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  1. Wafer Biscuit Manufacturing:

    Wafer biscuit is entirely different from any other biscuit, but it has many similarities in texture and structure to certain puffed snack foods, although it is not made like them. Structurally, it is a foamed, dehydrated starch gel with an associated gluten network that contributes some additional support. Most of the leavening action results from the evolution of steam during the baking process. The batter is closely confined between hot moulds so that the steam cannot readily escape, and the inflating effect of the water vapour under these conditions is much greater than it would be if the thin sheet of batter were exposed to the atmosphere. The hot metal also rapidly creates a thin, but more or less impervious, surface layer that inhibits the loss of water vapor and has important textural effects.
    The basic principles used in making the flat, cream-filled wafer biscuit s are also employed in manufacturing ice cream cones and novelty cream-filled shapes such as circles, hemispheres, half-cylinders, peanut shells, etc.
    All of the fillings used in these shells must be fat based, since any appreciable amount of moisture completely ruins the texture of the base cake, causing it to first become tough and flexible, and then to collapse
    . Apparently, some types of caramel have such low water activities that they can be successfully combined with wafer biscuit s and this principle has been used to make some popular confections.
    Batters for these products are fluid mixtures of flour and water to which small amounts of other ingredients are added
    . A recommended formula would be 100 parts flour, 140 parts water, 0.5 part sodium bicar­bonate, 0.5 part salt, 0.1 part lecithin, and 1 part vegetable Fat.
    The other ingredients sometimes used include flavours, colors, ammonium bicarbonate, nonfat dry milk, dried whole milk, com starch, egg yolk, and lecithin.
    A yellow color is commonly added to the vanilla or plain base cake.
    Flavors tend to be lost through steam distillation during baking, so most of the finished product's flavor is expected to come from the cream filling. "Chocolate" or dark-colored wafers sometimes do not contain any cacao products; instead they are colored with caramel color or food dyes.

    For a chocolate taste, about 10% of cocoa has been used-this would necessitate ingredients such as milk or eggs,
    Old-time formulas for wafer biscuit  base cakes often contained enriching ingredients such as milk or eggs, and sometimes even sugar, but batters made with these components tend to cause excessive build-up of carbon on the oven plates, especially at their corners.
    Carbon deposits causes sticking of the wafer sheet with resultant difficulty in extracting the sheet from the plate. Shortening can be added to facilitate release of the wafer. Lecithin has also been used for this purpose.
    Flour should be short extraction soft wheat flour. Flour from white wheat is sometimes used. Both bleached and unbleached flour work satisfactorily. Any speckiness in the flour shows up clearly in white wafers. The amount and quality of gluten seem to have some effect on expansion so that very wheat flour may give a wafer that is too dense or close in texture. On the other hand, strong gluten can cause the wafer to be hard and flinty in texture. Thus, the protein content or strength of the flour should be chosen to achieve a compromise between excessive hardness and excessive fragility. The precise requirements for flour strength will depend upon the kinds and amounts of other ingredients, the type of end product desired, and the characteristics of the equipment being used. Corn starch has been suggested to improve the texture, that is, to make the wafer more tender.Water is variable, the amount being chosen to give a batter viscosity that will enable the fluid to spread rapidly over the plate and between the plates while still retaining a substantially uniform internal structure without large voids or other defects. These very fluid batters have a tendency to show gluten separation in strands during mixing, a serious defect.Some other ingredients that have been suggested for sugar wafer shells are heat-treated, defatted cottonseed flour and degerminated white corn flour. Such materials add viscosity to the batter without increasing the possibility of gluten separation during mixing.

    Although wafer biscuit shells have been regarded here as among those products that normally contain no added leavening agent, some formulas' do, in fact, contain ammonium bicarbonate or sodium bicarbonate. It is generally acknowledged that these sources of carbon dioxide contribute only slightly to expansion of the batter. Soda is used in such limited amounts that leavening acids are rarely needed because the flour has enough buffer­ing action to cause release of the carbon dioxide.

    However, cream of tartar may be added to leavened or unleavened formulas in an amount sufficient to bring the pH slightly below 7.0 so as to improve the color of white shells.
    Mixing of wafer biscuit batters is relatively simple. Almost any equipment that can produce a smooth, lump-free batter is suitable for the purpose. The dry ingredients are first blended, then the water is added gradually while mixing. If shortening is used, it is blended in while the mixture is still of a doughy consistency.

    Some authorities recommend using melted shortening. Eggs and milk solids can be added to the mixer at the start, with about half the water, and allowed to become rehydrated before the remainder of the dry ingredients are added; finally, the rest of the water is gradually brought in.
    Batters are preferably mixed at high speed although there are many cases where low speed horizontal mixers have been used successfully. Under certain conditions, as when the batter is over mixed, gluten may develop into strands and separate. Settling-out of starch and other particles is also a problem and some agitation is needed while the batter is being held for depositing. Keeping the batch size small is highly recommended, while holding for longer than about 30 minutes is definitely not recommended.

 

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