Injera making Machine

The Ethiopian traditional bread making process requires several steps. The process that is going to be utilized to produce Injera using the “ZELFIWU” process is as follows:

1. The first step is to mix Teff (Ethiopian Grain) flour with water to a consistency of a little thinner than a pancake mix so that it flows freely when poured on a cooking surface. This batter is then allowed to ferment for few days before it is ready to be cooked. This process is done in a well- temperature controlled environment to maintain optimum fermentation condition. In some occasions other flours, such as Barley and Wheat, are added in order to vary the taste of the end product. It is also important to know that when raw ingredient (the flours) does not come from the same lot (which happens on occasion) food grade yeast is added to the batter in order to facilitate the fermentation process.

2. In the next step the fermented batters are transferred into a mixing tank where they are mixed well using a food grade mixer that has a low shear to minimize shearing effect due to the batter being a “Non-Newtonian Fluid”. Since the mixture is a type of suspension (Non-Newtonian Fluid), viscosity measurement is done to monitor the consistency of the batter to avoid using batter which is not ready for use to make Injera. Once this is done, the batter is transferred to feed tanks attached to depositors ready to start producing Injera.

3. In the third step we use sophisticated processes to deposit known amount of batter on a special intermittently moving surface. Then the deposited batter is moved to the next stage where the batter is spread to a desired uniform diameter and thickness using an internally designed spreader.

4. Once step three is accomplished the surface containing the batter goes through several cooking steps:
a) The surface is moved to the first heated zone where the temperature is controlled automatically within a degree and left for a precise time. This stage is what we call “Eye Formation” stage.
b) In the next stage the “Injera” is moved to the second heating zone, where again the temperature is controlled within a degree, for a precise measured residence time to be cooked. This is what we call the “cooking” zone.
c) In the third zone, which we call the “finishing or polishing” step, the Injera is cooked more for an accurately measured time at a precise temperature where the cooking process ends.

5. In the fourth step the Injera goes through a cooling zone, where it is cooled to approximately room temperature. Then the Injera is removed from the cooking surface using a combination of “Gyration” and “Levitation” mechanism with a spindle rotating unit into a second moving unit. Once there, the Injera is packed by weight and labeled and stored in a cool room until it is ready to be shipped to customers.

We at ZELFIWU Inc. are proud to introduce this one of a kind modular and sophisticated continuous Injera machine which can be operated at any place in the world. We hope this technology will be a step forward to meet the need for having Injera when and where it is needed at all times.

Wudneh Admassu
Professor of Chemical Engineering