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Asked on 08.02.2023.

Cracker Width Expansion: Causes and Solutions

Good Day to all,

We produced crackers just like Malkist.

We encounter a problem in dimension, the width of our cracker expands by 2mm (from the maximum width of 70mm we get 72mm) and our packaging finds difficulties in packing our product. This happened when we used another supplier of soft flour.

Would like to ask, what will be the contributing factor of the flour in width expansion?

In terms of machines (conveyor, molding) what can we do?

thank you in advance!!!

Accepted answer
Answered on 08.02.2023.


Flours milled from soft wheat contain gluten that is extensible so the crackers will flow during baking  and the softer the wheat the more flow. Whereas strong flours typically contain gluten that is quite elastic ( shrinks back)  so give lift rather than flow. Fermented cracker doughs are often made from blends of strong and soft flours to give more lift and prevent flow,  so this may be an option for you. 

If you add enzymes or Sodium Metabisulphite you could also try reducing these as they also will affect the cracker dimensions as would a more alkaline dough (reduce soda levels)

The fermentation process makes the dough more stretchable so to stop the flow you could try reducing the fermentation time or yeast quantity. 

Changes to the forming machinery would tend to only effect the cracker length resulting in rectangular rather than square crackers however changes to the baking profile could help to reduce the cracker size ( length and width) which could be done by increasing the baking temperatures in the first two zones. 

I hope this helps

Andrew Hughes

Answered on 08.02.2023.

Hi Roel. The gluten of the flour it is the principal factor. And it is important the quantity and the quality (gliadin and glutenin)

On the other hand, in terms of machines you can reduce the width of your moulder. How much? Well, depend on the width that normally work and the flour that you will be use.


AS Consultant

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