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How are commercial breadcrumbs made?
February 20, 2013 10:45 PM   Subscribe

You know those fine breadcrumbs you buy in a box from the supermarket? How are they made? Do they bake bread specifically for it then blend it up, or do they use the leftover scraps from the bread factory? Or use bread that's past its sell buy date?
posted by dontjumplarry to Food & Drink (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Commercial breadcrumbs are purpose made. The dough is created in a continuous mixer which is pressed through rollers to create a thin flat sheet. This process is known in the trade as "sheeted" bread. The sheets of dough are run through typical conveyor belt ovens and the resulting sheets of cooked bread are fed through a slow grinder to obtain the required texture. The main difference between different types of crumb is the ingredients used, which range from pure flour and water (usually called cracker meal) to a dizzying array of chemical additives for browning, coloring, leavening or flavoring. The sale of breadcrumb to the consumer is a miniscule fraction of the business compared to the commercial demand for crumb in various processed foods. ABC are the kings of this business in the US, although lots of other producers make their own.
posted by Lame_username at 11:00 PM on February 20, 2013 [31 favorites]


Not the fine breadcrumbs, but coarse Japanese panko is made in a special process.

I assume there are factories making standard breadcrumbs of all sizes that way, with sieving separating the coarse and fine crumbs. I also assume there are some factories that take their reject loaves and ends and pieces and grind them up, or send them to their breadcrumb line.
posted by WasabiFlux at 11:01 PM on February 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


I assume there are factories making standard breadcrumbs of all sizes that way, with sieving separating the coarse and fine crumbs
Controlling the size of the particles is a standard grinder function. Most plants would be able to vary the size of the crumb by adjusting the grinder. I'm out of my depth as to the details as most of my knowledge derives from a Kraft factory tour.
I also assume there are some factories that take their reject loaves and ends and pieces and grind them up, or send them to their breadcrumb line.
I'd be very surprised if this was the case. They will have pretty tight tolerances for the bread going into the grinders and there would be potential food safety issues with moving around the scraps.
posted by Lame_username at 11:28 PM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I know of at least one manufacturer that uses the waste from fresh bread factories to make bread crumbs. The collection process at the bread factory is very regimented and designed to maintain food safety.
posted by Talk To Me Goose at 3:14 AM on February 21, 2013


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