Premixes

Some biscuit recipes include a long list of different ingredients and all recipes have some ingredients that are required in only very small amounts. Preparation of blends of ingredients to suit a particular recipe involving thereafter the weighing of the blend for each mix simplifies the operation provided that a homogeneous and stable blend can be prepared in the first place.

It is possible to summarise the advantages of premixes whether liquids or powders as,

  • Preparation of ingredients to desired states.
  • Reduction in number of separate weighings needed for each batch.
  • Reduction of incidents of metering errors and ingredient omissions.
  • Improvement in means of metering (for example, pumping rather than weighing) and more potential for automatic metering.
  • Reduction of mix cycle time by allowing a shorter mixer loading time.
  • Means of adjusting ingredient temperatures.

On the whole it is easier to meter liquids or suspensions than solids so there is an obvious interest in using the dough water as a carrier in premixes. If this is done the problems that may arise include the following,

  • Most of the "soluble" chemicals form saturated solutions at relatively low concentrations.
  • Mixtures of chemicals and other ingredients may not be compatible by nature of pH or chemical reaction resulting in loss of gas, foaming or precipitation.
  • As the solutions become more concentrated, especially if sugars and syrups are used in the premix, the viscosities increase causing flow, drainage, foaming and cleaning difficulties.
  • Solutions or suspensions decay or change on storage such that their potencies or characters become less suitable for the dough for which they are intended. Examples are loss of gases, microbial spoilage and rancidity.
  • The amount of water required for the recipe may be inadequate to carry the materials to be included in the premix.