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Wafers, different from biscuits, offer a unique sensorial experience to everyone around the world. Wafer sheets are nearly tasteless, so they are rarely eaten alone. They usually appear to us after combining with foods with contrasting textures such as chocolate or ice cream. The crisp and light texture of the wafer contrasts with the silky soft chocolate or ice cream. Last time we briefly introduced the origin and production process of wafers, this time we will discuss baking oven and baking plate.
Wafer baking ovens are designed for the industrial production of wafers on a large scale. In common, the baking ovens have a front cabinet where the wafer batter is injected on the baking plates. Then the wafer batters are deposited in the wafer molds. Pairs of baking plates shut tightly and conveyed by baking trolleys which have rolling wheels on the cycle rails. The trolleys are chained as a train running in circles in the baking oven. The baking plates pass through the burning chamber where heat the plates. It takes about 1.5-2.5 min at a temperature of 160-190°C for a cycle baking under, then the plates are open, and the baked wafer sheets are removed at starting point of the cycle. Afterward, the baking plates are ready for the next cycle.
Wafer baking plates can be manufactured to any number of pairs on the oven within the required module. The pitch and size of the engraving should be considered carefully based on the end product(use). Shallow or fine engraving might highlight wide color variation. This could be a problem for flat wafers, but acceptable for coated wafers. Moreover, deep engraving could remain more chocolate on enrobing which increases costs. Therefore, shallow engraving is the preferred choice for coated wafers.
Along the plate edges, there are venting strips. These venting strips are essential: 1. Allowing the escape of steam through the notches while baking. 2. Allowing excess batter bubbles to flow out from the plate. The “V” or “U” shape venting notches should be designed well for their position and depth. If the notches are too small may cause high moisture in the wafer, which requires longer baking time and reduce output. If too large will increase the waste of excess batter bubbles.
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