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Biscuit, Cookie and Cracker Production
Snack crackers

This article brings comprehensive insights about the snack crackers. 'Ritz' and 'Tuc' type crackers, three layer crackers, cheese crackers, vegetable and herb crackers,sesame crackers, wheat crackers, potato chips and little hearts

 

1. ‘Ritz’ type snack cracker

Ritz type crackers

FIG 2  Ritz type crackers

1.1  Description

Snack crackers are successful in every market, savoury, light and crispy with oil spray.

1.2  Product specification

Dimensions:                          48.0 mm diameter
Thickness:                             4.9 mm
Weight:                                  3.0g
Appearance:                          Evenly blistered
Colour:                                   Golden
Texture:                                  Light and crispy
pH:                                         5.5
Moisture:                               1.3 – 2.0%

Ingredient list : Wheat flour, palm oil,sugar, raising agents (ammonium hydrogen carbonate, monoclacium phosphate,potassium hydrogen carbonate), salt, barley malt flour, glucose-fructose syrup,                              acidity regulators (potassium chloride, sodium gluconate).

Formulation: Recipe 1.1

Flour weak

100.000

Sugar fine

6.000

Vegetable fat at 45oC

10.000

Invert syrup at 45oC

3.000

Malt extract at 45oC

2.000

Salt

0.900

Calcium acid phosphate

1.100

Sodium bicarbonate

1.050

Ammonium carbonate

1.000

Enzyme Proteinase No.18

0.200

Water

20.000

 

145.250

Critical ingredients

  1. Flour should be weak with a protein content of 8-9%
  2. Proteolytic enzyme

Recommended source: Kerry – Biobake BSC and Profix 100P

Process flow for Ritz type crackers

FIG 3 Process flow for Ritz type crackers

1.3  Mixing

An "all in" mix on a horizontal mixer
Temperature of about 33oC for enzyme doughs

Baker Perkins horizontal high speed mixer with shaft-less blade

FIG 4  Baker Perkins horizontal high speed mixer with shaft-less blade

  1. Charge mixer with sugar, fat, invert syrup, malt extract, salt and water
  2. Mix at slow speed for 1.5 minutes
  3. Add ammonium bicarbonate dissolved in 2 litres of water at 32oC
  4. Mix at slow speed for 1.5 minutes
  5. Add enzyme dissolved in 2 litres of water at 32oC
  6. Mix at slow speed for 1.5 minutes
  7. Add flour, calcium acid phosphate, sodium bicarbonate
  8. Mix at slow speed for 2 minutes and at high speed for 1.5 minutes

     Temperature of finished dough 33oC.  pH 6.5-7.5

Note: Adjust temperatures of mixer water jacket and ingredients to achieve the finished dough temperature of 33oC, which is important for maximum enzyme activity.

1.4 Standing time

After mixing, the dough is stood to allow the enzyme to react with the gluten. The standing time is about 3.5 – 4 hours at 32oC and RH 70-80%. The time must be determined carefully depending on the amount of enzyme and the quality of the flour in order to achieve the soft, delicate eating texture of the cracker.

1.5 Forming

The dough is laminated with 4 - 6 laminations, approximately 3 mm thick.
Gauge roll reductions on the forming line 2:1

Baker Perkins forming line: (from right to left) laminator, 3 gauge roll units, relaxation conveyor, rotary cutter, scrap lift and return conveyors

FIG 5 Baker Perkins forming line: (from right to left) laminator, 3 gauge roll units, relaxation conveyor, rotary cutter, scrap lift and return conveyors

1.6 Baking

Direct Gas Fired (DGF) oven or Hybrid DGF / Indirect Radiant or DGF / Convection

Baker Pacific Hybrid DGF / Indirect Radiant oven

FIG 6  Baker Pacific Hybrid DGF / Indirect Radiant oven

Baking time                  3.5 - 4.0 mins.
Temperatures:              220 / 230 / 240 / 240 / 220oC
Band pre-heated to       180 – 200oC

1.7 Baking band

Z47 type wire-mesh band or Compound Balanced Weave band
Pre-heat is required

1.8 Oil spray

Crackers are sprayed immediately after baking with coconut oil at 60oC.

