Pistachio Roasting Machine
Tortilla chips - General Information
Improper cooling before packaging causes microbial problems and the tortillas may stick together and become soggy as a result of moisture condensation in the package. Some cooling conveyors are supplied with fans to speed up the cooling. However, increased air movement causes more microbial contamination, which significantly affects shelf life.
In the U.S., frying has expanded the marked for masa-based foods, because the final product has excellent taste and texture and a long shelf life. Tortillas chips are baked before being fried, and therefore they absorb less oil and have a firmer texture and a stronger alkaline flavour than corn chips. Masa for tortilla chips is usually cut into triangles or small circles and then baked, fried, salted, and flavoured.
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Cooking corn for chips production is done in the same way as showed for tortillas’ processing. Nixtamal to be processed into fried products is generally less cooked than for table tortillas. To prevent excess water uptake, snack food processors often quench or drop the cooking liquor temperature to about 68-72ºC. The lower steeping temperature decreases the extent of cooking in the nixtamal, producing a more consistent masa, with lower moisture content, which is necessary to produce chips with reduced oil content. After steeping, nixtamal is washed exactly as described for tortillas, to remove pericarp and excess lime. Masa to be used for fried products is ground more coarsely than masa for table tortillas; therefore, the stones are carved with deeper groves and the gap is set to allow coarse grinding. Coarse masa allows steam to escape through many small pore s during baking and frying. If finely ground masa is fried, bubbles or blisters form; these are considered a serious quality defect. Chips with blisters are fragile, tend to break during packaging, and have higher oil content.