Monday, January 18, 2010

Makes 40,000 rotis in 1 hr

Makes 40,000 rotis in 1 hr
Record-Breaker Akshay Patra Foundation Has Improved Its Kitchen
Shruthi Balakrishna | TNN

Bangalore: It needs no introduction. An entry into Limca Book of World Records; appreciation from none other than US President Barack Obama and its work as a case study at Harvard University! The latest addition to its achievements — churning out 40,000 rotis for children in just one hour.
Akshay Patra Foundation, which runs the world’s largest school-meal programme, has improved its kitchen services by increasing the number of rotis produced to meet the requirement of children. The ‘roti machine’, which was first introduced in 2004 in Brindavan, had a massive task ahead of them.
The foundation, which reaches 11.86 lakh children across the country, had made thousands of rotis for kids in North India.
“In that part of the country, children asked for rotis instead of rice. And preparing so many rotis requires more
manpower. So we bought the unique machine,” said Vyomapada Das, who is looking after the kitchen at Bhilai.
HUNT ON FOR BETTER MACHINE
After Das and his colleague found that the roti-making machine in Amritsar was expensive, they decided to hunt for a similar machine at a reasonable rate. Luckily, they came across a person who could make ‘desi’ style rotis. After negotiation, they paid Rs 12 lakh for it.
But there was a problem. The machine produced 10,000 rotis per hour while the requirement was to feed 5,000 children. “We tried to solve the problem, and we found out we needed six such machines within a space of 10,000 sqft. It would cost us between Rs 60-70 lakh,” said Narasimha Das, who is in charge of Brindavan kitchen.
When the team contacted the same machine supplier, the latter couldn’t improve the production count. “Then we contacted companies in the US and Holland. A firm in Holland suggested to increase the width of the oven from 0.9 m to 1.2 m and to increase the speed to 12 m per minute. The oven portion was also extended so that rotis can be fully cooked,” said Narasimha Das.
THIRD LAYER ADDED
A third layer (chained mesh) was introduced. This was done so that the rotis after passing through the two layers can go through the mesh, which directly comes into contact with the flame. Another improvization is equal distribution of oil on the rotis. Earlier, oil would be spread on each roti manually.
The team is working in two more areas — segregation of rotis and reducing consumption of LPG.
After the rotis are cooked at the outlet, a weighing machine will be used to measure them before packing. Volunteers already know the weight required for each destination, so based on that data, they will pack the rotis needed for particular schools.
All the oven sections have LPG burners, which are manually controlled. Sometimes, rotis get overcooked or under-cooked. There is a discussion with LPG officials to provide temperature sensors and temperature thermostat to keep a right balance. Besides, there is no manual intervention.
HOW THE MACHINE WORKS
Water is added to flour Dough is prepared Dough is put on the first layer of the roti-making machine As the dough goes through the roller, dices are used to get the shape They go to the second layer, where they are flipped to cook both sides Finally, they go through a mesh, which is directly connected with the flame Oil is then sprayed on the rotis

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