The Smartie making process starts with the melted chocolate which is made elsewhere on the site at York and is then pumped across the factory through large pipes into these vats. Each of these vats, or silos, holds around six tonnes of chocolate.
To produce the chocolate bean, liquid, melted chocolate is moulded through a set of rollers which are extremely cold. As the two rollers come together, they form a sheet of chocolate beans.
The chocolate beans are then taken on a conveyor belt to cool and harden.
Once the moulded chocolate has cooled the unwanted chocolate around the edge of the bean has to be removed. The belt of chocolate is taken through a de-webbing drum and the excess chocolate is taken off, melted down and used again.
The remaining beans still have a rough edge to them, so they are passed through another rotating drum. This is a smoothing drum, and as the name suggests is used to make the edges of the chocolate bean very smooth.
Finally the finished bean is put into a container, roughly 750kg in weight. The beans then go on for the coating process.
Making the orange sweet uses exactly the same process, except orange flavour is added to the liquid chocolate before it is moulded. The orange sweet is the only one which is flavoured.
The beans are placed in large rotating drums and the coating is sprayed on. The first coat,the soft coat, is a mixture of flour, starch and syrup and is built up gradually as is the second hard coat of syrup. Finally the colour and wax are added.
This photo shows finished purple sweets. Each colour is stored seperately after the coating process.
The next stage is to mix all the colours evenly, this is done using a mixing conveyor. As the sweets pass along the conveyor belt, they also pass through a metal detector and a sieve deck which removes sweets that are not the correct size.
This vat holds a staggering three to four million mixed sweets! It’s hard to see, but the sweets are gradually being fed down to the packing plant which is on the floor below.
The next stage is to fill the tubes with the sweets. This is done by machine which fills 600-650 tubes every minute! That’s it – all ready to eat – enjoy!