Abstract: Tapioca starch, NaCl (28, 135, and 378 μm), corn starch, cocoa powder, soy protein isolate, cheese powder, wheat protein, modified starch, nacho cheese, and sugar were coated at 0 kV for nonelectrostatic and at 25 kV for electrostatic coating onto metal, wood, unoiled paper, oiled paper, unoiled plastic, oiled plastic, fresh bread, and dry bread. Powders and targets were allowed to naturally tribocharge, or all charge was removed before coating. Powder particle size, flowability, resistivity, and target resistivity were reported. Electrostatic coating produced the same or better wrap around, or percent side coverage as nonelectrostatic coating for every powder and target. The greatest electrostatic improvement was found when using powders that had the worst nonelectrostatic side coverage: large particle size (>135 μm), low resistivity, and low cohesiveness, especially on targets that had high-surface resistivity (2 × 105Ωm). Tribocharging had a similar effect as electrostatic coating. In both nonelectrostatic and electrostatic coating, percent side coverage increased as powder particle size decreased, cohesiveness increased, or target resistivity decreased. In electrostatic coating, percent side coverage increased as powder resistivity increased; however, in nonelectrostatic coating, as powder resistivity increased, percent side coverage increased on only oiled plastic and dry bread.
Practical Application: The evenness of powder coating on food is very important for consumer acceptability, since consumers judge food from its appearance before they have a chance to taste it. If thick food targets, such as cakes, donuts, and marshmallows need to be coated, the side coverage, due to the wrap around effect, is important. Choosing powders with small particle size, high cohesiveness and high-powder resistivity, and using electrostatic coating can produce food targets coated on all sides.