1.9 Packaging

FIG 7  Packaging

1.10  Formulations for ‘Ritz’ type crackers

Recipe 1.2

Flour (weak)

100.000

Barley flour

1.269

Granulated sugar

8.016

High fructose corn syrup

2.845

Vegetable oil (soya bean)

11.658

Lecithin

0.196

Ammonium bicarbonate

1.839

Sodium bicarbonate

1.077

ACP

1.077

Salt

0.770

Profix 100P enzyme

0.004

Biobake BSC enzyme

0.005

Water

29.466

 

158.222

 

Recipe 1.3

Flour

100.000

Sugar

8.020

High fructose corn syrup

2.850

Vegetable oil (soya bean)

11.660

Lecithin

0.200

Ammonium bicarbonate

1.840

Sodium bicarbonate

1.080

ACP

1.080

Salt

0.770

Enzyme

0.010

Water

29.470

 

156.980

 

2.  Process for ‘TUC’ type cracker

‘TUC’ type crackers

FIG 8  ‘TUC’ type crackers

2.1 Description

A crisp, very light bite with salt and savoury flavours.

2.2 Product specification

Dimensions:                           64 x 67 mm (66 x 51 mm)
Thickness:                              5.8 mm (6.0 mm)
Weight:                                   5.0g (5.5g)
Appearance:                          Evenly blistered
Colour:                                   Golden
Texture:                                  Light and crispy
Moisture:                               1.5%

Ingredient list: Wheat flour, vegetable oil, barley malt extract, glucose syrup, raising agents
(ammonium bicarbonate, sodium bicarbonate), sugar, flavouring, dried whole egg, dried whey, salt.

2.3 Mixing

‘All in one’ mix on a horizontal high speed mixer
Mix on low speed for 3 minutes and high speed for 5 – 6 minutes. Dough temperature 28oC

Standing time

30 – 60 minutes

2.4  Forming

Biscuit cutting machine:

  • 3 roll sheeter
  • 2 / 3 pairs of gauge rolls
  • Relaxation web
  • Rotary cutter
  • Salt sprinkler

2.5  Baking

Baking time                    4.5 - 5.0 min.
Zone temperatures:       290 / 270 / 230 / 200 / 200 / 150oC

2.6 Baking band

Z47 type wire-mesh band
Pre-heat is required

2.7 Oil spray

Crackers are sprayed immediately after baking with coconut oil at 60oC.
Oil content up to 17% of biscuit weight.

2.8 Packaging

tuc packaging

FIG 9  TUC packaging

2.9  Formulation for ‘TUC’ type crackers

Recipe 2.2

Flour, soft

100.000

Vegetable fat

11.071

Coconut oil

7.143

Liquid malt

8.000

Whole egg

7.857

Glucose

11.893

Ammonium bicarbonate

3.679

Sodium bicarbonate

0.557

Salt

3.325

Water

16.429

 

169.954

Recipe 2.3

Flour

100.000

Vegetable fat

10.000

Glucose

10.000

Malt

10.000

Liquid egg

8.000

Ammonium bicarbonate

2.500

Sodium bicarbonate

0.500

SMS

0.086

Water

20.840

 

3.  Three layer crackers

Three layer crackers

FIG 10  Three layer crackers

3.1 Description

A light, crispy cracker texture with three separate layers. The centre dough is coloured.

3.2  Product specification

Dimensions:                                     47 x 47mm
Thickness:                                       5.6mm
Weight:                                            4.0g
Appearance:                                    Evenly blistered
Colour:                                             Pale creamy
Texture:                                            Light and crispy
Flavour:                                           Added flavours
pH:                                                  5.5
Moisture:                                         2.5%

3.3  Formulation for 3 layer crackers

Recipe 3.1 

Alternative recipes

Recipe (1) is an enzyme cracker suitable for sheeting.
Recipe (2) is fermented for 18 hours and should be laminated (see forming with a cut sheet laminator).        

