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Your e-Mails

Samantha Carr
Nicey replies: Well Samantha,

The all too obvious answer is, of course there is, otherwise how would we get new sorts of biscuits. They tend to called 'product development specialists' that sort of thing, rather than biscuit designers. As with anything manufactured on a large scale automation plays a huge part in what is possible, not just the recipes. So a bit of engineering know how as well as food science and of course a well tuned palette are needed. Think about all the machines that have to get jam, cream ad so forth in the right places for thousands of biscuits a minute. Depending on the size of the company will depend on how many people are involved in the development team, and how many of those roles are shared. In the United States many products are developed by third party companies to a clients brief or sometimes as blue sky projects that can then be licensed on to large manufacturers. This article from last years New Yorker magazine is an account of how some of these design processes take place. It makes a lot of silly and unsubstantiated parallels to software development which can safely be ignored. It's equally as interesting as it is bleak in its portrayal of mass produced food.

At the moment lots of recipes are being reformulated to remove the hydrogenated fat from them and as a result even old faithful biscuits are requiring a great deal of careful 'design' work on them.

James Coghlan
Nicey replies: I had to make a 'steam engine' in metal work at school using an old Marvel tin and the lid off a baked beans tin. Although our metal work room appeared to have all the equipment to manufacturer our own fighter aircraft from scratch the steam engine (a small fan held by a bit of bent wire over a hole) was our engineering highlight, if we ignore the aluminium coat hook.

The younger members of staff have often said how much they would like to eat jelly cubes. Perhaps next birthday I'll let them rather than make a trifle. However, I really like trifle.

Rosemary Laidlaw

Thin Arrowroot Review
Nicey replies: Good for you Rosemary,

We shall all think of your straight forward no nonsense approach to Thin Arrowroot appreciation next time we personally pass them over.

Tricia Dearborn
Cork Hat - Australia

Arnott's Gingernut Review

World of BiscuitsCustard