FAO Food Price down slightly in July

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» The FAO Food Price Index* (FFPI) averaged 170.9 points in July 2019, down 1.1 percent (1.8 points) from June but 2.3 percent higher than in July 2018. The month-on-month decline was the result of lower prices for some cereals, dairy products and sugar, which more than offset somewhat firmer prices for meat and oils.

» The FAO Cereal Price Index averaged 168.6 points in July, down 2.7 percent (4.6 points) from June but 4.1 percent above its level in the corresponding month last year. The decline in July was driven by lower wheat and maize prices. In wheat markets, despite downward adjustments to production prospects in several countries, large export supplies and continued expectations of record world production this year weighed on international prices. Similarly, after their rapid surge in June, international maize prices fell in July; ample export availabilities, particularly in Argentina and Brazil, contributed to the slide. However, FAO’s all rice price index marked its fifth successive month of stability, amid generally quiet market activity.

» The FAO Vegetable Oil Price Index averaged 126.5 points in July, up 0.8 percent (one point) from the previous month but still 11 percent below last year’s corresponding level. Overall, firmer soy and sunflower oil prices more than offset a further drop in palm oil values. The concurrence of seasonal production rises in Southeast Asia and sluggish global import demand continued weighing on palm oil prices. On the other hand, soyoil prices appreciated almost in tandem with rising soybean values while low crush volumes in the United States also contributed to the increase. Similarly, sunflower oil firmed as a slowdown in crushing in the Black Sea region coincided with robust international demand.

» The FAO Meat Price Index* averaged 176.2 points in July, up 0.6 percent (one point) from its slightly revised value for June and registering the sixth moderate month-on-month price increase. At this level, the index value stands at nearly 10 percent above that of January 2019, but almost 17 percent below its peak in August 2014. In July, price quotations for ovine meat rose further, boosted by strong import demand from Asia amid supplies from Oceania retreating from their seasonal highs. Asia’s robust import demand for bovine meat also contributed to further gains in bovine prices. However, quotations for pigmeat were down slightly after four months of continued increases, reflecting larger export availabilities from Brazil and the United States. Poultry quotations held firm at June levels, with markets characterized by generally stable but still strong demand.

» The FAO Dairy Price Index averaged 193.5 points in July, down 2.9 percent (5.7 points) from June, representing the second consecutive month of decline. At this level, the index value is some 6 percent above that of January 2019 but almost 3 percent below the corresponding month last year. In July, quotations for butter declined the most, followed by cheese and Whole Milk Powder (WMP). Weakness from lacklustre spot market trading, as the summer holiday period in the Northern hemisphere enters its peak, contributed to the weaker prices. By contrast, Skim Milk Powder (SMP) prices recovered, supported by firmer buying interest from the Middle East and Asia.

» The FAO Sugar Price Index averaged 182.2 points in July, down 0.6 percent (one point) from June 2019, mainly on expectations for higher sugarcane yields in India, the world’s largest sugar producer, following above average rainfalls in the main sugar producing regions. The decline in world prices was, however, somewhat contained by a strengthening of the Brazilian currency (Real) against the United States Dollar, a move that tends to restrain exports from Brazil, the world’s largest sugar exporter. In addition, new estimates pointing to smaller sugar production in Brazil’s Centre-South through June also provided some support.

* Unlike for other commodity groups, most prices utilized in the calculation of the FAO Meat Price Index are not available when the FAO Food Price Index is computed and published; therefore, the value of the Meat Price Index for the most recent months is derived from a mixture of projected and observed prices. This can, at times, require significant revisions in the final value of the FAO Meat Price Index which could in turn influence the value of the FAO Food Price Index.

Download full dataset: Excel, CSV

Download full dataset: Excel



Government support stimulates sales in the bakery enzymes market

Globally, the bakery enzymes market is posed to surpass a value of US$1,285 million by the end of 2028, according to a new report by Persistence Market Research.

The high level of sales in this market is due, in part, to the increasing health consciousness among consumers which has influenced them to choose nutritive bakery food products with a low sugar level.

