An enrober is a device used to coat a food in a liquid coating, often for coating candy or other desserts in chocolate. The device is often quite large and usually consists of a conveyor belt that moves pieces of food into the pouring area in which they are coated. In this area, a sheet of liquid coating pours down in a carefully controlled way, so as to provide a thorough and precise coating for the food as it passes through the sheet. An enrober is often used in commercial confectionery production to automate the process of dipping cookies and candy.
Though it can be designed in different sizes, an enrober is usually quite large and can potentially coat hundreds or thousands of confections within a fairly short period of time. One of the most common uses for an enrober is in coating cookies or candy in chocolate, such as candy bars. The confection typically begins at one end of the machine and may be placed directly onto a conveyor belt or into containers on the belt. A belt will usually be made of a metal grating, and containers will have holes, to allow the coating to pass through it into a container that redirects the excess coating back up to the pouring station.
The confection will move toward the pouring station of the enrober. Liquid coating, often melted chocolate, is poured in a steady and regulated amount down from the pouring station in a liquid curtain of coating. As the confection passes through this curtain, it is evenly coated with the coating, and the speed of the conveyor can be adjusted to alter the thickness of the coating. The confection will often be placed in a bottom layer of chocolate or other coating prior to entering the pouring area of the enrober to coat the bottom of the cookie or candy.
After passing through the pouring station, the confection will typically move into a cooling tunnel. In this area, jets of air or other methods are used to cool the confection and solidify the coating on the cookie or candy. After this, the confection can be removed from the conveyor belt and may be packaged for sale. The use of an enrober allows an automated facility to output products that would require dozens of individuals hand-dipping confections in chocolate or other coatings, and the automation ensures consistency in appearance and coating thickness.