The sheer volume of packaged snacks in the local market is mind boggling! And with that come the dregs of doubt; what exactly is being put inside these edibles, packed under eye-catching wrappings?
Sure, the list of ingredients is there for the world to see, but are those just words? Dan Cake Bangladesh, taking these into account, opened the doors to their factory for an inside look into how their products are made, packaged and handled in-between.
Dan Cake, originally established in 1931 in Denmark, is the Scandinavian market leader in the production of ready-to-eat cakes and Swiss rolls. Dan Foods Limited was launched in Bangladesh in 2012 through a joint venture between Dan Cake A/S, Denmark and Pandughar Limited of Bangladesh. It took around three years of R&D and finally, in 2015, Dan Cake’s range of products were officially launched into the Bangladesh market.
The factory, located in Khagan, Birulia, Savar is a state-of-the-art facility built and maintained following European standards in cleanliness and hygiene. Located on 1.6 acres of land, it has strict set of rules that are maintained through and through, whether it is for the everyday workers, or guest visits.
Every part of the factory, from the raw material storage area to final packaging area are sectioned off properly.
Just like any baking procedure, Dan Cake starts with the batter, but in much larger proportions. Eggs are cracked by an automated machine and then mixed with other dry ingredients. Dan Cake sources the flour and eggs locally, but the rest of the ingredients are all imported. The recipes come directly from the original mother company in Denmark, with pre-mixed vital ingredients.
After the batter is made, it is poured into an automated baking line. Trained workers adjust the temperature and other parameters as the batter is poured into paper cups, or moulds. On the day of my visit, a batch of Dan Cake’s highly popular Cappuccino Muffins were being made. The invigorating aroma of coffee and freshly baked cake hit my senses even before the baking unit came into sight.
The conveyer belt carries the cups of raw batter into the baking unit where it took roughly 20-23 minutes for the baking to complete. The highest care was taken in the area where the muffins were being cooled to avoid any scope of contamination.
Cross contamination is one issue that the Dan Cake factory is very particular about avoiding. Also, the factory environment itself is supplied with purified air that does not allow the growth of any microbes.
From the cooling area, the muffins were moved into a unit that injected the delicious cappuccino cream. After that, the muffins were placed into a packaging unit, where they were nitrogen flushed and sealed in.
From the batter being poured, to the final packaging, the process is continuous and automated. The only human interactions were for quality checks.
Dan Cake’s key strength lies in its products and development. To ensure that, the production line has to be top-notch as well. At its heart, they still carry forward the spirit of Dan Cake’s founder Jens Eskildsen, while making the best use of modern technology.
Photo courtesy: Dan Cake Bangladesh
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