Additionally, governments of numerous countries have been supporting the utilisation of bakery enzymes, in order to meet the consumers’ demand for clean products.

Such initiatives have influenced the manufacturers of bakery products to make a notable shift towards bakery enzymes, which will favour the growth of the bakery enzymes market, says the report.

Furthermore, the rise in the use of carbohydrates as a bakery enzyme for the preparation of cakes and pastries, flour, cookies and biscuits, and breads has, in turn, triggered the growth of the carbohydrase bakery enzymes market, which is expected to exceed the value of US$650 million by the end of 2028.

The report continues that bread-based products such as sandwiches, pizzas and burgers have been increasingly consumed by customers. As a result, there has been a perpetual rise in the demand for bread with a considerably longer shelf life.

In regard to region, the report shows that APEJ, North America and Western Europe have procured over 85% of the total bakery enzymes market share. North America remains a strong region and APEJ remains the fastest-growing region for the bakery enzymes market.

A wide range of innovative bakery goods and products are being launched in APEJ, which is further anticipated to drive the growth of this market.

Source:  in-bakery.com


Balancing Indulgence with Health in the U.S. & Europe

Though the wellness trend has been growing strong across the world, developed countries have had a substantial share in triggering a paradigm shift in consumers’ perception of bakery products. This has opened a whole new world of opportunities for bakery products that are whole-grain, gluten-free, vegan, organic, or simply “healthy” in North American and European markets.

The health & wellness wave has come a long way; its impacts have ingrained significant changes in the way the bakery industry operates. The dynamic consumer demands for low-calorie and nutritious food products have influenced bakers’ strategies to mainly revolve around health-benefitting ingredients and manufacturing processes.

Regulations in North America and Europe

As the demand for healthy baked goods with labels such as ‘gluten-free’ or ‘organic’, has increased significantly, regulatory bodies have entered the landscape with a set of strict labeling requirements. While the awareness about regulations imposed on baked food products is growing, health-conscious consumers are also becoming more skeptical about ingredients before making a purchase. This is also boosting the growth of the ‘clean label movement’ in both regions. The EU has been regulating the use of food additives, flavors, and bakery enzymes with the imposition of Regulation (EC) No 1331/2008 and Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008. In January 2018, the EU announced an amendment to the Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008, which highlights the use of sweeteners in fine bakery products. With this regulation, the EU has imposed a ban on the use of artificial sweeteners, such as E 950 Acesulfame K, E 951 Aspartame, E 961 Neotame, and E 955 Sucralose, in fine bakery products with specific nutritional benefits.

In North America, the FDA has imposed stringent regulations on the manufacturing and marketing of all the food products, especially regarding baked goods that are promoted as “healthy”. The FDA recently published new standards for non-GMO bakery—an important segment in the healthy bakery industry in North America—and new labeling regulations are afoot.

Health – Universal Driver for Innovation

Bakers and confectioners are riding on the coattails of product innovation to offer healthy bakery items and ultimately to gain a competitive edge in the market. Innovations are varying in terms of ingredients, production engineering, flavors, and bakery performance.

Cargill, one of the global leaders in the bakery industry, recently launched its new palm oil shortening line, PalmAgility, to enhance performance in various bakery products such as donuts, pies, crème fillings. With the regulatory restriction on partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) in the U.S., a shift is triggered towards palm-based alternatives to achieve creamier and smoother texture in bakery products, on which Cargill is planning to capitalize with the launch of PalmAgility.

Bellarise, the North American subsidiary of the Pak Group, recently announced that it has launched a new dairy-free, non-GMO, allergen-free and gluten-free alternative for egg wash in baked goods. The company also announced that it launched the new vegan egg wash replacer is a clean label ingredient to meet the changing needs voiced by industrial and commercial bakeries in North America.

Bimbo Bakeries USA recently announced the launch of its latest line of 100% organic bread in the American markets. The company has added a variety of breads to its latest product line, including 100% whole-grain breads; organic 22 grains and seeds bread; and organic rustic while bread.

