Products known as biscuits in UK are called cookies & crackers in USA. These have lower moisture contents than bread and cakes. These are also free from microbiological spoilage and confer long shelf life if protected from damp environment and have high energy density due to low moisture.
Biscuit word derived from Latin word ‘bis coctus’ or from French word ‘bescoits’ meaning twice cooked due to two stage baking, that was prohibited in eighteenth century .Cookie derived from Dutch ‘Koekje’ meaning little cake .Crackers because of cracking noise when eaten.
Fig: Commercial level biscuit making layout
Process for manufacturing of Biscuit
In this step weighing of ingredients according to the recipe is done. Proper weighing is much important for the end product quality.
All ingredients like flour, fat, sugar etc., are put together in the right proportion for dough formation. The
ingredients are fed into the mixers, where they are mixed properly to prepare the dough. Normally mixing time is between 10- 15 min but it usually depends upon flour characteristics. It is performed in two or three stages with different mixing speed.
After the mixing of the ingredients, the dough is rolled and sheeted on the plain surface for the molding. To have the
smooth and even surface so that we can easily get the desired shapes of equal shape, length & breadth. Sheeting is done with the help of rollers of various types.
Biscuits are given a variety of shapes and sizes using cutter or molder. The speed of the molder or the cutter depends on the variety of the biscuit. Use of molder or cutter depends on the type of the dough where molder is used for short dough type of biscuit Cutters are used for sheet variety or hard dough.
In this stage of biscuit making process, the molded biscuits are put into the baking oven on required temperatures. There are various baking options with different kinds of ovens available like direct fired, indirect fired and hybrid ovens, which can be used keeping in mind the desired temperatures, the convenience and cost. Various methods of heating like conduction, convection and radiation are used in the ovens. These ovens also have dampers to control moisture inside the oven section. Generally, the ovens are classified as 4 zone, 5 zone or 6zone ovens where length varies from 40m to 80m. Biscuits are carried on wire mesh band in oven. Baking times are different for different types of biscuits. Preheated 375 0F or 1900Coven on or in lightly greased or lined pans.
After baking biscuits, they are passed on for natural cooling prior to packing. The temperature is brought down to room temperature. Natural cooling is preferred to forced cooling as it maintains the texture quality of biscuit.
After cooling, the biscuits are stacked and fed into packing machine. These biscuits can be availed in different packaging materials in different packs like slug packs, pouch pack or family packs. These packs are then put into secondary packing’s like cartons for transporting to the retailers. Packing material that are used for used for biscuit packaging are BOPP, Laminates and pouches.
———————————————————————————————–Author:Syed Mudabbar Hussain Shah
The Author is final year student of B.Sc (Hons.) in Food Engineering. Department of Food Engineering
University of Agriculture, Faisalabad Email:[email protected]