Food concentrates are products that are most prepared for use in food and freed from a significant part of the water contained in them, which provides better opportunities for their long-term storage. These products come in several forms.
For example, food concentrates are mechanical mixtures of various types of raw materials that are pre-processed and then selected and mixed according to a previously developed recipe (such as, for example, semi-finished products for making pancakes, muffins, muffins, “dry soups”, etc.). In addition, this group of products also includes mixtures that are much more complex in composition, which are produced by technological processing, in which certain types of raw materials react with each other and lose their properties as a result, acquiring others (for example, dry children’s mixtures). In the end, food concentrates also include products from one type of raw material (for example, dietary rice flour). In the process of preparation of concentrates, the raw materials can be pre-dried and mixed in the required proportions in dry form, or, conversely, first mixed and then dried to a powder state. Although, in general, the latter scheme is less widespread, its use is convenient in the production of dry baby food and diet food.
Certain types of food concentrates (for example, first, second and third courses, dry baby food and diet food) can also be referred to as dry canned food, since in their composition and preparation they are very close to the corresponding types of canned food and differ only in that they are dehydration procedure to increase shelf life. Dry canned foods have several advantages over conventional foods. For example, they do not require special tight packaging, which allows to slightly reduce the cost of their production. The whole range of food concentrates can be combined into seven separate groups: concentrates of lunch dishes, dry foods for children and diet, oat diet foods, breakfast cereals, coffee products, potato products, semi-finished products of flour products. In some of these groups, individual subgroups can be distinguished, depending on the food purpose of the products, the technological regimes of their production, and other criteria. For example, in the group of concentrates of lunch dishes, four separate subgroups can be distinguished: first lunch dishes, second lunch dishes, dry sauces and sweet dishes (desserts).
Food concentrates have a number of undeniable advantages, so they do not lose their popularity. In particular, preparing food from them requires minimal effort and time, many of them do not even require cooking (just pour them boiling water and let the mixture brew). They have a high concentration of nutrients and, therefore, a higher calorie content with a small volume and mass (when compared with conventional products). These nutrients are better absorbed, because with intensive mechanical and thermal effects on the raw materials during their technological processing, the nutrients are released from fiber, and the cell walls of the feedstock are destroyed. The biological value of food concentrates is due to the content of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, mineral salts, vitamins and other active substances necessary for the human body. Concentrated products can be stored for a long time without loss of quality, since the moisture content in them does not exceed 10-12%, and in some of them it turns out even below 5%. Therefore, microorganisms do not develop in them, leading to spoilage of products. As a result of heat treatment of raw materials in the production of food concentrates, enzymes are inactivated in it. Therefore, enzymatic changes in such products are either greatly slowed down or, in general, suspended. Hermetic packaging also helps to increase the shelf life of concentrates, which protects the contents from the action of light, oxygen and excess moisture. Finally, which is very important for manufacturers, food concentrates are notable for their small volume and compactness, due to which the cost of their transportation is very low. This does not apply only to the so-called breakfast cereals, which are packed in bulk boxes or bags and require special storage and transportation conditions due to their fragility, although they are light in weight.
The raw materials you need for the production of food concentrates depend on the assortment of products you intend to produce. In any case, it must comply with all GOSTs and technical specifications (TU). Among the most common types of raw materials for the manufacture of concentrated products are cereals, flour, legumes, potatoes and dried vegetables, fats, pasta, starch, whole milk powder, egg powder, concentrated tomato products, dried mushrooms, dried grapes, dried chicory, nuts, corn, peas, etc.
Let us consider in more detail the process of production of concentrates of sweet dishes (desserts). It is their specialists who consider the most promising products in the assortment of concentrates. This is due not only to high competition in the segment. As you know, many Western companies produce and actively promote concentrated bagged soups and side dishes in our country, so it is very difficult or almost impossible to compete with them for domestic producers (especially new companies). However, the segment of soups and side dishes is considered less attractive for another reason. The fact is that lately concentrated products (first and second courses) have gained a reputation of “not useful”. In addition, many housewives still prefer to cook soups on their own, rather than buying ready-made or in the form of semi-finished products. It is also worth considering that the organization of the production of soups will require more funds (for the purchase of raw materials, equipment and special packaging). For these reasons, most novice manufacturers of food concentrates start their business with the manufacture of concentrated desserts and semi-finished products for flour products. Food concentrates of sweet dishes (desserts) include a large group of products from a mixture of granulated sugar, potato or corn starch, semolina, wheat flour, milk powder and various flavors. The composition and ratio of the ingredients of the mixture depends on the formulation used and, of course, the type of product being produced. Concentrated desserts, in particular, include dry jelly from a mixture of granulated sugar, potato starch and fruit and berry extract with the addition of citric acid; dry mousses in the form of a mixture of granulated sugar, heat-treated semolina and extract of fruit or berry and citric acids; dry jelly creams from a mixture of dried whole milk, sugar and agar with the addition of flavoring substances; dry custards made from a mixture of whole milk powder, sugar, egg powder, flavors and dextrinized wheat flour. The same group includes milk concentrates (coffee with milk, cocoa with milk, milk and chocolate milk jelly), dessert puddings made from a mixture of sugar and corn starch with the addition of flavors and dyes, dry jelly (a mixture of granulated sugar with fruit or berry extracts, citric acid, agar and food coloring and flavoring).
