Who hasn’t tasted tempeh at least for once in their lives? The soybean cake is popular due to its high nutrition values and low cost. The Indonesian side dish is a favourite among the locals and it is liked by many in the U.S. and Europe, making the demands for tempeh quite high.
To meet the demands, the industry applies machines to peel the soybean during the tempeh production. Different machines are offered in the market. But, we will soon see a new type of machine that is developed by Ir. Mudjijana, M.Eng., lecturer in Mechanical Engineering of UGM.
Unlike other machines that use a rotating disk, the machine he has developed uses a screw that allows bigger surface between the screw and its house. The screw makes the cracking smoother, thus minimising the soybean from breaking too much. “It has been tested that at least 60% of the beans can be halved,” said Mudji.
In addition, the machine takes a slimmer shape, hence space-efficient. His soybean machine consists of a screw and screwhouse made of aluminium. It is connected with a second axis. “The axis is operated with a V-belt transmission electromotor,” Mudji said.
The machine is operated by a 220 Volts motor that rotates at 1,100 rpm. The capacity averages 16-20 kg per hour. “This would only take 300 Watts of power,” Mudji added.
Mudji revealed that the idea was actually from his student who came to him back in 2003 asking for his supervision on his thesis making a soybean miller. The student used a wood screwhouse and manual operation. The student’s machine was developed further using electric motor. It emerged that at a national student exhibition in Bandung in 2004, the local Industry and Cooperatives Agency suggested them to apply for a patent for the machine. After seeking approval from the student and making additions to some parts, Mudji registered for a patent that was finally given in 2010.
In 201 he built a tempeh mini plant in Yogyakarta together with the RELA, a group of tempeh producers. The mini plant can produce up to 10 kg of soybeans that makes up 200 tempeh cakes that are wrapped in banana leaves.
Mudji is now developing a soybean miller for a double capacity, resulting in 32 kg per hour or 250 kg per day. He hopes to be able to produce the machine this year that will sell 2.5 million each.