This season is full of trips and tours, but all fun-filled and great learning experiences.
This Friday (8th April) our Science, Technology and Ecology group went for a factory visit and a farm visit (dealt with later).
The factory we went to is owned by Pravin Masalewale, which owns a range of brands of spices--Ambari, Suhana and Sarvam.It is into a variety of products like turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala, chatpata masala, Biryani masala, chaat masala, etc. We saw the processing of raw turmeric, chilli and coriander into powdered form, which are used at our homes.
Each spice is processed in a separate division and each has its own set of workers, dressed in the corresponding coloured uniforms, for example, Coriander ones wear green uniforms, Turmeric ones wear yellow and the Chilli ones wear Red. This is to avoid the confusion.
Turmeric: Raw Turmeric is fed into the machine, where it gets separated from any dusty particles and adulterants. Further there is also manual surveillance after the machine has done its job in the best possible way. This filtered Turmeric is then ground whenever required.
Coriander: Similarly raw coriander is fed into machines and there are several steps where the dusty particles, stones and adulterants are filtered by the machine. Mostly it is done by vibrating plates. Later on, here also there is a manual surveillance, while coriander is still in the machine. All these spices are used as single ingredient spice as well as in the various masala mixes like paav-bhaaji masala, sambhar masala, etc. For masala mix, Coriander is roasted in huge machines, which have an arrangement such that at the lower end there is a container filled with water. This container is heated at 230 degrees centigrade, and coriander is roasted in a container at the top of it, thus there is no direct contact with heat. The grinding is also done in several steps. As in case of coriander, it is first ground coarse and then finely.
Chilli: There are several varieties of chilli and it is determined by the oil content in them. Chilli also goes through a similar grinding procedure.
Quality Check: There is a Quality Check department where the oil content, moisture, flavour, ash content (adulterants), etc are tested. In fact, it is also tested here whether the raw materials are of standard quality or not. For this, any random sample is taken from the stock of raw materials.
Packaging: The smaller packs are done by machines, while the larger packs are done manually. It is amazing how little packs of 50 gms (which we saw) are made by the machine with absolute precision. The process is termed as Formed, Filled and Sealed. The printed flat plastic packets, roll through the machine, making a cylindrical shape along the way, where it is filled by the required spice and sealed after specific intervals. These intervals are determined by the quantities of packets to be made.
Canteen & Ambience: An absolute serenity pervades the place, as also because it is in the outskirts of the city. It made the memory of Factory visit of Marico come alive, which I had been to with my group members.
The factory has an open canteen, with natural breeze flowing. An ideal place to take time off from the work for people, working there. Even though so many people work in this factory and the fact that it is after all a factory, there is immense tranquility in the environment; and the factory has been aesthetically maintained!
In short, a great experience!
You can visit the company's website through here