“It’s better to eliminate the cost than to degrade the quality”
By: A. Balaraju*
Manufacturing has emerged as one of the high growth sectors in India. Indian government’s ‘Make in India’ program aims to put India on the world map as a manufacturing hub and give global recognition to the Indian economy. India is expected to become the fifth largest manufacturing country in the world by the end of year 2020 (Source: Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index published by Deloitte).
What attract global manufacturing giants to India are a billion plus consumers and an ever-increasing purchasing power. India today is one of the most attractive destinations for investments in the manufacturing sector. The prominence of this sector can also be linked to the numerous initiatives undertaken by the government to promote a positive environment for the growth of the manufacturing sector in the country.
Manufacturing plays a critical role in economic development. It employs a sizeable workforce, it supports the state’s economy, it is a source of local and state funding, has a large multiplier effect in other sectors, improves living standards of their workers and the community around them. Some of the challenges that the manufacturing sector face include regulatory compliances, product relevance in an ever-changing market, logistics, skill sets training, maintenance, and constant need for innovation.
Dairy and food processing sector is one of the large sub-sectors within manufacturing. The Indian ice cream industry is one of the fastest growing segments of the dairy and food processing industry. India has low per capita ice cream consumption at 400 ml as compared with per capita consumption of ice cream of 22,000 ml in the United States and 3,000 ml in China. With the improving cold chain infrastructure in the country coupled with increasing disposable income and the changing lifestyle, the sector has great potential for growth.
India is the fastest growing ice-cream consumption market in the world followed by Vietnam and Indonesia. According to a report released by market research agency Mintel, India’s ice-cream market has registered a compounded annual growth rate of 13 per cent in the last five years. The sales volume is expected to nearly double in India from 334.4 million litres in 2016 to 657.2 million litres by 2021.
Modern Day Essentials for an Ice-cream manufacturing unit
Ice-cream manufacturing is both art and science. State-of-the-art machinery and R&D are the two most important pillars of ice-cream manufacturing. We have developed and perfected a manufacturing flow that has stood the test of time.
A food is as good as its ingredients. We procure milk and milk products from leading cooperative and private dairies. All other rawmaterials and packing materials are purchased from approved suppliers. Materials are issued to production only after thorough Quality Control Inspection.Raw Materials like Milk is stored at 5degrees Centigrade and Butter is stored at -20 degrees Centigrade.
The detailed manufacturing process is as follows –
- CIP (CLEAN IN PLACE) at Mix section, ageing VAT, flavor tank, continuous freezers, candy machine – CIP is carried out before starting production and after completion of production with 80 degrees Centigrade Hot water.
- Addition of ingredients to prepare mix – All the mix ingredients like water, milk, butter, milk powder, sugar, stabilizers and emulsifiers are added through ventury system in sequence as per the specification.
- Pre-heating of Ice Cream mix in the mix tank – After adding all the ingredients, the base mix is heated up to 55 degreesCentigrade.
- Inspection of Filter placement and condition of the Filter – Once the mix is ready before passing the mix to HTST, filters are thoroughly checked and cleaned. Then the mix is pumped for the homogenization through the regeneration system of HTST.
- Homogenizationand pasteurization of the Ice cream mix – The mix is passed through homogenization at 2000 – 2500PSI and then passed through High Temperature Short Time (HTST) for pasteurization at 82 degrees Centigrade +/-2 for 20 to 22 seconds.
- Chilling of Ice cream mix – mix is chilled below 5 degrees Centigrade in two stages 1). Mix temperature is brought down from 82 degrees to 45 degrees through cooling tower system. 2). Mix temperature is brought down from 45 degrees to 4 degrees through chilled water.
- The Mix is stored in the ageing vat at below 5 degrees centigrade for up to 72 hours.
- Ice Cream mix is transferred to flavor tank depending on batch size and colors and flavors are added in the tank as per requirement.
- Ice Cream Mix is pumped to continuous freezers which churn the Liquid Mix and converts into semisolid state and maintains the temperature ranging from -4 degrees Centigradeto -5 degrees Centigrade.
- Ice-cream filling – Ice cream is filled in different packs like Cups, Cones & Tubs, and passed through hardening tunnel and stored at cold storages where the temperature is maintained at –25 to –30 degreesCentigrade.
- Ice-cream distribution and consumption – Then the ice creams are transported through Refrigerated trucks which maintains the temperature at -18 degreesCentigrade and below and temperature are continuously monitored by the supervisors till it reaches the whole sellers / retailers, they will unload & store it in Deep freezers & continue the process of freezing till it is consumed.
Continuous freezers and homogenizers are the most important equipment which is imported from Europe. Maintaining optimal temperatures at all stages is most essential requirement for ice-cream manufacturing and distribution.
In conclusion, to really make the product lasting and meaningful changes in manufacturing processes becomes essential. This revolves around a lot of factors; one of them is a team-based approach. With additional cost, we almost always can make a product better. But this additional cost must be desirable by the customer. Use the customers’ perspective to define what the best-in-class product would be and meet those requirements while minimizing cost. Proper quality inspection steps, Product understanding, and product consistency, all together makes the complete the basics of the manufacturing plant.
*Co-founder, Dairy Day Ice Creams