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Biscuit, Cookie and Cracker Production
Ingredient Storage and Handling

1  Bulk deliveries of dry and liquid ingredients

For most bakeries with more than two production lines, flour and sugar may be delivered by bulk road tanker and stored in silos.

1.1  Flour

Flour delivery tanker from Clugston Logistics 
FIG 1 Flour delivery tanker from Clugston Logistics

Flour will be delivered directly from the tanker to the bakery silos. The delivery hose from the tanker should fit the receiving point at the factory and the flour will be blown by an air blower on the tanker or a blower at the bakery. The tanker will normally discharge up to 30 tonnes of flour in 20-30 minutes.

Most bakeries will use at least two types of flour one ‘hard’ and one ‘soft’, which will require separate delivery and storage facilities. For some products, the two flours may be blended in the service bin before mixing.

Buhler tanker discharge to flour silos
FIG 2 Buhler: tanker discharge to flour silos

1.2 Sugar

Sugar may also be delivered by tanker, either as dry bulk sugar or liquid sugar.

Delivery of liquids by road tanker from Abbey Logistics Group <www.abbeylogisticsgroup.com>
FIG 3  Delivery of liquids by road tanker from Abbey Logistics Group <www.abbeylogisticsgroup.com>

2 Storage of dry bulk materials

2.1 Flour and sugar

Flour and sugar will be stored in silos, either external to the bakery or internal. Silos will usually be made from epoxy coated steel and may be insulated. Stainless steel, aluminium and flexible fabric silos are also available.

External silos are common, but the bakery must be aware of the potential disadvantages:

  • The materials can be affected by significant changes in temperature and humidity.
  • The rate of usage, normally the flour or sugar should be used within a week of the delivery.
  • Sugar can be more difficult to store if the particle size is small.

External Silos from Daxner Germany  

FIG 4  External Silos from Daxner Germany

Silos are filled pneumatically from the top with facility for:

  • Separation of material and conveying air
  • Filtration
  • Explosion relief
  • Access

Silos may be discharged to the pneumatic conveying system with rotary feeders, fluid discharge units for flour or vibration units for sugar. 

2.2 Silo design considerations

  • Number of ingredients and usage rate, (stock may be held for 1-2 weeks)
  • It is usual to have more than one silo for each flour type
  • Silo can be 1.25 times the volume of the tanker delivery
  • Square or round type

2.3   Operational issues

  • Cleaning of the silos
  • Bridging and compacting of the materials (often due to humidity)
  • Measuring the quantity of material in the silo
  • Contamination of the material and eliminating metal, foreign material and infestation


Pneumatic discharger to fluidise the flour from Bühler Group        
FIG 5  Pneumatic discharger to fluidise the flour from Bühler Group                    
Bin activator for difficult to handle materials such as sugar
FIG 6 Bin activator for difficult to handle materials such as sugar 

3 Pneumatic conveying

The flour and sugar will be pneumatically conveyed from the silos to service bins, usually of 3-5 tonne capacity. The conveying system will transfer the materials from the service bins to weigh hoppers over the dough mixers as required.
 
Pneumatic conveying system to feed flour to the dough mixers
FIG 7  Pneumatic conveying system to feed flour to the dough mixers

Pneumatic conveying of flour to the mixers
FIG 8 Pneumatic conveying of flour to the mixers

4  Delivery of materials in bags

Flour and sugar and other dry ingredients may be delivered in bags. The material may be manually dumped from the bags to a sifter and then elevated to a weigh hopper or storage bin. The weight of material delivered in bags will be checked on a platform scale.  

Platform scales from Brecknell   
FIG 9  Platform scales from Brecknell <www.brecknellscales.com>

 SM EASILIFT check screener for powder & ingredients from containers or sacks
FIG 10  SM EASILIFT check screener for powder & ingredients from containers or sacks. <farleygreene.com>

The Easilift range is robust and powerful with a full dusthood protecting operators and a unique power lift system, by Farleygreene, UK  

5   Sifting of raw materials

Flours and other raw materials are always sifted to remove foreign matter from the mills or from bags. Vibratory sifters are available for large automatic systems or for manual feeding.

KTS-VS2 vibrating control screener from GKM Siebetechnik
FIG 11  KTS-VS2 vibrating control screener from GKM Siebetechnik <gkm-net.de>

This screening machine is suitable for all kinds of control- and safety screening with high capacities for dry and liquid products. The machine is driven by two laterally attached vibration motors. The screen body can vibrate freely by means of dislocation via precisely adjusted springs. A vertical oscillation is generated at the centre which is ideal for control screening. The fine product drops through the centre of the machine almost in free fall. 

SM ROTA Series centrifugal flour sifter for high volume screening from Farleygreene, UK
FIG 12   SM ROTA Series centrifugal flour sifter for high volume screening from Farleygreene, UK. <farleygreene.com>

Centrifugal flour sifter designed to provide users with an efficient dust tight high throughput non-vibratory sieving machine, the ‘Sievmaster Rota’ series gives accurate material screening with continuous fine and coarse discharge. 

