. Arrange raisins on trays and place in cold storage for several hours. This gives them a harder texture preferred for panning and also facilitates separation of individual berries.
- California Raisins are free flowing and can be easily seperated prior to panning. They also have a firm skin that holds up to the rigors of panning.
- A precoating treatment seals the surface of the raisin and minimizes the transfer of moisture from the raisin to the coating. California Raisins have a low water activity between 0.51 and 0.62 at 13 to 18 percent moisture. This prevents moisture transfer and blooming and also allows a manufacturer to apply a relatively small amount of chocolate to achieve adhesion.
- California Raisins can be panned at a 1 to 1 ratio of fruit to coating.
- A typical panning procedure involves loading raisins into a rotating pan equipped with an inlet of cold dry air (60-650 F) and 40 percent relative humidity (RH).
- For a batch process in a medium-sized pan, 20 pounds of raisins are rotated at 20 to 25 rpm.
- A fat coating with a melting point: 930 to 970 F is melted and poured onto the raisins until it is evenly distributed.
- Cold air is then blown in the pan to solidify the fat film. The operation may be repeated, once or twice, to obtain a very even pre-coating.
- Raisins are removed from the pan, sifted and stored overnight in a cold dry storage area to ensure a thorough drying of the pre-coating.
Smooth surface process
- Precoated raisins are returned to the revolving pan and a warm coating is added in small amounts. When white chocolate and yogurt coatings are used, they are heated to about 1050 to 1150 F until fluid enough for even distribution. When chocolate is used and when panning is done by hand, it is recommended that the chocolate be tempered for faster setting.
- The coating layer is built up for several light, even applications, and then set with cool air at 40 to 60 percent RH. As soon as the coating is evenly distributed onto the raisins, cool dry air is blown into the pan until the layer is dried. Small batches of coating (one pound at a time for 20 lbs of raisins) are used for a smooth finish until the desired amount of coating is built up.
- A fruit coating/raisin ratio of 1:1 offers the best textural contrast and organoleptic properties.
- The coated raisins are removed from the pan, sifted and stored overnight on trays in a cold, dry storage area.