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Industry News

One Production Line for Making Pasta and Snack Foods
By Detlef Janssen
Dec 5, 2005
  E-mail article
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Uzwil, Switzerland -- Flexibility in production system engineering is a Buhler strength. A pasta line in Pakistan is a case in point. It was designed to allow also the production of coldextruded snack foods.

Buhler masters the pasta production process as well as the actual extrusion process. The idea therefore suggested itself to consider the tried and true Buhler Polymatik® pasta extrusion press from a different angle. Why not use it as a cold extruder? The Polymatik® pasta press intermixes the raw material ingredients within a very short time, whether dough for pasta or raw materials for snack foods.

The special climate prevailing in Pakistan was taken into account by testing and fine-tuning the snack process and recipes in the Buhler laboratory under real-life conditions. This was done while the plant was already under construction. It enabled the Pakistani customer to start production very soon after the plant was completed and will allow him to recoup his capital investment within a short time.

Pasta pioneer

K.S. Sulemanji Esmailji & Sons (Pvt) Ltd. – in short “Kolson” – is a pasta and snack food factory in the middle of the city of Karachi in the South of Pakistan. Pakistan covers a surface area of about 804,000 square kilometers. This means it is twice as large as Germany or California, but with over 162 million inhabitants has double the population density. Karachi is a port for ocean-going vessels, incidentally also for its neighbor Afghanistan. It has excellent road and rail links and is famous as a traditional center of trade.

The family-owned Kolson company was set up in 1942 and is considered to have pioneered pasta production in Pakistan. Today, Kolson has also diversified into snack foods, breakfast cereals, and cakes, both for the domestic market and for export. Kolson achieves absolutely top quality with its exported pasta by applying the new C–line pasta production line from Buhler. The line has been designed to produce ten different short-goods shapes and two different snack food shapes.

Tested in a Tent

Karachi was a special challenge for the line developers, especially its hot and humid summer climate. The climatic conditions were simulated in a tent-like set-up in the Buhler laboratory, and the recipes – as well as part of the line – were adjusted accordingly. Buhler, Kolson as the customer, the vendor of the snack stamping machine, and the supplier of the raw materials collaborated closely to satisfy the customer’s need for difficult product shapes in this adverse climate. The effort has paid off: The Buhler C–line, flexibilized for the production of snack foods, achieves triple the pasta and snack foods output of the existing line at Kolson. In addition, the product quality has been markedly improved.

Full effort

The customer’s need for a reliable, flexible production system has been more than satisfied by Buhler. Kolson Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Saifuddin Sistanwala speaks of “perfect process control” and “decades of experience in food processing technology.” However, that is exactly what he expected, he says: “What really impressed me even more is the continuous preparedness of the Buhler people to devote their full attention to our wishes. This is true from the very first talks and the plant engineering and construction phases to after-sales support.” Kolson also appreciates the fact that Buhler was in a position to supply not only the production line, but also the entire installation for raw materials reception and blending & mixing. Saifuddin Sistanwala says he is happy to have selected Buhler. “My confidence in Buhler has been justified. They have indeed delivered on their promises. With over 40 years of experience in this business, we are very, very happy.” Kolson is the market leader in the Pakistani pasta industry. The company now also plans to retain a leadership position in the growing snack food market, in terms of both quality and quantity. (es)

For more information on pasta and snack food lines, please contact:
Nicole Maag
Buhler AG
CH-9240 Uzwil
T +41 71 955 28 27
F +41 71 955 33 88
E-mail mailto:nicole.maag@buhlergroup.com
Web: http://www.buhlergroup.com/

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