Besides being more compact and reducing energy consumption, the smart ovens of today have flexible zones and voice activation control at their disposal. Editor Caitlin Gittins takes a peek
Equipment in the bakery world is continually evolving and changing, to meet the needs of today’s industrial or artisanal bakery customers. Some of the trends witnessed in this space include more compact machines to save bakers space; reductions in energy consumption and associated costs; and smarter features, to give bakers maximum insight and greater control into the baking process. While the notion of an oven that is self-cleaning and voice operated may have been the picture of a science fiction film, the smart oven is here today.
The demands of the bakery market have put greater pressure on bakers to ensure consistent, high quality baked goods while energy and ingredient prices continue to rise. “Bakeries are placing even greater emphasis on this critical phase of production,” said Stephane Fjelddahl, Founder of Stephane Thermal Runs. “They’re exploring various strategies including expanding capacity, enhancing energy efficiency, incorporating heat recovery systems, investigating alternative energy sources and, in some instances, investing in new “ovens.
“Furthermore, an enduring challenge in the baking industry is maintaining and potentially improving product quality. This entails reducing waste resulting from variations in quality. As a result, bakers are considering implementing changes to the oven that can impact the baking process itself.”
“Bakery manufacturers are also concerned with oven use, ensuring their oven is being used in the most optimal way,” said Lex van Houten, Regional Marketing Manager at AMF Bakery Systems. This is in addition to consistent baking quality and mitigating high energy prices while operating more sustainably.
Commercial baking ovens are no exception. In this space alone, manufacturers have innovated to bring to market ovens that are more compact and require less space, use less energy and make use of smart tools. “According to the UK Federation of Bakers, the UK bakery market is worth an estimated UK£3.5 billion – representing the largest sector of the UK food industry,” explained Scott Duncan, Managing Director of UNOX UK. “Using the right equipment, and bakery ovens in particular, is one of the most important considerations that any operator can make.
“From appliances that help to reduce energy consumption to ovens that use AI technology to drive output or deliver consistency, the use of the right, modern and innovative professional bakery oven can make a significant difference to a baker.” On top of a shrinking skilled workforce, Scott explained, automating bakery processes and reducing labour demand is “invaluable.”
The baking process for bread making is a fine science. Lots happens during baking to create the end product. The heat causes the trapped gas within the dough to rapidly expand, causing rise. Because baking is so energy intensive…
This feature is from our upcoming January/February issue. Read our magazine here.