Junyuan Secondary School’s Industrial Programme
21 students from Junyuan Secondary School went on a ½-day learning journey to Khong Guan Biscuit Factory at Jalan Boon Lay during the June holidays (23 June). Upon reaching the factory, the group was greeted by the faint aroma of ovenbaked biscuits. Mr Tan Boon Wah, Director for Research, gave a warm welcome to the students and briefly shared the humble beginnings of Khong Guan – how the founders Mr Chew Choo Keng and Mr Chew Choo Han had created a semi-automation production line by rigging up a bicycle chain to move the biscuits on a conveyor system through the oven. After which, Mr Tan handed the group over to Joseph, who was the factory tour guide for the day. The students were in luck as the factory was running the production line of Khong Guan’s top seller biscuit, which is the lemon puff.
Before starting the factory tour, students had to wear a shower cap over their heads and ears for hygiene reason. As there were numerous heavy machines operating in the production line, Joseph and his team also prepared portable audio devices for the students to hear his explanation during the tour. Joseph then brought the group through the three key sections of the lemon puff production flow: preparation and shaping (mixing of ingredients, creating the layers, cutting into appropriate shape and size), oven-baking, and creaming and packaging. At the end of the tour, everyone was given a bag of Khong Guan’s goodies each to take home with.
|Joseph showing a lemon puff biscuit that was freshly baked and conveyed out from the oven to the packaging section.||Junyuan Sec students trying their hands at making different shapes and holes for their biscuits under the guidance of Khong Guan's staff. |
On 5 September 2016, 5 students revisited Khong Guan Biscuit Factory for a Baking Science workshop. They were first brought to a test lab to understand how Khong Guan ensures its food products adhere to high food safety and hygiene standards through routine testing. After that, the students went to the baking lab to try their hands at baking two types of biscuits: cream cracker (high fat, low sugar) and banana puff (low fat, high sugar). The workshop was specially crafted so as to allow the students to explore different baking parameters, such as amount of ingredients to be mixed, the necessity to create holes on the biscuits and length of baking time, when baking biscuits of vastly different sugar and fat contents.
The two activities were indeed an eye-opening experience for the students as they are testament of how Khong Guan continues to leverage on science and technology to keep up with current times while enhancing traditional flavours – from modifying the baking requirements for better-tasting biscuits to the use of automation and highspeed ovens to enhance its productivity and operations.
Written By: Dr. Justin Chue