Supermarkets and Hypermarkets in the U.S.

Health-driven purchasing habits of consumers have changed significantly in the past decade, directing the recent trends in the supermarket and hypermarket sector. More than 90% of the sales of organic bakery products including breads, are accounted for by conventional and natural food supermarkets and chains.

The demand for organic and bio-based bakery products is witnessing double-digit growth, reflecting in attractive market incentives for organic and vegan bakers in North America, especially in the U.S. In the country, organic products can be found in the isles in nearly 3 in 4 grocery stores. A recent study by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that organic food products have reached more than 20,000 natural food stores.

Bakery manufacturers are adopting strategies to satisfy a mindful consumer with trendy healthy ingredients and smaller package sizes. With consumers adopting healthier snacking habits, bakers are focusing on introducing bakery products with small portion sizes such as packages of two buns, half loaves, and four-packs of cookies. The recent rise in demand for healthy snacking options is expected to create immense sales potential for artisan breads and healthier snack items in the coming years.

Source: World Bakers


Consumer interest in multicultural cuisines drives flavor innovation

Consumer interest in multicultural cuisines and authentic and unconventional taste experiences are driving flavor innovation.

“We cater to each season,” says Nick Sakkos, one of the owners of Bravo Bakery in Prospect Heights, Illinois. “We do strawberry, pineapple, peach. We sell slices of cakes that turn into full cake sales.”

Catering to the convenience trend, small serve is a great way to go, so customers can take that risk on new flavors or get just enough dessert to share with their loved ones without overindulging.

Millennials and young couples are opting for late night snacks or an extra special or creative dessert, in lieu of flavors like mini cookies and mini fun cupcakes with sweet and salty and caramel.

Jennifer Angel, owner of Angel Cakes, a cupcake bakery based in Oakland, California, uses Perfect Purée’s products. She highlights the pink guava purée and passion fruit concentrate to customize her celebrated vanilla buttercream cupcakes.

Tres leches cakes and tiramisu are other specialties at Estrella’s Bakery in Houston, which offers a wide range of dazzling cake designs created by cake decorator Agustin Rueda, a talented pastry chef with more than 15 years of experience.

Tiramisu is topped with decorative chocolate pieces and fresh strawberries. Elaborate cakes are filled with Twinkies, cupcakes and fresh fruit in the center and are surrounded with chocolate pieces, and then tied with a ribbon.

Fresh fruit remains a favorite garnish as well as flavor enhancer. Also, coconut is trending upward. Coconut sugar carries a healthy halo as an alternative sugar. Experiment with coconut sugar in your cake base.

Experts predict a rise in classic floral flavors, such as honeysuckle, jasmine, lavender, lilac and rose. Tropical fruits are on the rise, so try incorporating guava or mango into your cake fillings and icings.

Another flavor to incorporate is avocado, which has a mild flavor that pairs well with others including chocolate.

Novelty flavors are often sought after for the nostalgic, feel-good sentiments they provide. That is why strawberry lemonade, root beer and lavender are some popular ingredients for 2019.

Dunkin’ is partnering with Hershey’s for a new lineup of treats flavored with candy such as KIT KAT, Heath bar and Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Creme.

Source: Bake Mag


Sara Lee Buys Superior Cake Products From Hostess

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Hostess Brands Inc. has agreed to sell its Superior Cake Products Inc. in-store bakery business to Sara Lee Frozen Bakery for $65 million in cash, subject to post-closing adjustments.

This would be the first acquisition for year-old Sara Lee Frozen Bakery. The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter.

“This acquisition accelerates Sara Lee Frozen Bakery’s strategic goal of expanding our presence in the high-growth in-store bakery category,” said Craig Bahner, CEO of Sara Lee Frozen Bakery.

Superior makes eclairs, madeleines, Brownie Bites, Black & White Cookies and other offerings under the “Superior on Main” brand. Hostess acquired Superior for $51 million in 2016, and grew the business from $33 million of net revenue to approximately $43 million of net revenue and $7 million of earnings for the 12 months ended April 30.