For the production of concentrated dessert dishes, various technological schemes are used, many of which are used (sometimes in a slightly modified form) since Soviet times. For example, in the production of dry jelly, starch and dry fruit cake are sifted first on special sieves. From the sifter, the product is dispensed through a dispenser to a continuous mixer. All fruit extracts and citric acid, which dissolves in the mixture, are also served there. From the mixer, the semi-finished product is sent to the briquette press, from where the briquettes are then transported to packaging machines, where they are wrapped in parchment, parchment, and then in a colorful label. After that, the finished briquettes are placed in corrugated cardboard boxes and sent to the warehouse. Also, fruit and berry jelly can be produced not in briquettes, but in bulk, in kraft paper packages weighing up to three kilograms (in this package the product is delivered to public catering networks).
A more simplified production scheme is obtained in the manufacture of kissels on dry fruit semi-finished products. In this case, in addition to ready-made mixtures, sugar is also poured into the mixer, then everything is mixed and sent for packaging in bags of polymeric materials. The technology for preparing concentrated mousses is practically no different from the technology for the production of kissels. The difference is only in the composition (semolina is added to the mousse instead of starch) and in the additional operation of heat treatment of semolina, its cooling and sifting. Mousses are briquetted at 50-350 grams (but more often at 200 grams).
The production process of dry jelly creams looks somewhat different. First, granulated sugar is sieved on a vibrating sifter, then whole milk powder and cocoa powder. The agar is dried at a temperature not exceeding 60 ° C and a moisture content of 6-7%, crushed on a hammer mill and also sieved. In the manufacture of coffee cream, roasted coffee is ground, sieved and passed through a magnetic fence. After this, the raw materials are sent for re-grinding. Part of the coffee powder is poured with water and boiled in a double boiler for ten minutes, the resulting mixture is filtered, boiled in a vacuum apparatus until the solids content of 40% and the obtained extract is used for three days. However, recently in the production they usually use instant coffee instead of natural coffee, since the latter does not require any additional processing. Pre-prepared raw materials are laid in a certain sequence (granulated sugar, agar, vanillin, cocoa powder or coffee extract, milk powder) in a mixing machine and mixed there for 3-4 minutes until a homogeneous mass is obtained. After this, the mixture is transferred to the receiver of the packaging machine. Creams are packaged in bags, which are then packed in corrugated cardboard boxes.
For the manufacture of concentrated custards, dextrinized wheat flour, granulated sugar, whole milk powder, egg powder, vanillin, cocoa powder or coffee are used. All this raw material is sieved and passed through magnetic barriers, and then mixed with each other in the right proportions. Prepared semi-finished products are dispensed by a dispenser to a filling machine, where they are packaged in packages of polymer materials of 50-350 grams. Sometimes custards are produced in the form of briquettes (for this you will need special briquette presses). The disadvantage of the latter form is that during long-term storage, custard briquettes are excessively compressed (“cemented”) and it will be difficult to knead them. Therefore, most manufacturers prefer to pack the cream in bulk in small bags.
For the production of various types of food concentrates, special equipment will be needed. It is quite simple and relatively inexpensive. Using one line you can make soup concentrates, beverage concentrates, powder, food additives (sugar, vanilla, powders for loosening dough, etc.), semi-finished products (puddings, jellies, mashed potatoes, etc.), mixes of spices and seasonings, for children nutrient mixtures, herbal tea powders, coffee drinks, dry mixes for the food industry, etc. The cost of the simplest such line in the minimum configuration is 1-1.5 million rubles. When choosing premises for organizing the production of food concentrates, it is necessary to take into account, first of all, their area. At least one production line should be located here, as well as a place to store raw materials and finished products, for domestic and utility rooms. Thus, at the initial stage of your work, a room of about 150 square meters is enough. meters. At the same time, the office of your company for convenience and cost savings can be located directly on the territory of the factory. The premises of the production workshop must comply with all the requirements of the Rules of the fire regime of April 25, 2012. Experienced entrepreneurs are advised to look for a place to place production outside the city. This will save on rental costs, as well as utility bills.
Fifteen to twenty people are enough to service one production line (depending on its productivity). And this is taking into account the administrative staff. As with any food production, the most important person in your factory is a technologist who ensures that products are manufactured in full compliance with state standards and / or specifications, is responsible for setting up the line, testing equipment. He must control the quality of the finished product, which must comply with all sanitary rules and technical standards.
In addition to equipment and raw materials, you will need ready-made packaging and corrugated cardboard boxes, where finished products will be packed.
Even at the stage of developing a business plan and calculating the payback of your business, think about who you will supply the finished product to. Beginning manufacturers begin with cooperation with individual kiosks, retail pavilions, small shops in sleeping areas, in small supermarkets, as well as (if you can agree) with local food chain stores. At first, it makes no sense to connect with large networks, since a young company cannot count on good places for its products, and the cost of an “entrance ticket” may not be affordable. Plan a budget for advertising and promoting your products. Competition in the concentrated sweet food segment is relatively small. Analysts attribute this to the low demand for such products. But at the same time they are sure that the potential of this segment is huge. In promotion, marketers advise focusing on nostalgia, referring to the consumer audience that grew at a time when jelly in briquettes and custards in bags were widespread. For example, you can develop an advertising campaign in the spirit of the 70-80s with print ads in retro style. Undoubtedly, such advertising will attract attention. Do not forget about standard promotions, gifts and bonuses for owners of points and sellers of grocery stores, POS materials to attract attention to their products on store shelves. All this works very efficiently and at the same time costs less than standard advertising. Initially, it is better to promote and sell your products in the region of its production. Over time, it will be possible to think about entering the federal level.
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