Recipe for outer dough                             (1)                         (2)

Flour

100.000

100.000

Powdered sugar

3.000

0.400

Invert syrup 70%

3.000

˗

Malt extract 80%

2.000

1.000

Fat

12.000

17.500

Ammonium bicarbonate

1.000

˗

Sodium bicarbonate

1.050

0.620

Acid calcium phosphate

1.100

˗

Salt

0.900

1.700

Proteolytic enzyme

0.200

0.020

Yeast

˗

0.500

Cream of tartar

˗

0.620

Butter essence

˗

0.170

Water

20.000

22.500

 

144.250

145.030

Recipe for inner dough

The dough uses the same recipe, but has added colour. Some suitable food colour additives are:

Tartrazine                               yellow                  E102
Riboflavin                               yellow                  E101
B – carotene                          orange                 E160a

Critical ingredients

  1. Flour should be weak with a protein content of 8-9% for outer dough for recipe 1.
  2. Recipe 2 for outer dough uses a strong flour
  3. Proteolytic enzyme (proteinase).

3.3  Mixing

An "all in" mix on a horizontal mixer
Temperature of about 33oC for enzyme doughs
Two doughs are required of similar consistency, but contrasting colour

Standing time

After mixing the dough is stood to allow the enzyme to react with the gluten. The standing time is about 3 hours at 35oC. The time must be determined carefully depending on the amount of enzyme and the quality of the flour in order to achieve the soft, delicate eating texture of the cracker.

3.4  Forming

The dough is sheeted, gauged and cut, (laminating is not required for recipe (1).
Three sheets are required. Each sheeter to produce a sheet of minimum thickness (not exceeding 10mm)

Gauge roll 1:                 10.0
Gauge roll 2:                 4.0
Gauge roll 3:                 2.0

The process is not ideal as the 3 sheets will produce a combined thickness of around 30mm. Three gauge roll units are not sufficient to reduce this dough sheet to the cutting thickness of 2.0mm without excessive reductions. This will reduce the spring and open texture of the cracker. An alternative forming method, which is now favoured is described below.

3.5  Forming with the cut sheet laminator

Three layer crackers may be laminated on a cut sheet laminator. The hopper is divided into 3 sections. The two outside sections contain the outer dough and the centre section contains the inner dough. A single dough sheet is produced by the 3 roll sheeter with the outer and inner doughs. The cut sheets are laid so that the inner dough is covered at the top and bottom by the outer dough.

Laminated dough sheet for 3 layer cracker

FIG 11   Laminated dough sheet for 3 layer cracker

The resulting laminated sheet is gauged and cut in the same way as other cracker doughs. This system gives a good cracker texture and appearance with the contrasting colour in the centre.

3.6  Baking

Baking time                  5.0 mins.
Temperatures:              220 / 220 / 210 / 180oC
High bottom heat in Zones 1 and 2 is required

3.7  Baking band

Z47 wire-mesh band
Pre-heat is required

3.8 Packaging

FIG 12

 

4.  Cheese crackers

cheese crackers

FIG 13   Cheese crackers

4.1  Description

Cheese crackers are one of the most popular categories of snack crackers, savoury, light and crispy with oil spray.

4.2  Product specification

Dimensions:                           55mm diam.       
Thickness:                             4.0mm
Weight                                   3.6g
Colour:                                   Pale creamy to golden
Texture:                                  Light and crispy
Moisture:                               1.4 – 2.0%

Ingredient list : Wheat flour, vegetable oils, dried cheese, sugar, dried onion, flavouring, ammonium bicarbonate, sodium bicarbonate, salt

4.3  Formulations for cheese crackers

Recipe 4.1

Flour

100.000

Fat

18.000

Glucose syrup

5.240

Cheese powder

16.600

Yeast

3.490

Peppers

0.065

Ammonium bicarbonate

2.440

Sodium bicarbonate

0.349

Salt

0.872

Lactic acid

0.698

SMS 10% solution

0.190

Water

 

 

147.944

Recipe 4.2

Flour

100.000

Sugar

2.500

Glucose

3.055

Malt

2.778

Vegetable oil

11.110

Cheese powder (fat free)

