The University of Reading has installed a MIWE aero 8-tray convection oven, supplied by equipment supplier EPP, to enable consistent, repeatable baking. The oven is being used as part of an extensive four-year research project funded by AB Maurito further the understanding of dough and bread properties throughout the baking process.
“We needed a new convection oven – we have some older ovens, but they do not have a very homogenous distribution of the heat in the chamber,” said Dr Julia Rodriguez-Garcia, Associate Professor in Food Science at University of Reading. “What happens is you end up with product which get more or less baked depending on the position in the tray. This is not great for our research purposes, as it doesn’t mimic pilot and industrial scale performance. We were recommended MIWE by AB Mauri, which uses MIWE ovens at its own facilities. They had a knowledge gap, and they approached us to see if we could collaborate in a research project.”
Dr Rodriguez-Garcia specialises in the research area of food formulation: “We work in developing an understanding of ingredient functionality and structure development to design novel ingredients such as saturated fat replacers, sucrose replacers and plant-based protein sources, and reformulation strategies to improve the nutritional composition of food products. Our research focuses on applications in bakery systems such as bread, crackers, biscuits, cupcakes, cakes or semi-solid products such as yoghurts, ice creams, custards or liquids, such as beverages or soups.”
The MIWE Aero is an electrically heated universal convection oven suitable for all types of dough, and features a high-end steam system for excellent shine, bloom and roasting, even when baking frozen dough pieces.
“We handle anything from the ingredient development aspect, to the understanding of the technological functionality of the ingredients in the food matrix, and assessing the final quality of products, such as texture, rheology, colour and sensory properties,” added Dr Rodriguez-Garcia. “We try to understand how we can design ingredients, the formulation, or the manufacturing process, to improve the consumer experience but to also play with certain techniques to improve the delivery of nutrients or tastes.
“EPP came and installed the oven, and it all went smoothly. We set up the programme that initially wanted to use with them. We’re really excited with the versatility in programmes and settings that you can use and the price range and capabilities. By using the same oven, we are able to replicate the processes exactly, across labs, leading to greater comparison of results. It also has an auto cleaning process, so maintenance is easier. The oven has all the functionality we require, including a variety of defrosting and baking settings.”
The oven will also be available for use for other projects in future.
“We were delighted to supply University of Reading with a MIWE aero, which will provide many years of reliable, high-performance baking which MIWE owners have come to expect,” commented Jole Reddin, Technical Sales Support Executive, EPP. “Consistency and repeatability is a common requirement for our customers across all sectors, and MIWE ovens deliver upon this aspect superbly.”
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