The business of plantain chips production is fast growing in Nigeria probably because of its nutritive value, high profit margin and the ease and simplicity associated with the production process. Plantain chips also serve as a good alternative for flour base snacks like gala, chin-chin, etc.
The sudden demand for natural foods by Nigerians also boost the demand for this product. These factors have encouraged many investors to go into the business and the market has been absorbing influx of producers. As an investor, these indicators show huge market potential for the production of plantain chips and viability of the business.
A business minded individual would naturally want to blow up this business for maximum return. There are two ways to go about this. The semi automated and full automated production methods. For now this post will center on semi automated process.
Semi automated production of plantain chips.
To really catch in on the huge profit margin in the business of making plantain chips, the output have to increase. To achieve this, the use of machines has to be employed because, machine close the gap between you and productivity. In essence, my definition of semi automated production of plantain chips is the manually processing of plantain chips from peeling to frying and fully automating the packaging section of the fried plantain chips. The final output give an outlook of a product that can compete favorably with international market and standard, but limited in speed compared to fully automated process. No doubt, a semi automated process has its flexibility and the control of wastage is at its minimum.
Stages involve in semi automated process of making plantain chips
The Manual Stage
The manual stage includes the process of manually peeling, slicing and frying of plantain to form plantain chips. Read a previous post on manual production of plantain chips for proper understanding.
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This manual stage ends at the cooling stage where the chips are allowed to cool to ambient temperature. The number of deep fryers needed is directly proportional to the output envisaged. For efficiency and time, a semi automated slicer should be installed. There are several options and types you can choose from. I suggest you link heat and control to help fabricate plantain cutter. These links may also be helpful Alibaba.com, Zhengzhou Whirlston Trade. Ensure you give them your specifications, most especially the shape of sliced plantain (longitudinal or round) and the cutting thickness, say at 3-8mm. These parameters are important for a tasteful, crunchy and perfect colour formation of plantain chips.
1, The final quality of plantain chips in terms of taste, color and yield depend on the specie and maturity of plantain. So, get mature plantain with low water content and store in a cool dry place. Honduras species is better.
2, Ensure the oil level in the dip fryer immerse plantain in the feed basket for even fry.
3, Regulate frying temperature
4, Allow fried plantain chips to cool to room temperature before packing is done.
5, Use cholesterol free oil.
6, Sliced plantain must not be too thick and the cutting diameter must be even for consistent crunchiness and color output.
Automated Packaging Stage
This is the packaging stage where the fried plantain chips will be feed into a packaging machine. A fully automated plantain chips packaging machine is installed. This machine will pack the chips at predetermined gram size, form the feed nylon, center seal it, fill the formed packaging material with plantain chips and then seal, label and discharge. The label include batch code number, manufacturing and expiry dates. The final output will be as neat and beautiful as fully automated process because, they both have the same finishing line. Click here for a link to plantain chip packaging machine.
The sole reason for opting on semi automated process of making plantain chips is on the ground of limited initial start-up capital and space. Semi automated process splits fully automated process into two distinct stages making a stage manual and the other fully automated.
1, Packaging floor must be completely separated from the manual production section to avoid unwanted interference.
2, Batch code must be clear and visible so as to track production process.
3, Avoid leakage of packaging materials.
4, Do not pack fried plantain chips until they are cool to ambient temperature.
5, Separate crumbs and burnt plantain chips on separation table made of stainless steel material before packing.
I hope this has given you a picture of a semi automated plantain chips production. Do not hesitate to contact us should you need help in any way. Our team can help you setup a complete plantain chips factory and train your staffs on the art of making plantain chips and market penetration strategies in Nigeria.