8.333

Skimmed milk powder

2.778

Salt

1.000

Sodium bicarbonate

0.333

Ammonium bicarbonate

3.194

Lactic acid

0.694

Nuclin flavour

3.055

MSG

0.333

Buttabelle flavour

0.100

Cheese flavour

0.278

White pepper

0.042

Water

32.000

 

171.583

 

4.3  Packaging

Cheese cracker packaging

FIG 2.14  Cheese cracker packaging

 

5.   Vegetable and herb crackers

Vegetable crackers

FIG 15 Vegetable crackers

5.1  Description

Savoury crackers are mixed on horizontal mixers and the dough is stood to allow the action of the proteolytic enzyme on the gluten. Forming is by sheeting and cutting. Baking is on a Z47 wire-mesh band. The crackers are oil sprayed immediately after baking.

5.2  Product specification

Dimensions:                                     50 x 50mm
Thickness:                                        4.6mm
Weight:                                             4.16g
Appearance:                                    Evenly blistered, made in pairs
Colour:                                             Pale creamy
Texture:                                            Light and crispy
Flavour:                                           Added flavours
pH:                                                  5.5
Moisture:                                         2.5%

5.3  Formulation

Recipe 5.1    

                                                                  (1) with enzyme        (2) with SMS

Flour (weak)

100.000

90.000

Cornflour

ˉ

10.000

Sugar

ˉ

3.000

Invert syrup 70%

1.040

16.000

Malt extract 80%

2.080

ˉ

Dough fat

13.540

14.000

Lecithin

ˉ

0.280

Ammonium bicarbonate

2.600

3.000

Sodium bicarbonate

0.440

1.000

Acid calcium phosphate

0.050

ˉ

Salt

1.230

1.000

SMS

ˉ

0.050

Proteolytic enzyme

0.180

ˉ

Dehydrated vegetable flakes

2.000

2.000

Water

25.000

25.000

 

148.160

165.330

Critical ingredients

  1. Flour should be weak with a protein content of 8-9%.
  2. Proteolytic enzyme (proteinase).
  3. Oil for spraying: coconut oil or palm kernel oil are suitable and have a good resistance to rancidity.

Alternative formulations

Similar products can be made using SMS (sodium metabisulphite) in place of the proteolytic enzyme. The SMS increases the extensibility of the gluten and does not require the 3 hour standing time.

This product can also be made using the soda cracker recipe. This will give an open texture and very crisp bite.

5.3  Mixing

An "all in" mix on a horizontal mixer
Temperature of about 33oC for enzyme doughs
Temperature of about 40o C for SMS doughs.
The vegetable flakes may be mixed into the dough.

Standing time

After mixing the dough is stood to allow the enzyme to react with the gluten. The standing time is about 3 hours at 35oC. The time must be determined carefully depending on the amount of enzyme and the quality of the flour in order to achieve the soft, delicate eating texture of the cracker.

Doughs made with SMS do not require a standing time.

5.4  Forming

The dough is sheeted, gauged and cut, (laminating is not required).
Typical roll gap settings are:

Sheeter:                         12mm
Gauge roll 1:                 6
Gauge roll 2:                 3
Gauge roll 3:                 1.5

If the vegetable flakes are to be sprinkled, a suitable sprinkler unit before the final gauge roll is required.

5.5  Baking

Baking time         4.0 – 5.0 mins.
Temperatures:     220 / 220 / 210 / 180oC
High bottom heat in Zones 1 and 2 is required

Baking band

Z47 wire-mesh band
Pre-heat is required

5.6  Oil Spray

The oil spray should be located immediately after the oven. An application of 10 – 16% of coconut oil is recommended.

5.7   Packaging

Vegetable crackers packaging

FIG 16

5.8 Formulations for vegetable and herb crackers

Recipe 5.2

Flour

67.700

Rye flour

20.300

Meal

12.000

Golden syrup

4.060

Sugar

1.617

Glucose

1.353

Malt

1.222

Milk powder

1.880

Butter

10.526

Lecithin

0.376

Sodium bicarbonate

0.226

Ammonium bicarbonate

3.383

SMS

0.022

Enzyme protease

0.037

MSG

0.376

Salt

0.752

Buttabelle flavour

0.135

Gluten powder

0.338

Roasted sesame seed

6.770

Water

31.500

 

164.573

Recipe 5.3

Flour, strong

50.000

Flour,weak

50.000

Vegetable shortening

4.500

Onion oil

10.000

Chives

18.000

Sesame

7.000

Corn syrup

2.200

Sugar

2.000

Skimmed milk powder

1.750

Salt

1.875

Amylase

0.003

Water

13.000

 

160.328

 

6.  Sesame crackers

sesame crackers

FIG 17   Sesame crackers

6.1  Description

A light, crispy cracker texture with sesame seeds deposited on top of the biscuit.

