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International Delights has continuously added processing capabilities since our firm designed the original 180,000-square-foot bakery in 2010. Innovation has always been at the core of the company’s mission, and when they determined that the industry did not produce fillings and toppings to meet their needs, International Delights decided to begin producing their own. This vertical integration allows the company to control the quality and cost of their fillings, icings, and jams. The company also decided that roasting their own nuts would allow them to create a better chocolate filling and spread from scratch. The new production capability enables them to produce their own chocolate and hazelnut spreads and to produce jam with 70 percent fruit content. Additionally, packaging machinery was installed to produce stick packs, thus allowing for the sale of single-serving squeezable spreads with the bakery products.
The company also added a sourdough operation to incorporate this fermented dough into select products. This addition will extend shelf life and provide a cleaner label for these items. Three tons of sourdough are made daily using International Delight’s proprietary system.
Food Plant Engineering’s team worked with the equipment supplier to create a process layout for the sourdough production. The fermentation system included fermentation vessels, flour scaling and feed systems, circulation and feed pumps, a heating and cooling system, and product pumping. Our firm developed the design and layout for the cooling, heating, and vessel feed systems using the parameters and technology from the equipment manufacturer. The chillers and boilers for the process control were also selected and specified. Room environment is also important to produce sourdough. Proper control of the air is necessary to prevent phage proliferation within a plant and limit potentially problematic phages from creating issues with the sourdough cultures. Thus, a hygienic room environment with positive air pressure-that utilizes filters and conditioned air was designed for this operation.
Equipment for the roasting of nuts, ball mills for creating the nut paste, and the stick pack machine for filling were selected for the batch production of nut pastes. Our firm assisted International Delights with the application of the equipment, providing advice on options, layouts, and production methods. The layout and design of all the process utilities including gas, equipment venting, and sanitation were performed by our firm. The room finishes and air flows were designed by Food Plant Engineering as well.
A vacuum cooking process to produce jam was installed. The equipment included fruit cutting/chopping, vacuum cooking, and mixing. Our firm provided the engineering for the process equipment utilities systems including vacuum, heating, and cooling equipment selection and installation design.