Making corn masa in minutes

Heat and Control Pty Ltd

Wednesday, 01 May, 2019


The new Heat and Control Masa Maker has eliminated many of the time-consuming steps previously required in masa production, transforming the way the industry approaches the masa-making process. Masa Maker is the world’s first corn masa-making system that creates fresh masa in minutes instead of hours, with virtually no water usage, at a significantly lower cost compared to traditional systems.

Making corn-based snack foods like corn chips, tortillas and tacos is a complex process. The first step is to make the corn masa, a dough-like mixture. The production of corn masa has traditionally required lots of dry corn cooking, corn washing and draining, milling and pumping, with the overall process taking around 8–16 hours. These steps require a large amount of water and floor space and have always been a challenging area to achieve efficiency gains.

How the Masa Maker saves you time and money

This patent-pending new system produces fresh masa from dry corn in minutes rather than the hours-long simmer/soak process that is traditionally used. It needs no steam generator, simmer kettles, soak tanks, or washers and eliminates water discharge and sewage fees. Masa Maker gives the manufacturer a significant time saving over the traditional process where the cooked corn needs to be soaked for a full 8–16 hours before being ground into masa. The Masa Maker provides operators a superior return on investment through:

  • Increased production flexibility: Significantly reduce processing time to 8–16 minutes, using corn grain
  • Water savings: Reduce water use to only what is needed as a recipe ingredient and sanitation needs — eliminate your water waste
  • Operational savings: Reduce production and sanitation costs
  • Energy savings: Eliminate steam generator, simmer kettles and soak tanks

Improved taste and quality for your corn products

A key concern for corn food manufacturers is how to make their products with a desired taste and flavour that is consistent over time. The Masa Maker gives producers the option to control the recipe and final product quality of their masa, which some traditional masa-making methods are unable to do. To yield the best results, recipes must be accurately adhered to, with cooking time and temperature accurately controlled. Masa Maker can give you flexibility and quality control by:

  • Eliminating the need to buy masa flour: Make your own quality masa
  • Create your own flavours: Control masa quality and taste profiles to match your recipe
  • On-demand production: Fast response to production requirements

How the Masa Maker works

The Corn Masa Maker System offers an alternative process to the methods currently available in the marketplace. The development of the Masa Maker occurred through the identification of certain chemical reactions that are the result of the nixtamalization process in traditional masa production. Heat and Control’s experienced food technologists worked with our R&D engineering and product development teams to develop the equipment and technology required to automate this process for large-scale production.

The Masa Maker System replaces the need for all the elements in the preparation and masa production phase of a corn line. The actual process the Masa Maker employs forms part of the intellectual property of the overall system. Essentially, using either part of the corn kernel or the entire kernel, depending on desired product characteristics, the system utilises raw corn, water and lime, and milling and mixing occurs to produce masa at desired consistency.

Using this process, tortilla and snack manufacturers can produce customised masa almost on demand, eliminating long lead times for dry corn preparation and for significantly lower cost when compared to using pre-milled flour.

The Masa Maker in action — Fiesta Charras Group

Founded in 1982, Fiesta Charras Group is a leading producer of tostadas and other foods. Distributed throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Central America, Charras brand foods include 16 varieties of fried and baked tostadas, plus tortilla chips, salsas and extruded snacks system for masa production at its Tostadas Charras plant.

Fiesta Charras recognised the benefits of Masa Maker, and adopted the system for masa production at its Tostadas Charras plant.

“We are always looking for products that surprise our customers in both innovation and quality, and this system has helped us to lower production costs and become more productive in our processes without neglecting quality,” explains General Director, Raul Leal.

“We are always looking for ways to improve and exceed the expectations of our customers,” he adds. “Masa Maker has helped us succeed in both areas.”

For more information on how Heat and Control can assist you with your corn product systems, including the Masa Maker, please contact Heat and Control at, or call +61 7 3877 6333.

For more information, click here.

Image credit: ©

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