Automating Nonpareil Production

Automating Nonpareil Production

ChocolateLife Member Maggie in Pennsylvania asks ...


“I am looking for any leads on a nonpareil making machine OR how the heck to build one ;) We currently work with 30,000 lbs of chocolate per year at my shop and hand make our nonpareils with the funnel & stick - our arms are sore! So any leads would be MUCH appreciated!”

My Response


The first question I have is to ask if the photo above (forget the fact that the nonpareils are on a brownie base – it’s the photo I could find) represents what you’re trying to make – a flat disk of chocolate covered with those little round candies. If that’s the case then you can break the challenge down into two parts:

  1. Depositing the chocolate disks.
  2. Covering them with the candies.

The approach to the first question is going to depend on how many you want to make. If you’re making thousands of pounds I’d look into a chip/disk depositing line with an in-line “sprinkler.” This is not as straightforward as it sounds because you want to sprinkle the candies over a wire belt not on the plastic belt of a conventional cooling tunnel. If I were you, I’d also look into inserting a mister into the line to spray a plant-based compound used in panning that is slightly sticky before it dries, improving the adherence of the candies onto the chocolate disks.

If you’re looking for a less expensive solution because your volumes don’t demand – you don’t say how much of the 30,000 lbs of chocolate you go through in a year is turned into nonpareils –  a continuous tempering machine with an oversize depositing head can take care of depositing the chocolate disks onto a sheet pan and then you could either move the tray under a sprinkling mechanism or do it by hand. Either way I’d look into misting the tops of the disks with that plant-based compound before applying the candies.

Does this answer your question? When it comes to specifying the equipment and finding a dealer that’s something I can help you with.

If I misunderstood the question, please let us know in the comments.

If you are a ChocolateLife member and have other ideas for approaching this production challenge, please share them in the comments.

Featured Image original by Bryan Ochalla (Flickr) from Wikimedia Commons under a CC2.0 SA license. Image post-processing by me in Luminar AI.

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