Photo by Nicholas Barbaros on Unsplash
How is It Possible To Reduce Hummus Production Time by 10 Hours?!
Traditionally, the preparation of chickpeas to make Hummus can take over 10 hours, with the need to pre-soak the raw chickpeas before cooking. BCH have developed a high speed system which improves the whole chickpea cooking and cooling process by removing the pre-soak stage, speeding up the cooking process, and introducing a rapid cooling method. Food manufacturers can now reduce their labour requirements, whilst saving valuable time and resources such as water, power etc..
This new process solution fits perfectly into today’s modern factory environment, where low risk and high care hygiene regimes require total separation of raw and cooked ingredients.
BCH have been at the forefront of similar product cooking & cooling systems which have been used extensively for many years in prepared foods industries all over the world.
What is Hummus?
Hummus (also known as Houmous) is a traditional Middle Eastern savoury dip which is now popular around the globe. Cooked and ground chickpeas are blended with tahini, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and seasoning.
Hummus is packed with plant based proteins, vitamins and fibre, which are high in nutritional value and ideal for both vegans and vegetarians alike.
Here we compare Traditional Hummus Manufacture with the new BCH System:
Traditional Hummus Production:
There are several stages involved in the traditional time-consuming preparation of chickpeas, usually requiring various different types of equipment and multiple time consuming operations. Resources such as heavy manual labour, and large volumes of water for soaking & cooling also required.
Traditionally it is necessary to pre-soak the raw chickpeas for around 8 – 12 hours to allow them to take up water and swell before cooking.
The soaked peas are drained and transferred to a heating tank to cook until the skins are softened, and the core has taken up additional water. The cooking process can take between 2 and 3 hours depending upon their moisture content. Typically, 10kgs of raw chickpeas will make around 21 to 22kgs of cooked chickpeas.
The chickpeas are usually cooled immediately after cooking to prevent over-softening & yield loss – typically quench cooled using plenty of cold fresh water, often taking over an hour to reach only 20°C.
The cooled chickpeas are then drained and held ready for processing into hummus.
Ground & Blended
Chickpeas are ground into smooth paste in a different process, and then blended with the other ingredients to produce hummus.
BCH Hummus Production:
Our systems offers a far more streamlined operation, enabling cooking to be carried out in parallel with cooling, to provide customers with a reliable, semi-continuous, fully integrated production solution.
This unique bulk production method has multiple benefits; saving time, resource, labour and factory floor space – as well as making the whole process far easier and safer. In many cases, it may be possible to reduce production time by up to 10 hours!
Chickpea Pressure Cooking
This stage eliminates the need to pre-soak the chickpeas and shortens the traditional cooking time; raw chickpeas are automatically added into hot water and cooked under pressure, under closely controlled conditions for a short time period.
Chickpea Vacuum Cooling
Immediately after brief QA checks are completed, the chickpeas are vacuum transferred into the cooling chamber where they are subject to high vacuum. This high vacuum level enables the latent heat to be drawn quickly from the product, which causes the product to cool rapidly.
Typically, the whole cook & transfer cycle time takes approximately 60 minutes depending upon the chickpea softness required.
Drain & Decanting
The cooled chickpeas can then be drained, ready for transforming into hummus. Typically, the cool/discharge cycle time takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes to reach a target temperature of 5°C.
Using the BCH Optima –the ingredients can be loaded, chopped, mixed and blended to produce the perfect Hummus texture whether smooth or coarse. Typically, the cutting and blending cycle time is approximately 15 to 20 minutes, enabling 2 to 4 batches to be produced per hour, depending upon the hummus recipe requirements.
Total process monitoring completes the package, by using BCH FlexiChef & RMS software, which ensures that all stage information is recorded & tracked, providing repeatable results as well as full QA compliance.
Individual batch systems are available to produce up to nominally 1250kg/batch of cooked, cooled & drained chickpeas. This machine allows far greater flexibility than continuous processing – with the automatic sprayball it’s easy to clean down the Optima mixer between different product variants, enabling the factory to quickly change flavours, ingredients & textures without halting the upstream cooking & cooling process.
The Optima machine is also an ideal machine to use for manufacturing a whole range of alternative dips, spreads, sauces and pastes.