Private equity firm Kohlberg & Co. resurrected the Sara Lee name when it acquired the frozen bakery business from Tyson in mid-2018. 110-year-old Sara Lee changed its name to Hillshire Brands in 2012 after a series of acquisitions and went with that company in 2014 to Tyson Foods, which was only interested in the former’s meat (Hillshire) and breakfast (Jimmy Dean) product lines.

Sara Lee just dedicated an R&D center in its Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., headquarters in June.

Source: foodprocessing.com


Krispy Kreme introduces Reese’s-filled doughnuts to enjoy

Peanut butter lovers, chocolate lovers, doughnut lovers: you’re ALL gonna love this! Krispy Kreme and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are combining two of their biggest innovations of 2019 to give you “more (and more and more)” of what you love in the form of Krispy Kreme’s new Reese’s Lovers Original Filled Doughnuts.

Available at Krispy Kreme shops for a limited time beginning Monday, Aug. 5, the Reese’s Original Filled Peanut Butter Lovers Doughnut has MORE peanut butter with chocolate, and the Reese’s Original Filled Chocolate Lovers Doughnut has MORE chocolate with peanut butter.

Earlier this year, Krispy Kreme created a new way to give doughnut fans more flavors in one bite by filling its iconic Original Glazed® Doughnut for the first time, while Reese’s introduced its limited?time Reese’s Lovers Cups to enable fans to make more room for what they love – chocolate or peanut butter. Now, Krispy Kreme and Reese’s have reunited for an innovation mashup that treats fans to more of what they love: more peanut butter, more chocolate and more doughnuts.

“Our latest co-creation with Reese’s is our best yet! If the technology exists to fill a Krispy Kreme doughnut with Reese’s Peanut Butter Kreme™ and Chocolate Kreme™, then how could we not offer that to America? Well it does. So we are. And it’s amazing,” said Dave Skena, Chief Marketing Officer for Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation.

While the new doughnuts are offered by the dozen or individually, Krispy Kreme has also produced a limited-run of a custom two-pack box inspired by the iconic Reese’s two cup pack, enabling fans to purchase two Reese’s Peanut Butter Lovers doughnuts, two Reese’s Chocolate Lovers doughnuts, or one of each.

The Reese’s Original Filled Chocolate Lovers Doughnut is a chocolate Original Glazed® doughnut filled with Reese’s Peanut Butter Kreme™, dipped in chocolate fudge icing and decorated with a Reese’s peanut butter icing drizzle.

The Reese’s Original Filled Peanut Butter Lovers Doughnut is a chocolate Original Glazed® doughnut filled with Chocolate Peanut Butter Kreme™, dipped in Reese’s peanut butter icing and decorated with a chocolate icing drizzle.

Don’t forget to share more of your love for Krispy Kreme’s Reese’s Lovers Original Filled Doughnuts by using #KrispyKreme and tagging @krispykreme and @reeses.

Source:  businesswire.com


Barry Callebaut announces groundbreaking of new chocolate factory in Baramati, India

The Barry Callebaut Group, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products, announced the groundbreaking for the construction of its new chocolate and compound manufacturing facility in Baramati, India – about 250 km south-east of Mumbai.

Upon completion, the new chocolate factory and warehouse will include state-of-the-art assembly lines capable of manufacturing chocolate and compound in different delivery formats, catering to the various needs of its customers – international food manufacturers, local confectioneries and semi-industrial bakers and patisseries. The new greenfield facility in Baramati will cover a total of 20,000 m2 and is scheduled to be operational by mid-2020. Once fully operational, it will have an annual production capacity of more than 30,000 tons of chocolate and compound and employ between 100 – 120 people, thus creating new skilled jobs, mainly in engineering and production.

The factory in Baramati will also be equipped with an R&D lab. Furthermore, together with its existing CHOCOLATE ACADEMY™ Center in Mumbai, the company intends to advance its work with customers to co-create innovative chocolate for local consumers. This week, Barry Callebaut also moved its sales operations into a new, larger office in Mumbai.

