El cuscús es un producto de trigo elaborado a partir de la semolina de trigo duro. Está siendo molido y tamizado y mezclado con agua para formar una pasta gruesa, que está siendo moldeada, cocida al vapor y cortada. Después de ser secado y clasificado se embala.
Couscous is a wheat product made from the semolina of durum wheat. The grains, with a diameter of about 1 to 2 mm, look similar to grain, but couscous is actually a pasta product. Couscous is very popular in North Africa, where it is regarded as a national dish.
Due to its increasing popularity, couscous is now available in many flavors and variations. Couscous is available in a medium or fine-grained form. Couscous is traditionally eaten in combination with stewed meat and vegetables. Couscous can be eaten hot but also cold, for example as a dessert.
Couscous can be steamed in the traditional way using a special couscous pan, called kiskas. Nowadays, there is ready-to-eat couscous that only needs to be soaked in water and boiled for about 5 minutes. The production process of the ready-to-eat couscous will be discussed below.
Before the durum wheat grains can be processed into couscous, they are ground. The whole is sieved, yielding a coarse wheat flour (the semolina).
In a mixer, one third of water is added to two-thirds of the semolina. The whole is mixed for 3 minutes, making the flour absorb the water and swell to form a coarse paste.
The dough is put into a slightly sloping rotating drum, where it turns, in about 7 minutes, into dough balls of different sizes. At the end of the rotating drum, the large lumps within the dough are sieved out.
In order to make the starch in the dough balls gelatinize, the dough balls are steamed in a steam cooker for about 15 minutes, at a temperature of 100°C.
Because the couscous sticks together during steaming, the whole mixture is cut by with large blades.
To prolong the shelf life of the couscous, a centrifuge is used to remove 22% of the moisture from the couscous. This process will take about 18 minutes. By using this method, a moisture content of approximately 12% is obtained. This amount of moisture is necessary to prevent the product from becoming dehydrated when packaged.
After being placed on a oscillating conveyor, the couscous grains are guided to a cooling chamber, where they are cooled for two minutes.
The cooled couscous can now be sorted according to size, by using a shaking sieve. This step allows for the fine and medium couscous grains to be separated from each other. Too small or too large couscous grains are kept apart so that they can be processed again.
After optionally being stored temporarily in storage silos, the couscous is filled by a packaging machine in bags or boxes. The packages are placed in cardboard boxes or wrapped in plastic, after which they are ready for transportation.