6.2  Product specification

Dimensions:                           64 x 47mm
Thickness:                              5.8mm
Weight:                                   5.000g
Appearance:                          Evenly blistered
Colour:                                   Golden
Texture:                                  Light and crispy
Flavour:                                  Sesame
pH:                                         5.5
Moisture:                                2.5%

Formulation

Recipe 6.1                                  (1)                  (2)

Flour (weak)

100.000

100.000

Powdered sugar

3.000

0.090

Invert syrup 70%

3.000

˗

Malt extract 80%

2.000

0.090

Fat

12.000

11.700

Ammonium bicarbonate

1.000

˗

Sodium bicarbonate

1.050

0.430

Acid calcium phosphate

1.100

˗

Salt

0.900

1.330

Proteolytic enzyme

0.200

˗

Yeast

˗

0.300

Sesame

0.370

0.370

Water

20.000

30.000

 

144.620

144.310

Critical ingredients

1. Flour should be weak with a protein content of 8-9% for recipe 1.
2. Recipe 2 uses a strong flour.

  1. Proteolytic enzyme (proteinase).

Alternative recipes

Recipe 1 is a "Ritz" type recipe. Recipe 2 is a soda cracker type recipe with a 12 hour fermentation time (not sponge and dough).

Process:  Recipe (1)

6.3  Mixing

An "all in" mix on a horizontal mixer
Temperature of about 33oC for enzyme doughs

Standing time

After mixing the dough is stood to allow the enzyme to react with the gluten. The standing time is about 3 hours at 35oC. The time must be determined carefully depending on the amount of enzyme and the quality of the flour in order to achieve the soft, delicate eating texture of the cracker.

6.4  Forming

The dough is sheeted, gauged and cut, (laminating is not required).
Typical roll gap settings are:

Sheeter:                12mm
Gauge roll 1:          6
Gauge roll 2:          3
Gauge roll 3:          1.5

6.5  Sesame seed application

Two methods can be used:

The seeds can be sprinkled before the final gauge roll, which will press them into the dough sheet.

Alternatively the wash-over unit is used to apply water to the dough pieces and then the seeds are sprinkled before transfer to the oven.

6.6  Baking

Baking time         5.0 mins.
Temperatures:     220 / 220 / 220 / 180oC
High bottom heat in Zones 1 and 2 is required

Baking band

Z47 wire-mesh band
Pre-heat is required

6.7 Formulation for sesame cracker

Recipe 6.2

Flour, soft

75.000

Flour, strong

25.000

Soya flour

1.361

Vegetable fat

8.845

Granulated sugar

0.907

Ammonium bicarbonate

1.361

Yeast

2.000

Salt

0.709

Sesame seeds

5.607

Water

32.000

 

152.790

6.8 Packaging

sesame cracker packging

FIG 18 Sesame cracker packaging

 

7   Wheat crackers

wheat crackers

FIG 19  Wheat crackers

7.1  Description

Crackers made with wholemeal wheat flour

Ingredient list:

Wholemeal wheat flour, butter, wheat flour, sugar, salt, barley malt flour, sodium bicarbonate, glucose syrup, dextrose.