Continued expansion in India

The realization of the plant represents Barry Callebaut’s biggest investment in India. This expansion of the Group’s footprint in India is tied to the country’s rapidly developing demand for high-quality chocolate, and will serve to meet the growing needs of Barry Callebaut’s customers.

As a global leader in the chocolate industry, we are excited about India’s great growth potential. The new factory will be one of our biggest locations in Asia and it will enable us to meet customers’ growing demands for high-quality chocolate in India. We are proud to deepen our presence here and to continue to invest in a country that has been so welcoming to us for more than a decade. Our expansion will support our business volume growth and ambition to become the leading industrial chocolate manufacturer in India.

Ben De Schryver, President of Barry Callebaut in Asia Pacific

India is one of the fastest growing markets for the chocolate confectionery industry. Sales volume of chocolate confectionery in India grew +16% in 2018 (+6.5% CAGR 2013-2018), according to Nielsen1. The chocolate confectionery market in India is expected to continue to show strong growth in the coming five years, according to Euromonitor.

The company has built its presence in India by serving food manufacturers, and established a strong network of nationwide distribution and committed channel partners over the years.

In recent months, Barry Callebaut has partnered with local chocolate manufacturers to introduce Ruby chocolate, the fourth type of chocolate after Dark, Milk and White chocolate, and also launched its locally-produced Van Houten Professional chocolate in the country.

Expanding across Asia Pacific

Barry Callebaut is one of the largest chocolate and cocoa manufacturers in Asia Pacific. Employing more than 1,800 employees in the region, the company already operates nine other chocolate and cocoa factories in Asia, namely in China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, and Singapore. In the last 12 months, the company has also expanded its sales operations in Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines, in addition to its existing sales offices in India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. Its second chocolate factory in Indonesia is currently being built in Rancaekek (near Bandung).

Source: Global Chocolate Confectionery, Nielsen (January 2018 to January 2019)

India is an exciting market where innovation in chocolate is well received by consumers. As an innovation leader, we are proud to bring our innovative capabilities into a market where domestic chocolate production is increasing. We have experienced double-digit growth in India over the last three years. Our confidence in the future development of the chocolate market in India, together with the desire to better serve our customers in India, has prompted the expansion of our footprint and services.

Dhruva Jyoti Sanyal, Managing Director for Barry Callebaut India



MULTIVAC takes over the FRITSCH Group

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MULTIVAC takes over the FRITSCH Group and further expands its range of solutions for the bakery industry.

FRITSCH is a leading manufacturer of bakery equipment with its headquarters in the town of Markt Einersheim in Lower Franconia. The product range consists of high-performance equipment and groundbreaking technology for dough forming and processing. FRITSCH offers the right solution for every size of company – from tabletop units to industrial-scale equipment. Premium bakery products are produced with FRITSCH machines throughout the world.

With the takeover of the FRITSCH Group, MULTIVAC is complementing its range of solutions, so that in future it will also be able to offer complete production lines from one source to the bakery industry as well. “The takeover of FRITSCH is another important step for MULTIVAC in expanding our range of integrated solutions for processing and packaging food products. Thanks to the processing solutions from FRITSCH, we will continue to extend our presence in the bakery industry, where we have already been able in recent years to implement some very challenging projects for automated packaging solutions,” explained Christian Traumann, Director and Group CFO of MULTIVAC.

FRITSCH was founded in 1926 and is currently under the ownership of the fourth generation of the Fritsch family. The company, which is based in Markt Einersheim, has developed over many decades into a very innovative manufacturer of bakery equipment. In 2018 FRITSCH generated a turnover of around 80 million euros and currently employs approx. 600 staff. In mid April of this year FRITSCH filed for insolvency. FRITSCH is represented by its own subsidiaries in Russia, Poland, Great Britain and the USA, and it also has a worldwide network of sales and service partners, who ensure that it remains close to its customers. As a result of the takeover, FRITSCH will become part of a strong Group, enabling it to continue its business operations for the benefit of its stakeholders and customers.

