European Baker & Biscuit Seminar Series: The Bakery Revolution – The Science in Processing

We have returned to Europain’s presentation agenda this year to highlight technology innovations and their impact on baking processes, together with our guest speakers representing two leading experts in the field, the Tromp Group and MECATHERM.

“The Bakery Revolution” encapsulates how baking has been thoroughly transformed by technology innovations. Pieter Doornbos, Product Sales Director, Tromp Group, shared insights from the Dutch company’s expertise on how this translates for turnkey solutions dedicated to manufacturing cakes. On behalf of MECATHERM, Cyril Munsch, Director of Global Sales, presented highlights on innovations that are changing the automated production of bread.

Industrial Muffin Production

Tromp provided an overlook of processes involved in manufacturing muffins, with an analysis of processes and their respective dedicated equipment making up cake and pie lines.

The big steps revolutionizing muffin manufacturing were made in the last 10 years, and the most striking evolution has been in capacity. This is when lines started making up to 70,000 muffins per hour, illustrates the specialist, and was fully automated. “This included automated paper cup dispensing, batter depositing, baking, cooling, and depanning,” Pieter Doornboss explains.

Oven loading is another important step that benefits from automation, built with capacities of more than 3 meters wide and 50 meters in length. Heating technology also changes baking, with hybrids combining Direct Fire with Convection, to achieve an even baking process throughout the oven, and respectively, a soft and tasty end product. As today’s production capacity caps at around 70,000 muffins per hour, this does not mean that technology has peaked. “We have customers asking for capacities of up to 200,000/hour,” so production speed and volume will definitely remain a technology innovation driver. “We are now talking about entire factories dedicated to cake production, making a single product” illustrates the speaker from Tromp.

“You need to automate in order to be very cost-effective, and this is the direction for the future,” concludes the expert from Tromp. This means employing all industry 4.0 features to combine all types of data and increase production effectiveness, the essence of the baking revolution we are witnessing.

Innovations in Automated Bread Manufacturing

Cyril Munsch shared highlights into technology innovation in bread production along the production line. An automated bread production line is configured to include all technology solutions corresponding to each process stage: the make-up station, the proofing system, the scoring module, followed by the oven, then cooler and freezer.

Flexibility is one of the key requirements in baking facilities, and an essential equipment feature. In this regard, the new baking systems launched by the French specialist illustrate what innovation means for them: it is a flexible baking system that is able to make soft, as well as crusty products.

The oven is a key component in terms of flexibility and possibility to adapt to different products. Cyril Munsch explains: “Not only you can control the baking curve and the baking time, but you can also choose how you will generate and transmit the heat to the product, thanks to line modularity. Depending on the product, you can generate heat exchange by convection, by radiant heat alone, or by a combination of both. For example, if we have a product containing yeast on the line, you will want a quiet, non-turbulent atmosphere at the beginning of the baking process, so that the product has time to expand. This is followed by the second module which has a role in bringing the core of the product to baking temperatures – meaning convection technology is best suited for this stage. The last zone of the baking process is where crust is created, or the color in the case of a soft bread, and here radiant heat can be combined with convection heat.” The baking profiles can vary according to products, making the line flexible to different process requirements.

The seminar took place on February 5, and was part of this year’s Europain Forum presentations, held in Paris.

You can read more from the presentation in European Baker & Biscuit (Jan/Feb 2018)!

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