The Assocom Institute of Bakery Technology & Management (AIBTM) is the first exclusive baking institute in India, committed to delivering high-value technical and educational programs and to protecting the safety of the food supply chain.
The AIBTM has been providing training and industry services since 2013, in technical collaboration with international organizations like the American Institute of Baking – USA, and Hyejeon College – South Korea. It is located in Noida, in India’s northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
Raj Kapoor, managing director, has shared with us a close view of the institution he is leading. “The objective of the institute is to create a center of excellence, which will work towards upscaling skill-sets in wheat-based products, have a quick transfer of innovation from overseas, allow support industries to showcase their offerings to the bakeries, and be an incubation hub for new processes and products,” he tells us. Their focus is on advancement programs to specialize in baking professionals and organizing need-based short courses in areas where training may not be readily available.
With these objectives, AIBTM is running varied specialty courses, including short duration courses like artisan and patisseries entrepreneurship development programs and one-year courses like postgraduate Diploma in bakery science and technology (PGBST), or PG Diploma in artisan and patisserie.
A Milestone to Modern Bakery in India
Assocom-India is partner with the National Skill Development Council (NSDC). “Under this partnership, we have trained more than 5,000 people since October 2014. Assocom has already opened five new centers around the country and will make available bakery skill programs throughout the country. For this, it will mandate AIBTM to establish 15 more training facilities in different parts of the country, train more than 100,000 youth, women and entrepreneurs, and provide employment opportunities for skilled bakers,” Kapoor says.
AIBTM also offers the following programs in collaboration with Sharda University (approved by the University Grants Commission of India):
- Sc. (H) – Bakery Science and Technology
- PG Diploma in Food Safety and Quality Management
- PG Diploma in Bakery Technology and Entrepreneurship
- PG Diploma in Patisserie and Artisan Bakery Craft
AIBTM enjoys full support from bakery industry leaders, many of whom also have roles in the institute’s Advisory and Technical Boards. “There is no doubt that the AIBTM is a center for knowledge creation, entrepreneurship and development of human resource at all levels, as it is industry-driven, and works to fill the gap in human resources. It develops technologists who will man the industry operations and can be potential key stake holders in bakery business in future,” Kapoor adds.
To further optimize production, the management should source quality and specific ingredients, he weighs in; they should aim for an environment-friendly and efficient facility, while implementing all required food safety policies. Duly-tested formulation and accurate labeling and packaging will also help manufacturers stand out on the market.
Changing consumer demands have led to changes in formulations and ingredients. To make baked products healthier, many bakers fortify their products with vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin in addition to minerals such as iron and zinc. In recent years, Vitamin D fortifications have gained popularity. There has also been increased interest in using “superfruits” and other natural additives to provide health benefits as well as improved quality.
The rising popularity of gluten-free products has fueled the increase in wheat-alternative flours. Until recently, persons with Celiac disease or wheat allergies or intolerances had limited (if any) choices in baked goods. Fortunately, there are new options for bakers and consumers of baked goods, including bean, sorghum, rice, soy, potato, tapioca, amaranth, quinoa, and millet flours.
Bread and other bakery products are constantly reformulated to add beneficial ingredients that increase their flavor and health-supporting properties, satisfying customers’ desires for products that are both delicious and healthful. By incorporating regionally produced ingredients, bakeries can both improve products’ flavor and lower plant operation costs, transportation expenses in particular.
New products geared to satisfy consumer tastes dominate innovative baked goods and bakery products. In addition to the popularity of reduced fat, gluten-free, and low-sodium items, product trends are shifting toward smaller portions and “bite sized” products.
A number of new, highly popular, “snack sized” and calorie-portioned products have arrived on store shelves in the past few years. Pies on a stick, pie pops, and pie bites have all added to an overall increase in bakery sales. Catering to consumers who enjoy baked goods but want to monitor their caloric, fat, and sugar intake, the smaller portions of these items also influence consumer’s baked good choices and offer alternatives to larger portion sizes.
Consumers are also seeking new flavor options, especially in chips and other salty snack foods. Health-conscious innovations in salt and fat reductions have led snack manufacturers to offer reduced and salt-free lines, while finding creative ways to ensure that products remain flavorful through the use of other ingredients. Local and regional consumer preferences strongly influence innovations in ingredient content.
As both a cost-saving and an environmentally responsible effort, bakery operators are becoming increasingly committed to sustainability measures in their operations. Ingredient sourcing is of particular interest in terms of sustainability and bakeries are increasingly looking toward using regionally grown and produced ingredients which not only support local producers, but also decreases transportation costs.
The use of organic and seasonably available produce in baked goods is increasing, along with trends toward using environmentally-friendly packaging and use of alternative energy sources. Bakeries are striving to reduce water and ingredient use and to minimize waste, practices thatare both cost-reducing, and environmentally responsible.
Trends in India
Baked products will play important role in providing wholesome and healthy ,easily available, economic, hygienically packed, ready to eat foods for all segments of population. Healthy bakery products market is expected to grow significantly over the years.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has proposed to limit the maximum amount of trans fat content in vegetable oils, vegetable fat and hydrogenated vegetable oil to 2 per cent by weight as part of its goal to make India trans fat-free by 2022. It will further lead to healthy bakery products.
Bakery products have been catching up with the popularity trend as lifestyle of Indians is rapidly changing. It will continue to grow at 12-15% over the next five years. Frozen dough and frozen bakery products are expected to grow by 10% in the next five years.
The knowledge and usage of ingredients is very low with Indian bakers. Though, current scenario and availabity of world standard bakery institute, will play big role in education of bakers.
Though, sourcing of quality flour and key ingredients will remain challenge for bakers, as only a few flour mills are able to produce and supply specialty flours to bakers.
Bakers will need to obtain a critical mass of proficiency that will allow them to create new products, improve the quality of existing products, produce baked products at lowest possible costs.