The integration of the company into the MULTIVAC Group will begin immediately. The manufacture and development of FRITSCH products will continue at its site in Markt Einersheim. FRITSCH also has a Technology Center there, in which customer trials are carried out and customized products and recipes are developed. The company’s products will be sold via MULTIVAC’s worldwide sales and service network. Investment will be made at MULTIVAC’s subsidiaries in creating specialised sales teams for the bakery industry, so that in future it will be possible to offer customers integrated solutions for manufacturing and packaging bakery products.

In addition to the management in place, a MULTIVAC management team will be appointed to run the company, and this will direct and develop the FRITSCH Group as a stand-alone business. “We are very pleased at the successful takeover of the FRITSCH Group, and we are also convinced that our management will make an important contribution to the recovery of the company. FRITSCH is an industry leader in bakery equipment and has an excellent reputation in the market. Thanks primarily to the integration of FRITSCH products in MULTIVAC’s line solutions, we see great synergy potential, which will make a major contribution to the healthy development of FRITSCH in future,” says Guido Spix, Director and Group CTO/COO of MULTIVAC.

Source: Multivac


Vital financial support for bakers launched today as Scottish Government and Scottish Bakers deliver

A new scheme has been launched today to provide grant funding to help bakers across Scotland to buy or modernise their equipment.

The £125k Scottish Bakers Grant Scheme is now available to small family-run or independent businesses.

Welcoming the announcement in June, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said, “Small, independent bakers have an important role to play in Scotland, providing skilled jobs in communities and shops in our town centres.

The Scottish Government is proud to support them to provide modern healthy food-to-go facilities, with a focus on reducing waste. We want to enable businesses to become more efficient in their use of energy and resources, which should reduce costs whilst contributing towards our ambitious climate change reduction targets.

This is part of our wider efforts to continue the success of Scotland’s Food and Drink sector – helping it to double in value by 2030. We want more food to be sourced and produced locally, including Scotland’s delicious baked goods, which is good news for producer and consumer alike.”

Scottish Bakers Chief Executive Alasdair Smith commented, “This fund will provide vital funding to support bakers allowing them to invest in their businesses for the future helping them to meet the needs of the changing modern high-street.

“Scottish bakers are skilled crafts people baking fresh goods daily and many of our members are stalwarts of our high streets and communities. And of course a strong bakery sector is also good for Scotland Plc supporting 12,000 jobs securing the future of our much loved daily bread, savoury snacks and sweet treats.”

To apply for funding you will need to complete an application form and budget form – these are available to download here. It is important that you read all the information on this page carefully before applying for funding.


The grant programme aims to support and encourage economic growth of independent Scottish bakers and their capacity to innovate and respond to changing customer demands through the following:

  • Improve the quality of retail environments
  •  provide a better/more diverse food-to-go offering to consumers offerings (with an emphasis on healthier options)
  • improve operational efficiency and flexibility
  • reduce environmental impact of operations

Funds Available

A maximum grant of £5,000 is available per business. Applicants must provide at least 25% of the total project costs. Businesses may contribute more than 25% of the total but the maximum grant remains fixed at £5,000. Please see the worked examples below.

Worked Example 1
Total cost of works: £6,666
Bakery contribution (25%): £1,666
Grant awarded (75%): £5,000
Worked Example 2
Total cost of works: £5,000
Bakery contribution (25%): £1,250
Grant awarded (75%): £3,750
Worked Example 3
Total cost of works: £10,000
Bakery contribution (50%): £5,000
Grant awarded (50%): £5,000

Please note that funding is offered on only the net cost of any works being undertaken (i.e. excluding VAT).

Funds will be paid to successful applicants on completion of all works and will be subject to evidence that the work has been completed and all relevant invoices issued. All funds must be claimed within 12 months of submission of the application.

Businesses must also show that they are compliant with legislation covering food hygiene and health and safety.

