By: Emily Wolter
My parents visited me at school a few weeks before summer came to an end and, one evening after dinner, we made our way to the Krispy Kreme donut shop for a sweet treat. Little did we know, we were in for a little entertainment and education, as well.
We walked into the store and behind the cash register was a giant glass window that covered 2/3 of the wall and through the shiny glass you could see dozens and dozens of donuts making their way through a maze of extruders and oil vats, running through a never ending waterfall of sugar glaze, and cruising down a conveyor to the eager employees at the end of the processing line.
For my parents, who have never been in a food production facility, it was quite the experience. The employees were very friendly and explained the process to us, step by step. Some of the donuts moving down the line still look white instead of golden brown, which we discovered meant that the donuts did not flip properly during the frying process – these donuts will be discarded.
Can I just say that a hot, glazed donut eaten straight off the line is like nothing I have ever had before? Ever. You should fly to Raleigh and try one for yourself…I think it might be worth it.
Have you ever eaten anything straight off the processing line? I’ve toured a number of food production facilities. One thing I have eaten straight off the line is a cheese puff prior to frying and flavor addition; the puff was still soft and didn’t taste like much, but had the customary shape we are all used to seeing due to the extrusion process.
We used to have Krispy Kreme here but Dunkin Donuts eventually killed it and most of the locations shut down. It was a sad, sad time. But I’ve plenty of fried fish products off the line (though they’re not really fresh ><).
I remembered how we made cheese during undergraduate and before it is fully ripened, we ate it. My point is we as a food scientist, culinary scientist has the utmost opportunities to try food straight from the processing line even before it is ready for the customer.
We went to visit the processing facility of Ocean Spray Craisins in one of my classes at UMass. They gave us some freshly packaged Craisins. The flavor was awesome right off of the line, and they were actually slightly crunchy.