Creating a dough from the ingredients, moulding it into the required shapes, baking the biscuits and packaging the product are the typical steps in biscuit production. Before biscuits are baked, other efforts involve cutting, stamping, and decorating them.
Often referred to as cookies, biscuits date back centuries. Interestingly, the word biscuit is derived from the Latin word Panis Biscoctus which translates to ‘twice-cooked bread’. These are often described as crispy and dry unleavened, thin, small, flat cakes or bread.
Everyone loves biscuits as a quick snack or to dip into their favourite beverage, such as coffee, tea, or milk, from children, teens, and adults to old age people. All age groups enjoy snacking on biscuits as they provide instant energy and an enticing flavour and texture.
Due to the snacking trend, consumers want quick, tasty and healthy nibbles to munch on. Today, biscuits brought a new world of mouth-watering bakery snacks such as crackers, wafers, sandwich cookies, macaroons, snaps, gingerbreads, honey cakes, rusks, and more.
Biscuit manufacturing is the most significant food industry in India. Therefore, it is never too late to open your dream biscuit factory unit. Whether you plan to open your biscuit business in an urban, semi-urban, or rural area, you can quickly start the biscuit manufacturing process with the right equipment and raw materials.
Discover the step-by-step process of making biscuits and the essential raw materials required to become a successful biscuit manufacturer.
Did you know? The biscuit market is estimated to reach $11,792 million by 2027. With biscuit sales totalling ₹ 400 billion and a profit of ₹ 3000 crores, biscuit manufacturing is more profitable than ever. This is due to consumers' increasing demand and changing preferences.
Basic Raw Materials Required for Biscuit Production
Here are some of the necessary raw materials that are essential for the commercial manufacturing of biscuits. With this list of raw materials, biscuit manufacturers can produce various biscuit varieties ranging from plain crispy biscuits, cream biscuits and sandwich cookies. In addition, they can produce digestive biscuits, breakfast biscuits, biscuit fingers, tea and coffee biscuits, and more.
- Wheat Flour: Flour is the fundamental ingredient that acts as the biscuit's base. Whole wheat or all-purpose flour can be used to make several biscuit versions to arrive at different textures and crispiness levels. Oatmeal is also used to make oatmeal and raisin cookies.
- Rice, Corn and Soy Flour: In addition to the main flour, these flours are added to enhance the biscuit's flavour.
- Butter: The shortness, snappiness and flakiness make the biscuits more palatable. This is achieved through fats such as butter, lard, vegetable oils, and refined fats.
- Sugar: Biscuits are less appetising without sugar, and it's a different story when it comes to sugar-less biscuits where honey, agave, maple syrup, malt extract or jaggery are used to produce healthy biscuit versions.
- Salt: Salt adds depth and brings out the complex favours in biscuits. This is also used to balance the different flavours in biscuits.
- Raising Agents: Biscuits can be lightened by these raising agents like soda or baking powder, tartaric acid, and more.
- Flavourings: Plain biscuits are enhanced with added flavourings and toppings like chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, fruits, vanilla essence, spices, herbs, and more. Flavourings bring various biscuit varieties to suit the different palettes and tastes of consumers.
- Edible Colours: Colourful and themed biscuits for different celebrations like Christmas are produced by mixing edible colours and sprinkles into the dough mixture.
- Milk And Eggs: The right consistency is achieved by mixing dry ingredients with milk and eggs, and these ingredients bring the mixture to a desirable consistency.
- Yeast: Yeast brings out the fluffiness and helps the biscuits rise. This also adds a distinct flavour to the biscuits.
- Permitted Preservatives: Biscuit shelf life increases with the addition of permitted preservatives and natural flavourings.
- Packaging Material: Attractive packaging can drive consumers to your brand's biscuit shelves.
Essential Equipment for Biscuit Factory Unit
Based on the type of biscuits you plan to manufacture commercially, manufacturing output, and other variables, biscuit manufacturers can automatically select the right equipment to produce biscuits in large quantities. However, some of the common equipment might be found in most of the automated biscuit manufacturing units.
- Biscuit mixer
- Baking oven
- Cooling tunnel
- Oil sprayer
- Rotary cutters
- Slab slicer
- Pressure board
- Packaging machinery
8 Crucial Steps in Biscuit Production Process: An Overview
Let’s discuss the main points and steps of the biscuit manufacturing process.
Making biscuits begins with mixing all the ingredients in the correct consistency. Here, the pre-mixing stage includes dumping ingredients into the mixer in the right order, quantity, and temperature.
Here, the dough starts to form, and the liquid ingredients are introduced along with sugar to arrive at the desired consistency mixture. For short dough biscuits, less mixing is performed for crispiness and fluffiness.
A biscuit's shape is determined in this step, which includes round, finger-shaped, square, oblong, flower, love, and more. This step is crucial since it divides the dough into desired weights and finishes as per the design. The moulding process starts with a knife between a forcing roller and a die. The knife control acts in four directions: down, up, forward, and back. The roller also comes with a press control on both sides.
When crackers or cracker biscuits are produced, fermentation plays a crucial role in these types of biscuits. These cracker biscuits require fermented hard dough, bringing flakiness and lightness to each biscuit. There is a wide range of cracker biscuit types, such as graham crackers, sugar crackers, salt crackers, spicy crackers, veggie crackers, calcium crackers, cheese and herbs crackers, etc.
Biscuits are now baked at the right temperature and time in separate chambers known as zones. Each zone is considered a separate oven and has its own temperature settings. Based on the size of your biscuit factory unit, the number of zones may differ from one biscuit factory to another. These ovens are semi-see-through because they are made of wire mesh. Baking involves all the factors that make biscuits more flavorful such as raising, puffing and colouring. These steps occur in an overlapping sequence inside the oven.
After baking, a batch or batches of biscuits are checked for their texture, colour, cooking level, and height. They are inspected thoroughly to meet the desired specifications.
The biscuits are sent through a cooling tunnel and cooled as required. This step ensures biscuits become hard to be sent for packaging.
When biscuits are not refrigerated, they are not ideal for packing in boxes, packets, or cans. So, the biscuits are cooled on racks and sandwich biscuits are stuffed with cream in between two biscuits to produce delightful cream biscuits before packaging.
Now, the cooled biscuits are packed based on pack weight, such as 25g, 50g, 75g, 100g, etc. There are also packaging styles where each biscuit is packed in an attractive wrapper to be served as a single-serving snack along with any beverage such as coffee, tea, milk, soda, etc.
Family packs are designed to accommodate large families often offered at special prices and discounts.
It is this that pays off the labour that goes into making biscuits. Biscuit manufacturers can target various biscuit types at different consumers or consumer groups and occasions.
For example, tea biscuits can be targeted at tea and coffee lovers, while digestive biscuits can be sold to promote better digestion.
Similarly, cream biscuits are suited to children, and chocolate-covered biscuits are appropriate for festivals and celebrations. There are also protein and oatmeal biscuits with high protein and low fat that athletes and fitness-conscious consumers like.
The biscuit manufacturing process with the right equipment and raw materials is not complex.
First, biscuit manufacturers must select the basic types, such as soft-baked or hard-baked.
While soft-baked cookies, often with a gooey centre, are famous in foreign countries, hard-baked biscuits and crackers are most loved by Indian consumers.
Studying raw material ingredients also helps understand the chemistry between different favours from which unique quality can be achieved and maintained for your brand.
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