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Tortilla Chips Process

In: Business and Management

Submitted By priyakiran
Words 333
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The first major process in tortilla chip manufacturing is the production of dough. To make tortilla chips, manufacturers first mix the raw ingredients to form the dough. Next, the mixture is heated in a large kettle such as a Hamilton kettle, which is heated indirectly by steam. After steeping, which allows water to be absorbed; the solution is washed and pumped onto a conveyor belt for transport to the grinder. This mixture is then batch-cooked in either a Hamilton steam kettle or a vertical closed cooker. It is designed for cooking at or near the boiling point of the solution. Immediately after cooking, the solution is quenched (rapidly cooled) to about 154 to 162 degrees Fahrenheit (68-72 degrees Celsius). During the steeping process, the temperature is dropped to 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius). After steeping, the solution is pumped into the washers. Next, actual chips are produced using the coarse masa, which is kneaded and mixed into plastic masa by mixers and extruders and then fed to sheeter rolls. The plastic masa is sheeted into a thin layer, which is then cut or forced into a specific configuration; the thickness of the sheet determines the final product weight. The sheeting starts when the masa is fed onto a pair of smooth rollers. A three-tiered gas-fired oven is used to bake the formed masa. Generally, the chips are baked at temperatures ranging from 500 to 554 degrees Fahrenheit (260-290 degrees Celsius), with the baking time varying from 35 to 50 seconds. The tortilla chips are then cooled by moving through a series of open tiers or cooling racks. The chips are sometimes cooled for up to 20 minutes before frying to produce a more uniform consistency and to reduce blistering during frying. During this cooling process, the chips lose additional moisture...

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