Wafers are called confectionery products of a rectangular, round, triangular shape or curly (in the form of various objects - nuts, shells, envelopes, etc.), which can be either layered with filling or without filling. Wafers differ from other confectionery products in their famous property - they crackle when cracked or cracked. This is due to the fact that the wafer sheet contains a reduced amount of moisture, it has a corrugated checkered surface and a finely porous internal structure. Wafers, wafer cakes, and wafer-based sweets are produced from wafer sheets. They are also used for the production of ice cream (both in the form of sheets and in the form of cups).
The raw materials for the manufacture of wafer sheets include wheat flour, drinking water, salt, soda (sodium bicarbonate), lecithin (natural emulsifier), vegetable oil. Sometimes the last two components are replaced by eggs. For the interlayer of wafers, various fillings are used (praline, fruit, fondant, fatty, etc.). Domestic manufacturers usually use fatty fillings, which are a homogeneous, well-beaten fluffy mass consisting of fat, lecithin, powdered sugar, crumbs (crushed wafer scraps left after making a wafer sheet), dyes and flavorings (vanillin, citric acid, cocoa etc.).
Now most companies use production lines for the production of wafers, which allow for all cooking processes (kneading dough, preparing toppings, baking, spreading, cutting) continuously. First, when entering the workshop, all the raw materials are sent to a special room, located separately from the production. There the surface of the container is cleaned, and then the raw material is freed from it. Flour (the gluten content in it should not exceed 32%), supplied to the production in separate batches, is mixed and sieved through a metal sieve with a mesh size of not more than 2 mm. This process is carried out automatically on special sieving machines. Since the flour may contain individual small particles of ferromagnetic impurities, it is passed through a magnetic trap mounted on an inclined slope. Thus, sifted and passed through a magnet flour is poured into the storage tank. Sugar is also sieved through a sieve with openings no larger than 3 mm. Vegetable oil is filtered through sieves with a mesh diameter of not more than 1 mm. The rest of the raw materials are checked for freshness and prepared. Eggs, for example, are transmitted through an ovoscope and then soaked in warm water, followed by treatment with solutions of sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate at a temperature of about 40 ° C for 5-10 minutes. Then the eggs are disinfected in a 2% solution of bleach or 0.5% solution of chloramine and rinsed in clean running water. This is a rather long process, therefore, often instead of fresh eggs, frozen melange is used, which after opening is filtered through a sieve with a mesh diameter of not more than 3 mm. Salt and baking soda, if necessary, are crushed and sieved through a sieve with cells no more than 2 mm, and then dissolved in water and again passed through a sieve with cells no more than 0.5 mm. Wafer production waste products (for example, crumbs, scrap, dough films taken from matrices) are also processed - they are soaked in warm water for 20-25 minutes, then they are wiped through sieves and sent for processing.
Finally, all prepared raw materials are sent to the production workshop. A waffle dough is prepared there, which has a liquid consistency and a minimum viscosity. Due to its properties, wafer dough can be pumped. It spreads quickly and evenly over the surface of wafer shapes in which wafer sheets are baked - a semi-finished product of wafer production. Preparation of the test is a rather complicated process. Since it should have high humidity, when kneading, water is introduced into it, the amount of which is 10-12 times the mass of all raw materials, except flour. Flour is introduced in small portions in several stages, otherwise the dough will go lumpy. When preparing the dough, the temperature of the raw material is of great importance - it should not exceed 20 ° C. Most manufacturers prepare the dough on an emulsion, which includes all components except flour (yolks or melange, vegetable oil, phosphatides, sodium bicarbonate solutions and salts). The dough is kneaded in kneading machines of periodic action (at small enterprises) or at continuous cooking stations (at large enterprises). Then the dough is filtered through a sieve with holes with a diameter of about 2.5 mm and poured into an intermediate container, and from there it is transferred to the tanks of wafer ovens. For baking wafer sheets, special ovens are used with two massive metal plates with a gap of 2-3 mm. This method of baking is called contact, since the dough layer is in direct contact with heating surfaces. The surface of the plates can be engraved, smooth or curly. Along the perimeter of the waffle baking dish are recesses to remove excess moisture and remove excess dough. The wafer sheet is baked at a temperature of 170 ° C for two minutes. Finished sheets are removed from the mold manually using a knife or automatically with a special elastic plate and cooled to room temperature. To do this, they are stacked in a separate room at low humidity (30%) and a temperature of 50-52 ° C or on a cradle.
Simultaneously with the preparation of the wafer sheet, various fillings are prepared. They should have a minimum humidity so that the waffle is not wet and does not lose its crisp properties. The best option is a fatty filling, since there is practically no free moisture in it that can be absorbed into the waffle. In addition, it has high ductility, which makes it easy to apply it to a wafer sheet using special equipment. The main difficulty in preparing a fat filling in a continuous way is that it is difficult to transport and dose powdered sugar and crystallized fat, which are its components, using conventional equipment, so manufacturers have to purchase additional machines. For a layer of wafer sheets with filling, automatic machines with roller mechanisms or a movable carriage are used. Hardened wafer layers are stacked in three pieces, and then cut into separate pieces. Often, formations with a filling are additionally held for six or more hours to press out the liquid fraction from the fillings and absorb it with wafer sheets. This greatly facilitates the process of cutting wafer sheets into individual products of a rectangular shape. For cutting, string cutting machines are used. The crumbs and scraps formed during the cutting of wafers are collected, crushed and used as part of the fillings (but not more than 12% by weight of the filling). Finally, finished waffles are packaged in packs, bags or boxes with a parchment, parchment, parchment, cellophane, cellophane or foil wrapper.
A wide range of different models of equipment for the production of wafers is presented on the Russian market, but most entrepreneurs prefer to use turnkey lines of European, American or Chinese production. The productivity of such a line reaches 3.5-4 tons of products per day. It comes with 30-35 baking dishes. 4-5 people are enough to service the line. The cost of the line, taking into account delivery, customs clearance and installation, is about $ 350-450 thousand, and depending on the manufacturer and characteristics. Cheaper lines have a greater consumption of electricity and gas, are large in size and require more staff for maintenance. Therefore, even a saving of $ 100 thousand when buying a Chinese production line may not justify itself, because the cost of production in this case will be higher. Also note that you will have to purchase packaging equipment separately. Its cost will be about half a million rubles.
The costs of organizing a wafer production workshop will amount to 15-17 million rubles. This includes the purchase of an automatic line and packaging machine, auxiliary equipment and inventory (refrigerators, dishes, furniture, etc.), the purchase of raw materials for two months, other expenses associated with the repair of the premises and its preparation for operation, registration of a legal entity, account opening, payroll, etc. Do not immediately count on large volumes of production. Even if you can load your lines, you still need to organize sales of your products, which in the conditions of high competition will not be so simple. Young companies sell their products to wholesalers, although their profit in this case will be lower than when organizing the supply of wafers directly to retail chains and individual retail stores.
The payback period of such production is about two years. The company's net profit can reach 750 thousand rubles with a revenue of 4.5 million rubles per month.
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