Sandwich pancakes are a popular indulgence nowadays, but not easy to make on an industrial scale, where manufacturers aim to obtain a perfect product using a single machine that bakes, fills, prints, and seals. Dutch specialist Cake Concepts explained in an interview with World Bakers that baking times and dough viscosity are the most important production points.
Producers are asking for the perfect combination of the dough with the appropriate equipment running at the correct baking specifications. Besides, a perfect sandwich alignment of both upper and bottom cake points is mandatory, Arda Baydar, sales manager for Cake Concepts, explained for us.
Looking at the recipe, the challenge is obtaining a soft texture and an extended shelf-life. However, to have a successful project in time, product quality is a key factor and shelf-life is only relevant to optimize the supply chain. “Putting product quality first is the guarantee for success,” Baydar said.
Obtaining the perfect texture is one of the challenges the manufacturers are facing, while consumer requirements include having soft pancakes, without color fluctuations. In addition, new flavors such as chocolate, strawberry can be added to the dough. Inclusions like chocolate drops or raisins can also be added to the pancake.
When it comes to the batter, the production line can be flexible as long as the product is liquid. “The filling can be any flavor of cream, sweet, savory, or diary – all are possible. The latest development is in ice cream pancakes; two pancakes with ice cream as a filling,” the specialist illustrated.
Customize Your Line!
Cake Concepts produces machines that are unique for individual requests because they customize their designs according to manufacturer requirements and plant structures. Systems can be changed according to recipes. This means that a cooling tunnel can sometimes be added in between the oven and the sandwiching unit, for example. All depositors, plates, and systems are designed to make perfect products according to the recipe; for this, the equipment producer and the manufacturer should work together. “Even if these machines incorporate separate systems, they run together in harmony to produce the best product,” Baydar underlined.
Production capacity relies on the product’s recipe as well as its shape. Depending on the pancake’s dimension and baking time, Cake Concept’s system can reach up to 16,000 pcs/h. However, many different variations such as double filling, the choco-pie version of a pancake, three-layer pancakes, and others can be developed.
By default, the machines are designed to produce continuously and the capacity can range up to 500 kg/hr. “Based on these standard concepts, we customize the line for any requested application,” Baydar highlighted.
A complete straight line including cooling and packaging can take up to 50 m. However, many options are available to optimize the layout for the available space. The processing line can be very compact to occupy the minimum possible space. The equipment footprint also depends on the desired production capacity, but a standard system can occupy from 11m to 18m and is only 1.8-2.4m wide.
“We also provide turnkey services with our partner companies to our customers. Full-line solutions and communication can be done easily between machines. We suggest our customers tell us with other machine suppliers to talk with about communication between machines, so we can develop scenarios for all situations and take precautions to avoid any inconvenience during production,” the expert added.
Cake Concepts can assist with recipe and product development. “We like to focus on the machineability in this case and let our customers focus on the best possible recipe/product. The customer knows the market best and knows what the local market is expecting from them,” Baydar added.
Cake Concepts is always looking for partners to further their research in this field. Laser cleaning technology can be adapted to clean the oven after production. With a laser system, the oven can be cleaned properly for an upcoming production batch, the expert told us, as its system includes this feature. Another innovative function refers to the icecream pancake: the company has modified its sandwich unit to deposit ice cream instead of filling. The sandwich pancake system is a new machine for the ice cream market. They are now working to produce waffles on the same system.
The system is user-friendly and fully automatic. Baking time, alignment points, and the sandwiching unit must be set. During installation, they fine-tune the equipment and set these values in the database. All controls can be checked easily and the system can work automatically under operator supervision. In addition, all equipment is designed to run with minimal staff. One operator can run the line, as all functions on the line are automatic, Baydar said.
On the other hand, combining new control systems with machine learning technology means that the machine could control its own values. “With industry 4.0 upgrades, we are one step closer to this solution,” Baydar anticipates.
A different direction for further technology development is to have a smaller line with more flexible configurations. This enables manufacturers to produce different products in smaller numbers while improving product quality. They demand smaller products and healthy variants, but also better taste and textures. “This is where we can support our customers and what we will be focusing on,” Baydar concludes.