Those who like traditional snacks must be familiar with rengginang. The glutinous rice cracker is a favourite among the public. But who would have thought if the making of rengginang takes patience and skills? The making of rengginang is still done manually without using a special machine. The making takes a long time and patience and it needs skills, which causes the low production of the snack.
Faced with the problem, Ir. Priyanto Triwitono, MP., a lecturer of Department of Agricultural Products Technology, Faculty of Agricultural Technology UGM, was motivated to seek for a solution for better efficiency and productivity by developing a rengginang maker.
Priyanto said, the idea to invent the machine began when he was providing information for a group of food small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Department of Agriculture of Yogyakarta in 2003. One of the rengginang makers complained about the difficulty in making rengginang manually because it requires patience, skill and the amount produced is not much. "We reeceived orders from different regions, but we could not meet these, because we could not do it quickly in large amount," he explained recently.
The rengginang machine developed by Priyanto is capable to produce rengginang quickly with much more production. This tool is able to increase the capacity up to two times more than the manual process. In every minute, the worker is able to produce 4-5 pieces of rengginang or about 240-300 per hour while in manual method a worker in one minute can only produce 2 pieces or 120 pieces per hour. "The capacity of the machine is at least 50 kg per day. With this machine, one kilogram of steamed glutinous rice can produce approximately 110-120 pieces of rengginang," he said.
Priyanto said the machine is quite practical and can be operated by anyone, including beginners or non-experts, unlike the manual process which cannot be done by beginners as it requires high expertise and skills. This machine is able to make rengginangs with exactly the same size, specifications and texture. "In manual process, different persons will give differesnt pressures to the snack so the rengginang is easily broken when fried or packaged. With this machine, the resulting pressure will be the same so the rengginang is more solid, not easily broken while the shape is consistent," he explained.
The machine is able to save production costs because it is operated without electricity or fuel. Priyanto explained the working principle is adopted from that of bottle lid. This device consists of body/frame made of cast iron, the pole of the iron axle, wooden suppressor, the handle to press the rengginang, the table holder, and wooden press board containing hard pipe pieces.
To make rengginangs, steamed glutinous rice is put into the pressing board. The rengginang suppression/compaction is done by pulling down the handle. Furthermore, the rengginang is removed from the mold to dry. "I’ve developed some shapes of mold such as circle, square and rectangle. Just replace the mold if you want different shapes," he explained.
This rengginang press has been mass-produced. One unit is marketed at a price of 2.5 million rupiah.
This tool has been used by a number of SMEs; one of which is Rengginang Lestari group in Tempel village, Sleman regency, which has been using it since 2004. Sutiyem, the owner, found it helpful. According to Sutiyem, the rengginang press can increase the production capacity up to two times. Formerly, she could only produce as much as 12 kilograms per day manually. With the machine, in one day she could produce up to 50 kilograms. "Formerly, it was difficult to meet quite a lot of orders while we could not produce that much. Alhamdulilah, now we can make more rengginangs," Sutiyem explained.