Designer and Manufacturer of Automated Injera Machine
254 Sunrise Dr. Moscow. Idaho, 83843
Injera is a specific type of bread that is part and parcel to the Ethiopian culture. Injera is a necessity food item for almost all Ethiopians and is utilized in almost all-traditional cuisine. The bread is unique in appearance and texture. It is one of the most delicate food items to automate due to its characteristics that include; “bubbly eye”, circular flat geometry, very elastic, smooth back surface and a fluffy texture. These unique properties require a thorough understanding of the “overall” injera making process, i.e., fermentation of the teff flour under controlled environment, viscosity of the batter, amount of batter per injera, the spreading of the batter to obtain the right geometry and thickness, the precise temperature at which the injera is cooked, and its removal from the cooking surface using a delicate removing mechanism. Even though the injera itself looks a simple product but, to make it, it requires very sophisticated and computer controlled process. This in mind, ZELFIWU Inc. has designed and manufactured the first automated “Injera making Machine” that can produce 500 units per hour (patent pending). This was accomplished with advice and cooperation of Maru Grocery of Dallas Texas, which is the only entity that operates this continuous automated process that manufactures this product for the past five years. The second generation ZELFIWU Inc machine is put in place in Washington DC in the summer of 2004 and produces 1000 units per hour 24 hours a day. Currently, in the United States, all Injera is made at home or in a facility that utilizes a “Circular Pan” made of clay or metal. This process is “time-consuming” a “one-at-a-time” production units, which tend to be inefficient. Due to this production mode, the variability from production to production of Injera has been a known fact, i.e., no two individuals will produce the same product at all times. This exact process is used in Ethiopia today. To make matters worse, majority of Ethiopians (in Ethiopia) traditionally cook over pans heated by “wood” and “wood coal”. This has resulted in and will severely impact the environment and undoubtedly will lead to deforestation and the consequence will be extended drought in the country. As mentioned above, one “ZELFIWU Inc” machine can produce 1000 unit per hour consistently and uniformly 24 hours a day using available electricity which can be enough to feed up to 8,000 to 10,000 people. Therefore the Injera machine can easily be installed and operated wherever electric power is available. The Injera made using this technology has a shelf life of at least 5 to 7 days which is another improvement over the old way of making Injera which becomes moldy within 1 to 2 days of shelf life.
The President, Dr. Wudneh Admassu who is Professor of Chemical Engineering is the lead inventor, and the principle engineers of Zelfiwu, inc. are Chemical and Mechanical Engineers. The Board of Directors has over 30 years combined experience led by Mr. Kasshun Maru, in both wholesale and retail of Injera and other related businesses.