Dough proofing is an essential processing step for the bakery industry and, even though the process remained basically the same, technology companies offer new equipment to make it easier and more efficient.
This is one of the reasons backing industry experts’ projection that commercial bakery proofers market will grow at a CAGR of 6.17% during 2017-2021, according to Research and Markets.
As the industry becomes increasingly specialized, many equipment manufacturers have developed tray proofers, which provide an automated yet versatile proofing environment with a high-volume output. For example, the Henry Group explains the advantage of this proofer in that it can easily accommodate changes in pan sizes. “This type of proofer is equally suited in a plant making small runs of different products, as well as running large runs of continuous product,” the specialists from Henry Group say. They also utilize space more efficiently than other types of proofers.
MCS, member of the Kaak Group, has been developing industrial proofing systems over the last 30 years. “The technical mission of MCS to combine high capacity, quality of the final product, and flexibility is emphasized in proofing systems, which are offered in many different configurations to suit the different baking technologies and output requirements. On request, the proofers are designed to run alternatively with different types of products,” the company explains.
With its swinging tray proofers, MCS offers the possibility to use multiple trays (up to four tiers), reducing the overall size of the proofer and its costs. The system is also versatile: it can handle different products on baking pans similarly, as well as products on peelboards to be hearth baked. On the other hand, stabilized tray proofers are mainly used for small/medium-sized lines and for hearth baked products. The trays are supported by side wheels running onto rails. When passing from one tier to the other, a sprocket engages the side wheel, stabilizing the tray until it reaches the rails of the next tier. The trays are normally covered with canvas, easily removable for washing or, when possible, the tray’s surface is made of stainless steel or food grade plastic material.
Moreover, other experts say that their systems are designed so that each pan of product travels one behind the other, exposing products to identical conditions, and producing uniformly baked products. AMF’s BakeTech Continuous Proofer Systems are designed with exclusive cold-water atomization using filtered, compressed air for humidity. Maximum efficiency of the unit is provided this way, while eliminating overheating, according to the company.