Pellets, extruded intermediates, or half products are grain based products created through extrusion similar to a pasta process. Products are differentiated by formula, expansion characteristics, processing parameters, size, shape and method for expansion. Expansion methods include fried (hot oil), baked (hot air), formed (puffing) and micro wave.
A pellet is shelf-stable for up to a year in its "raw" or unexpanded form. Pellets offer unique economies in shipping, because until they are expanded you are not shipping or storing air. Pellet based snacks can deliver a wider variety of healthful properties compared to traditional fried snacks. For example when pellets are fried they can have a fat content of 15-25%, and if air baked 0-5%, while traditional fried chips have about 35% oil absorption.
When pellets are fried the moisture content is replaced with oil. The oil absorption will vary depending on the ingredients and the resulting cell structure. A deep fried finished product will range in fat content from 15–25%. When air baked or pressure puffed the finished fat content can be <1-10%, and varies due to the possible addition of a light oil spray on the surface required for the topical seasoning to stick. By comparison, a traditional fried chip is about 35%.
There are 10 base series of shape families and a wide range of ingredient combinations available. J.R. Short will also develop custom formulas and help design custom shapes, resulting in an pellet product solution to meet your specific business and application needs. Please see shapes and ingredients.
The process to make a pellet requires high temperatures that may not be suitable for some flavors. Sweet, savory, fruit, vegetable, or other heat stable flavors can be included in the pellet formulation to compliment topicals. Topical seasonings are at the discretion of the customer/co-packer and are commonly added after the pellets are expanded.
There are currently 10 base series of shapes including; shells, chips, strips & ribbons, twists, rings, circular tubes, square tubes, ridges, split peas & small balls (micro balls), grids, brand & custom shapes.
We take pride in our internal R&D team and pilot facility. Just help us understand the characteristics you want in the finished product - nutrition, whole or multi-grain, texture, size, flavor, expansion methods - and we will do our best to develop and produce exactly what you are looking for.
New product timelines depend heavily on individual customer requirements. J.R. Short offers unique speed to market through responsive new product development. Formulas can be developed, reviewed, refined and finalized within a month when using an existing die. Custom die shapes may add about 8 weeks to the process. Generally our customer's consumer testing, production testing and packaging film are key time line considerations.
J.R. Short pellets can be used in many food categories such as snacks, cereals, desserts, sweet goods, and nutrition bars and cross many category lines. Finished pellet products reach the consumer through food, drug, mass and convenience retail channels, as well as restaurants, schools, vending and internet channels.
Lead time is 4-6 weeks depending on availability of ingredients. However, unexpected events may occur in your business where you are unable to stay with this target. J.R. Short is committed to meeting your needs and will do our best to respond to short notice requirements.
The cost of pellets is entirely dependent upon the ingredient combinations used and the impact those ingredients may have on production. Pellets from J.R. Short are a cost effective option in the food categories where they are commonly used.
J.R. Short is always willing to explore new opportunities across the globe. We have several customers outside of the United States that receive product from us on a regular basis. Our customer service department is a great source for helping our customers from all over the world.
How you receive your product is up to you. In some cases, certain packaging techniques are used in order to ensure a safe and damage-free delivery of the product. A sales representative will be able to help you assess the best way to ship your product.
J.R. Short is committed to hiring the right people in the right jobs. Possible positions at J.R. Short include the following: production operators and laborers, warehouse workers, packers and loaders, customer service reps, laboratory techs, and various accounting positions.
Because of the amount of resumes and applications we receive, not everyone will receive a response. However, if there are open positions and we have reviewed your resume or application, we will call you for a phone interview if you meet the qualifications we are looking for.