Crafting personalised pastries 

International Bakery Editor Joseph Clarke reveals how technological advancements are enabling the industry to meet consumer demands for more intricate and personalised designs 

Thanks to further advances in technology, the bakery industry is experiencing a significant transformation in its decorating and depositing techniques. As consumer demands evolve towards more intricate and personalised designs on bakery items such as doughnuts and cakes, the industry is responding with increasingly sophisticated equipment. This shift not only enhances the visual appeal and quality of bakery products but also aligns with the changing market dynamics and consumer preferences. 

Today’s technology 

Today’s bakery technology has advanced tremendously from the traditional tools and methods once commonplace in the industry. The evolution from simple piping bags and manual depositors to sophisticated, automated systems marks a significant shift in how bakeries operate. Modern equipment integrates robotic arms, computer-controlled jets and advanced imnaging technologies that ensure precise application of icings, glazes and other decorative elements. These automated systems not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of bakery products but also dramatically increase the consistency and speed of production, which is vital in a commercial setting. 

Sonia Bal, Global Director – Marketing at Unifiller, understands that beyond consistency, speed and enhanced aesthetics, these systems have a huge role to play in overcoming a lack of skilled workers. Sonia recognises that “right now, a great many businesses are experiencing a shortage of labour and skilled workforce, but bakery depositors and decorating equipment can play an important role in addressing this.”  

Portioning equipment, for example, is designed to enhance efficiency and productivity in the production process. It can deposit icing or glaze quickly and accurately, reducing the need for manual labour. According to Sonia, Operator-friendly interfaces also make it easier for operators to set up, operate and monitor the equipment, reducing the training time required for new personnel. With simplified operation, bakery depositors can be operated effectively by a smaller workforce, making them an indispensable tool in today’s labour market.  

As the demand for personalised and intricately decorated cakes has surged in recent years, technology has also had to keep pace in this area. “Consumers are seeking cakes that not only taste delicious but are also visual delights,” Sonia noted. As technology intersects with culinary artistry, bakers are challenged to create stunning designs that set their offerings apart. This trend also extends to unique flavour profiles and innovative cake fillings, pushing the boundaries of traditional bakery items. 

Recent advancements in decorating and depositing equipment have been impressive. “Achieving consistent and accurate results can be made possible through precision and control measures such as improved control systems, servo-driven technology, or automated depositing processes,” Sonia highlighted. Additionally, sustainability considerations are now a priority, with equipment designed to be energy-efficient, minimise material waste and use environmentally friendly icing or glazing options. 

One notable innovation is Unifiller’s Sheet Cake Icing Station, which features a servo-driven icing depositor that ensures precise and consistent icing application on all sides of a sheet cake. “This machine is equipped with a user-friendly touch screen interface, making it easy for operators to adjust settings and control the machine,” Sonia explained. The compact and portable station includes an on-board computer with touch-screen controls, storage for up to 100 recipes, a dual piston depositor with independent volume and speed control for each port, a programmable PLC, and a graphical NEMA‐4X control box. Fine height adjustment allows for easy nozzle fine-tuning, enhancing the precision of the decorating process. 

This all-in-one approach to bakery machinery has become vital in bakery production. In this instance, the machine is designed to streamline the icing process, enabling large-scale sheet cake manufacturers and commissaries to ice sheet cakes quickly and uniformly. “Recipe recall and the ability to share processes make it significantly easy to train new and existing staff,” Sonia pointed out. The ability to dial into the exact recipe for a SKU requires minimal knowledge or experience, as recipes are preprogrammed into the machine, simplifying operations and ensuring consistent quality. 

Innovations like these not only address labour shortages and enhance efficiency but also cater to the evolving tastes and aesthetic demands of consumers, ultimately elevating the quality and appeal of bakery products. 

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International Bakery

Media contact

Joseph Clarke
Editor, International Bakery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920

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