6 Sugar milling

Sugar crystal size and size variation are important factors for the biscuit texture. Sugar will normally be delivered as granulated sugar with crystal size of 450 – 600 microns. For some products, the sugar crystals will be milled to a fine powder of less than 150 microns. 

Industrial sugar mill: Bühler MJB-22 with graduated crystal size down to 140µm and output of 0.5 – 3.0 t/hr
FIG 13 Industrial sugar mill: Bühler MJB-22 with graduated crystal size down to 140µm and output of 0.5 – 3.0 t/hr

Fine grinder for sugar from Prater Industries  
FIG 14 – FIG 15  
Fine grinder for sugar from Prater Industries <www.praterindustries.com>

7 Shortening

Shortening may be purchased as hydrogenated plasticised fats, which are refrigerated and may be fed directly to the mixer, or melted and fed as an oil. The typical temperature for use is 27oC at which the fat has an SFI of 14%.

 vegetable shortening from Erapoly          

8 Storage of liquid materials

Liquid materials are stored in tanks, normally of stainless steel construction. These may be heated and insulated to maintain the material at a temperature where it is liquid and free-flowing. The liquids are pumped to the mixer by a metering system.
      
Edible oil tank from Jiangsu Prettech Machinery and Technology  
FIG 18   Edible oil tank from Jiangsu Prettech Machinery and Technology        


Chocolate storage tank with heated water jacket, adjustable temperature control and stirrer from Loynds International Ltd                                                          
FIG 19  Chocolate storage tank with heated water jacket, adjustable temperature control and stirrer from Loynds International Ltd. Capacities 75kg – 5000kg.  <www.loynds.com>

Albany Pumps GJ gear pump: fast maintenance and hygienic stainless steel pump for the food industry         

FIG 20 Albany Pumps GJ gear pump: fast maintenance and hygienic stainless steel pump for the food industry

Bellflow Systems batch water meter
FIG 21 Bellflow Systems batch water meter

9 Delivery of ingredients to the mixers

The main ingredients will be delivered to the mixers via weigh hoppers and metering systems for water. Weigh hoppers above the mixers are mounted on load cells and the system operates by measuring the “weight loss”. A slide valve below the hopper will open to allow the material to be dropped into the mixer bowl. When the correct weight of material has been delivered the automatic slide valve will close the port below the hopper.


Mixer feed systems from Dingson Food Machinery    
FIG 22   Mixer feed systems from Dingson Food Machinery               

10  Small ingredients

10.1  Colours, flavours, additives

A variety of materials in both liquid and powder form which will be stored at constant temperatures as required. These will generally be weighed and placed in small containers for feeding to the mixer.

MBS scales from Brecknell
FIG 23 MBS scales from Brecknell


10.2 Boxed ingredients

Various small ingredients such as raisins, fruit will be packed in cartons and will require inspection to remove stones, stalks and other foreign material.
___________________________________________________________________________

Reading

Almond N. Biscuits, Cookies and Crackers, Volume 2, Elsevier Science Publishers Ltd. 1989 
AZO GmbH + Co. KG.  www.azo.com   2016
Baker Perkins Ltd.   www.bakerperkins.com  2016
Bellflow Systems Ltd.   www.bellflowsystems.co.uk   2016
Bühler Group.   www.buhlergroup.com   2016
Brecknell: Avery Weigh-Tronix. www.averyweigh-tronix.com 2017
CN Asia Corporation Bhd.   www.cnasia.com  2016
Clugston Logistics. www.clugston.co.uk/logistics  2017
County Scales Ltd. www.countyscales.co.uk   2017
Daxner International Bulk Solids Technology.  www.daxner-international.com 
Dingson Food Machinery Ltd.  www.dsm-mc.com   2016
Erapoly Global Sdn Bhd.  www.erapoly.com  2016
Farleygreene.  www.farleygreene.co.uk  2017
Gericke Ltd.  www.gericke.net   2016
Grüninger AG.  www.grueninger.ch  2016
Guerin Systems.  www.guerinsystems.com   2016
Jiangsu Prettech Machinery & Technology Ltd. www.sinoprettech.com  www.prettechtank.com  2017 
Lianhe Tech.   www.lianhetech.com  2016
Manley D. Technology of Biscuits, Crackers and Cookies, 2nd Edition. Woodhead Publishing Ltd. 1996 
Manley D. Ingredients. Woodhead Publishing Ltd. 1998.
Mazzetti Renato S.p.A.  www.mazzettirenato.it   2016
Prater Industries.   www.praterindustries.com  2017
Russell Finex.   www.russellfinex.com  2016
Selis.   www.selis.com.tr    2016  
VibraScreener, vibrascreener.com 2018
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