Biscuit Recycle

Clean, that is free from paper, aluminium foil and, of course, floor dirt, biscuit waste such as broken biscuits and misshapes may be introduced into the mixer. In this case distribution is aided by grinding the biscuits into a crumb or in making a thick suspension in water immediately before adding to the mixer. Incorporation is not so difficult as with scrap dough, but the practice is always detrimental to process and quality control. It is easier to maintain a steady usage of biscuit material because storage in the dry state is not the problem that it is for dough. The flavour and colour of biscuit crumb will affect the dough and subsequently biscuits made from it. The reuse of over-baked and burnt biscuits should be avoided. Some manufacturers use biscuit crumb as an ingredient to colour the biscuits.

It is important to remember that unwrapped biscuits attract insect and other pests so they are a potential source of serious infestation. Bringing biscuit into the mixing room for recycling may result in infestation that can spread to other ingredients stored nearby.

Certain biscuit creams can carry a proportion of ground biscuit so offer a means of using waste. Wafer creams are particularly suitable as small coloured particles are not very obvious in the thin layers and as the cutter trimmings from creamed wafers may amount to as much as 10% of the production, it is important to recycle this cream rich material to make the costings viable.

Many attempts have been made to tackle recycling of biscuit waste in a positive uniform manner by developing products which require a certain proportion of waste in the formulation. For example, savoury creams (requiring unsweetened biscuit crumb as the filler), dark strongly flavoured short dough biscuits and fillers for fruit and jam pastes to make them less sticky. Some of the textures achieved are very acceptable.

Biscuit crumb also finds a limited sale in its own right for various products, like cheesecake base and dessert toppings. The basic problem is the irregular quantities and nonuniform quality of biscuit waste produced in most factories. To exactly match the sales of a product based on waste with the supply of that waste is practically impossible.