The Integration of Proofing Technology in Modern Bakeries

The proofing process stands as a critical juncture where precision and efficiency play pivotal roles in the production of high-quality baked goods. As demand for consistent and scalable solutions increases, the integration of advanced proofing modules in complete lines for large industrial bakers, alongside standalone proofing cabinets for artisan bakers, has become essential in optimizing production workflows.

Proofing, an essential stage in the bread and pastry manufacturing process, involves allowing dough to rise before baking. The primary objective is to create an optimal environment for yeast fermentation, ensuring the development of the desired texture, flavor, and appearance in the final product. In both large-scale industrial settings and smaller artisanal operations, the choice of proofing equipment profoundly influences the overall product quality, production efficiency, and ultimately, the bottom line.

Industrial modules are designed to handle high-volume production demands, offering a controlled and consistent environment for dough proofing. Advanced technologies, such as computerized controls and programmable settings, enable precise regulation of temperature, humidity, and proofing duration. This level of automation not only ensures uniform product quality but also significantly reduces the margin for human error, contributing to increased operational reliability.

During this stage, it is essential to ensure gentle handling of the products to avoid shocks while maintaining optimal hygienic conditions.

To address these challenges, MECATHERM developed the M-UB solution. This vertical mechanization system ensures consistent treatment of all products during proofing. Moreover, its transfer-free mechanism eliminates shocks and friction, preserving the integrity of the product for optimal quality.

The M-UB proofing solution is highly flexible and composed of independent modules that can be individually configured or even “bypassed.” This adaptability makes the solution suitable to produce different products and establish varying fermentation times. Additionally, as the products do not come into direct contact with the conveyance system, the risks of contamination are significantly reduced.

“It is possible to have a first warm zone followed by a second, colder zone. The second zone, called the “retarder,” helps to obtain a higher volume and more shine of the product, by achieving a higher level of condensation during baking. It can also assists with aroma development.” explains Marie Laisne, Marketing Manager at MECATHERM.

The flexibility of the M-UB mechanization system makes it suitable for a wide range of products, capable of transporting mold racks, peelboards, or various types of baking sheets. Furthermore, this flexibility extends to its design, accommodating buildings of various heights.

Another innovative solution is the Reading Bakery Systems (RBS) Multi-Pass Proofer, which accelerates dough development time in a reduced production footprint. Flavor, color, and texture of the final product are all affected by the proofing process and when temperature and humidity levels are precisely controlled, product consistency and quality are improved.  

An environmentally controlled proofer is instrumental in creating many snack foods, as the yeasts and culture inside the dough require time to develop. By managing the heat and humidity in the dough’s environment, dough development time can be reduced. Flavor, color, and texture of the final product are all affected by this proofing process and when temperature and humidity levels are precisely controlled, product consistency and quality are improved. 

“With the new RBS Multi-Pass Proofer achieving snack product consistency, while improving operational efficiencies, has never been easier. We can achieve 42 Meters of proof distance in a 9.0 Meter long proofing enclosure, by controlling heat and humidity via an intuitive PLC. This flexible, efficient, and simple to use system is exactly what today’s snack food producers are looking for,” said Cameron Johnston, Director, Engineering, RBS.

Moreover, their equipment features a thoughtful design, including a full enclosure around the machine. This design choice serves a dual purpose. Firstly, it provides multiple access doors, facilitating easier cleaning and inspection of the equipment. This accessibility is a practical consideration, acknowledging the importance of maintenance in a busy production environment. Secondly, the full enclosure contributes to better sealing of the chamber. This, in turn, enhances overall efficiency by minimizing heat and humidity loss. Efficiency, after all, is not only about what happens inside the chamber but also about how well the system is sealed and maintained. According to the company, the efficiency gains are not merely theoretical; they translate into tangible benefits for bakery operations.

You can read the rest of this article in the Winter issue of Asia Pacific Baker & Biscuit, which you can access by clicking here

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