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  1. I work at a small business with about 25 employees where we make chocolates, popcorn and caramels. In capacity as head chocolatier I have to work with our facilities supervisor to develop a food safety testing plan for the facility. Right now we are developing a plan to do the following: swab with ATP detectors to see if bacterial activity is present, test for Aerobic Plate Count bacteria (APC), and swabbing for the presence of nut proteins to verify our cleaning protocols are sufficient to eliminate nut allergens and test the floor drains for the presence of listeria. Does anyone have any experience with food safety testing in chocolate plants?? If so, is there anything else that you think we need to be testing for?
  2. LOL!!! Well, yes, since I was still in pastry school the packaging was just a cellophane bag with a twist tie. A far cry from a professional packaging job.
  3. Turns out that I was just assembling the whole thing wrong. It's working just fine now! lol
  4. My plan is to use fresh whites mixed with egg white powder for vanilla marshmallows & egg white powder rehydrated in fruit puree. I realize that the hot syrup will act as a kill step for bacteria and result in a low Aw value. The idea of using the potassium sorbate, or a clean label alternative, is to extend shelf life by preventing the growth of any molds that might be present. I work for a company that needs to put out a premium product that has a minimum shelf life of three months. When I made marshmallows in the past I forgot about them in the pantry and they turned moldy on me.
  5. Potassium sorbate is used as a preservative. I'm trying to find a way to get a good shelf life on large batches of fresh egg white marshmallows. I think this one will do the trick... http://www.danisco.com/pdf/biovia-brochure.pdf
  6. Does anyone know of a natural alternative to using potassium sorbate as a marshmallow preservative??? Would citric acid or sorbitol suffice???
  7. LOL!!! Yes, and it would be cheaper than a new one-shot plate! I'll keep you updated now that our gear head production manager is back from vacation
  8. My first thought is that after you bottom the ganache in the molds with chocolate and freeze it the chocolate may be crystallizing too quickly and is unable to properly bond with the chocolate when it is enrobed. Have you ever piped chocolate directly onto a block of ice or a frozen sheet tray? the cocoa butter sets up so quickly that it is rendered flexible and can be shaped and folded as it has taken on a plastic quality. You may want to try bottoming the the ganache after it has set up enough to pop out of the molds or try whipping the ganache after it has cooled in order to pipe it out of a bag directly onto disks of tempered chocolate (see the books by either Wybauw or Grewling for examples).
  9. I'm trying to jerry rig a gasket together as a stop gap measure. I'm also hoping to hear back from the US distributor in the hope that they'll have some insight.
  10. For the most part. The amounts are slightly less than what they should be due to the leakage
  11. The plate is a 3-layer sandwich of aluminum attached to the depositing arm below the chamber containing the pistons. The chocolate is being extruded out through plate and out of the nozzles but it appears that the seal between the plate and the depositing arm isn't as tight as it should be because chocolate is leaking out of the top of the plate each time the pistons move. I removed the locking mechanisms from the machine, cleaned off all the chocolate deposits and lubricated them before returning them tot he machine and it still leaks. I'm wondering if it's time to buy a new one shot plate? Was this helpful?
  12. artiesel

    Large-scale Chocolate panning

    The pan that we have is NOT a ribbed pan. So the best results are obtained by allowing the product to fully crystallize prior to coating and polishing... So if you coat and polish after all the chocolate has been added will the results be terrible?
  13. Does anyone have any experience using Knobel depositing machines? My one shot plate is leaking chocolate out of the top and I can't determine why. Any help would be appreciated
  14. artiesel

    Large-scale Chocolate panning

    I wish to use the same pan for both steps without taking the product out. I'm not certain what you mean by a ribbed pan.
  15. Has anyone ever performed chocolate panning in a large industrial machine and used a single vessel for the panning AND the polishing steps? The place i work has only one drum and I'd like to make use of it without purchasing a second drum. Any advice would be appreciated!