Dough Recycle

Incorporation of scrap dough is the biggest problem in a recycling programme. This is because it is difficult to handle old dough and it can often be in a condition where it is hard and is not easily dispersed in a mixing. From the process point of view one can easily get into a vicious circle where use of scrap dough in a mixing creates a substandard mix which either means more scrap dough or substandard biscuits after baking. By every means possible the amount of scrap dough to be recycled should be kept as low as possible and be incorporated at a steady rate in mixes until it is used up. This is easier said than done because by its very nature the supply of scrap dough is irregular, arising mainly from faults in metering or mixing.

Process control techniques should concentrate on the production of uniform good doughs because prevention is better than cure, or to start right gives a better chance of staying right.

Scrap dough should be used in mixes of the same recipe and it should be introduced into the mix at the beginning of the mixing cycle, that is in the cream up or sugar run if appropriate. This gives maximum opportunity for the mixer to break up and soften the old dough. Where it is not possible to use the scrap in the same recipe, great care should be taken in considering the effects of texture, flavour and colour that the scrap will impart on the mixing. It is not possible to be specific about what should be done and where because any scrap reuse must be regarded as unfortunate, undesirable and introduces compromises into what could be a smooth running operation.