7.2 Formulations for wheat crackers

 

Recipe 7.1

 

 

Flour

60.000

Wholewheat flour

40.000

Soya oil

10.000

Granulated sugar

1.800

Sodium bicarbonate

0.800

Ammonium bicarbonate

0.500

Salt

1.800

Yeast

0.030

Enzyme

0.006

SMS

0.019

Water

16.400

 

131.355

       

 

Recipe 7.2 

 

Flour

718.25

Wholewheat flour

153.8

Wheat germ (toasted)

127.65

Granulated sugar

87.67

Malt

43.06

Glucose

15.38

Vegetable fat (soya bean oil)

153.8

Salt

6.46

Ammonium bicarbonate

20.45

Sodium bicarbonate

7.69

SMS

0.65

SAPP

4.46

Antioxidant

0.2

Water

323

 

1662.52

7.3  Packaging

wheat cracker packaging

FIG 20  Wheat cracker packaging

 

8  Potato chips (baked and fried)

potato chips

FIG 23  Potato Chips

Ingredients

Potato flakes, Starch, Rapeseed oil, Sugar. Sunflower lecithin,, Sea Salt, Sunflower oil, Colour (annatto)

Formulation:
Recipe 8.1 (Baked)

 

Potato flakes

100.000

Modified starch

18.861

Granulated sugar

7.037

Fat / oil

3.019

Lecithin

0.313

Sodium bicarbonate

0.758

Calcium phosphate

0.564

Water

82.500

 

213.052

 

8.1  Mixing

1. Pre-blend at low speed: calcium phosphate, starch, sugar, fat / oil, lecithin, 25% of the potato flakes,
2. Add 60% of the water at 50oC and mix.
3. Add 33% of the potato flakes and the remaining water and mix.
4. Add remaining potato flakes and the soda and mix.

8.2  Forming

The dough is sheeted very thin and rotary cut.

8.3  Baking

Direct Gas Fired oven with a pre-heated Compound Balanced Weave band. Baking time: 3 minutes.

8.4 Packaging

FIG 22  Potato snack packaging

8.5  Formulations for potato snacks

Recipe 8.2  (Baked and fried)

Potato flakes

100.000

Potato starch

67.773

Salt

7.500

Emusifier

2.500

Water

100.000

 

277.773

Dry blend: 2 minutes                      Add water, mix: 2 minutes  
Biscuit cutting machine: sheet to final dough thickness of  0.7mm                                            Bake at 150oC for 2 minutes      Fry in vegetable oil at 190oC

 

 

Recipe 8.3

Ingredients by mixing stages

 

Stage 1

 

Calcium acid phosphate

0.566

Corn starch

18.865

Granulated sugar

7.040

Potato flakes

23.700

Vegetable oil

3.021

Lecithin

0.313

Mix 1 minute at low speed

Stage 2

 

Water at 60oC

47.400

Mix 1 minute at low speed                                          Mix 1 minute at high speed

Stage 3

 

Potato flakes

33.654

Water at 60oC

35.076

Mix 1 minute low speed and 0.5 minute at high speed

Stage 4

 

Potato flakes

42.660

Sodium bicarbonate

0.758

Mix 8 minutes (approx.) at low speed                 

Dough temperature 40-44oC                                

Rest dough for 50 minutes

 

213.053

 

9.  Little Hearts

little hearts

FIG 2.23  Little Hearts

9.1  Description

Light, multi-layered crackers.

9.2  Formulation for Little Hearts

Recipe 9.1

Flour

100.000

Fat

15.748

Lecithin

0.252

Sugar, fine caster

5.984

Skimed milk powder

2.992

Enzyme

0.002

Salt

1.024

Sodium bicarbonate

0.354

Ammonium bicarbonate

3.543

Yeast (inactive)

1.024

Water

27.600

 

158.523

9.3  Mixing

Mix all ingredients except the enzyme and ammonium bicarbonate to a cream.
Add flour, ammonium bicarbonate, enzyme dissolved in 200ml of warm water and mix.
Rest the dough for 1-1.5 hours.

9.4  Forming

Laminate up to 11 layers, followed by 3 gauge rolls and single roll cutter.
Add fine caster sugar up to 19% of dough piece weight.

9.5  Baking

Temperatures:     210 / 220 / 245 / 275 / 270 / 195oC
Baking time:        6 mins.

Adjustment of extraction, turbulence (closed) and zone temperatures is required to avoid the sugar dropping on the oven band.

9.6  Packaging

little hearts packgaging

 

 

 

 

 

Fig 2.24  Little Hearts pack

 

 

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