Mixing process in biscuit production is crucial, being the first of the four major production steps where all the ingredients are perfectly blended to allow the baker to produce the perfect biscuit.
Biscuits are one of the most popular snacks around the world and liked and enjoyed by people of all age groups. The thing that most people enjoy about a biscuit is that it can be taken with anything from a cup of tea or coffee to milk or just nibbled alone. They can be dunked or eaten as is.
Biscuits come in many shapes and forms but each one, quite simply, needs the right ingredients mixed perfectly to produce the desired end product. There are primarily four stages of making the biscuit in a factory – mixing, forming, baking, and cooling.
In the mixing stage, flour, fat, sugar, water and other ingredients are mixed together in the right proportion in large mixers to form the dough. The mixing time is carefully managed to achieve uniform distribution of ingredients and the right dough consistency.
During this process, all ingredients like flour, fat, sugar are put together in the right proportion for dough mixing and then the mix is fed into the mixers. During this process, the dough temperature and mixing time play an important role.
Mixing time is normally around 15 minutes, depending on factors like flour characteristics.
Biscuits differ, however, from other baked goods like bread in that they have lower moisture content and maintaining this in the mixing process is crucial too.
So, control of the mixing process is important and Reading Bakery Systems reckon its continuous mixing systems allow this. Continuous mixing, the company says, offers bakers an opportunity to provide front-end control to the process.
Reading’s Exact Continuous Mixing System automatically meters ingredients and produces dough continuously to ensure that all dough is processed at the same age, meaning that no single batch has been sitting longer than any other.
Reading Bakery Systems is seen by many as the global leader in continuous mixing technology. RBS offers a variety of Exact Continuous Mixing Systems for the biscuit and cookie, baked snack, cracker, sweet goods, pizza, tortilla and bread and buns industries.
Continuous mixing offers a consistent, uniform dough stream to the production line at the same rate is being used. The continuous mixing process eliminates the problems associated with batch cycles and produces a consistent product all day, every day, says RBS.
Exact Mixer models can produce dough consistently with high production yields and this can be accomplished in an almost employee-free operational environment adding significant cost savings and value.
Results can be fine-tuned and repeated day in and day out while the history of production can be monitored and saved electronically so that manufacturing data from the past can be reviewed and examined.
The LDX continuous mixed from RBS is ideal for low development dough requiring two stages of mixing and is, therefore, ideal for biscuits which are wire-cut or moulded.
Mixing dough for inclusion biscuits requires gentle folding, not the pounding that happens when mixing bread dough. For this purpose, Tonelli Group, Parma, Italy, equips its planetary mixer to handle large inclusions.
“We have specialised mixing elements designed for gentle mixing of gourmet cookies with big inclusions, such as chocolate chips and nuts, so they don’t break up during the mixing process,” noted Kevin Wilkinson, North American sales manager, Tonelli Group.
“Programmable variable-speed drives, from very high RPM to very low, allow bakers to fold in large inclusions gently without breaking.”
Baker Perkins also offers a range of high speed, multi-purpose batch mixers which are suitable for both hard and soft dough types. Thorough mixing is assured by the unique shaftless blade design which gives good dispersion and rapid dough development.
The blade is mounted horizontally and the bowl tilts up to a maximum of 150 degrees to ensure quick and thorough discharge of the mix.