Confectionery and chocolate moulds are essential tools in creating visually stunning and delicious treats. However, their lifespan can be influenced by several factors, including washing, handling during production, and the ingredients used. In this blog, we will explore these factors in detail to help you understand how to extend the lifespan of your confectionery and chocolate moulds.
One crucial yet often overlooked aspect of maintaining mould quality is proper washing. Mould washing plays a vital role in ensuring the production of safe and visually appealing confectionery. It eliminates allergen proteins, flavour residues, and product accumulation in the cavities and on the mould surface. By prioritizing factors like temperature control, effective cavity fill management, and meticulous adjustment of mould-scraping devices in the production line, unnecessary washing can be minimized.
However, it’s important to note that the washing process itself contributes to wear and aging of moulds, particularly in the case of polycarbonate moulds. Polycarbonate is sensitive to hot water and certain chemicals, leading to brittleness and loss of gloss on the mould surface after approximately 100 to 150 washing cycles. The lifespan of moulds depends on their usage and construction. Moulds subjected to heavy mechanical forces, such as twisting and hammering, will wear out faster compared to those with minimal contact. Additionally, moulds with pins or holes on the outside (for transportation in the line, or turning) normally have to endure high forces on these points when moving through the line, and will fail sooner when the mould material becomes brittle, compared to rectangular moulds that just slide over guidings.
Proper Handling Techniques:
Preserving the structural integrity of confectionery and chocolate moulds is crucial for their longevity. Here are some essential tips for handling moulds correctly:
Confectionery and chocolate moulds are sturdy when undamaged. However, even minor notches or scratches can develop into significant cracks under mechanical stress. It’s crucial to protect moulds from small damages caused by guidings in the line, or handling during loading and unloading, or during the removal of not demoulded chocolate. Consider using moulds with rounded edges to prevent the formation of small notches. The rounded moulds we have developed help with this; the absence of sharp edges prevents the origination of small notches.
Understanding Mould Construction:
Mould construction plays a role in their durability. Rigid moulds with intricate rib patterns or high cavities have limited flexibility and twisting capability. It’s important to ensure that the twisting angle remains within the physical limits of the mould material. When using hammers, strike the moulds on the ribs rather than the cavities. If possible, aim to strike multiple ribs with a single hammer blow.
Avoiding Production Line Mishaps:
Severe crashes or mishaps in the production line can break moulds, regardless of their strength. Regular maintenance and a well-designed production line can minimize the occurrence of such incidents.
Impact of Ingredients:
The ingredients used in confectionery production can affect the surface quality and appearance of the moulded products. While this doesn’t directly influence the mechanical strength of the moulds, it may lead to issues during demoulding. Ingredients such as sugar crystals, nuts, and certain alcohols have the potential to damage the gloss and surface of the mould cavities. Additionally, the use of wafers or other ingredients that slide against the mould surface can cause scratches, diminishing the gloss over time. In cases where moulds are continuously used for products containing such ingredients, replacement may be necessary after approximately six months due to cavity surface scratches.