Application: terms and conditions

  • The programme is open to applications on a rolling basis from 30th July 2019 until 27 September 2019. Applications received after 27th September 2019 will not be considered.
  • Applications may be submitted at any time during this period.
  • Retrospective applications for works and/or capital purchases already commenced and/or completed will not be accepted.
  • Grants will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.
  • We reserve the right to close the fund early should it become oversubscribed.
  • Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application within 14 days.
  • Applicants should not commence works or confirm any capital expenditure until they have received confirmation of grant award.
  • Any funds allocated will be released only on confirmation that all works are complete.
  • Successful applicants may have their business name and value of grant awarded published on Scottish Bakers website.

Basic Eligibility & Criteria

  • The grant programme is open to independent retail and/or wholesale bakery businesses with a turnover of no more than £3,000,000 per annum. Retail bakeries must have a retail estate comprising no more than 3 outlets.
  • Bakery businesses are those whose activities are related to the manufacturing, processing, wholesaling and retailing of bakery products, including processes similar to baking.
  • Businesses can make only one application per company within any 12-month period of the grant programme being in operation.
  • Grants will not be awarded for the installation of franchised food-to-go stations.
  • All applicants must demonstrate how the investment they are seeking will reduce their impact on the environment – eg reducing energy costs, unnecessary packaging and food waste.

Additional Criteria

In addition to the basic eligibility and criteria, bakeries must demonstrate at least two of the following impacts of the investment:

  • Improved retail environment to attract customers
  • Wider range of healthier eating options
  • New production capacity
  • Production efficiencies and stock management – eg new production machinery, installation of EPOS systems
  • Introduction/renovation of food-to-go counters – eg hot cabinets, “barista” coffee machines

When applying for funding, retailers must submit all quotes relating to the refit/installation alongside any drawings showing plans.


When planning to add or upgrade a food-to-go station, please consider the following:

  • Ensure liaison with your local Environmental Health Department (local authority).
  • Does the design and construction of your station comply with legal requirements?
  • Are you aware of the main General Food Law Requirements?
  • Do you keep written records of all the suppliers that provide you with food or any food ingredients?
  • Have you put food safety management procedures in place and are you keeping up-to-date records of these?
  • Do you and your staff understand the principles of good food hygiene?
  • Have you considered all health and safety and fire safety arrangements?
  • Do you describe the food and drink offer accurately?


To apply for funding, please complete the application form and your budget and return with all the required supporting documentation to:

  • Scottish Bakers, Unit 2 – Halbeath Interchange Business Park, Kingseat Road, Dunfermline KY11 8RY
  • Email: info@scottishbakers.org

Applications must be with Scottish Bakers no later than 27 September 2019.


Emerging Technologies Put to the Proof

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The principles of proofing, as an essential step in bread making, have largely remained unchanged for thousands of years. But while the processes and chemical reactions remain the same, the technology behind them has constantly evolved.

R&D efforts have continually been driven by the quest to streamline the process, to adapt it to unusual ingredients and innovative formulations, and to cut costs.

When we talk about things like Ohmic Heating or Ultrasonic Humidifiers, their applications in the proofing process are not immediately apparent. Even though the technologies are not new, and they have been around for a while, somehow they failed to gain traction by themselves. These technologies have only recently started to be considered for real-world applications in bread-making because they come with perks long sought-after by equipment producers: considerable energy savings, small footprint or better product quality.

Ohmic Heating 

Ohmic heating (OH), also known as Joule heating or resistive heating, is a heating process based on the passage of an electrical current through a material (in this case – the dough), which is used as an electrical resistance. Its main advantages are rapid uniform heating, no residual heat transfer after shut-off of the current, and a high energy conversion efficiency.

Timothée Gally, a Ph. D. of Oniris University in Nantes, France, alongside his peers, conducted thorough research and published several papers on the topic of Ohmic Heating and its applications for the baking industry.

“Ohmic heating has been used a few times in the past to study the behavior of bread baked under a homogeneous heating process. It had never been studied as a viable baking process directly, despite its known energy yield. Our purpose was to develop a lab prototype able to bake a sandwich bread of the size of what can be found in a supermarket. Unlike the work done by our previous peers, we wanted to study the feasibility of using ohmic heating for industrial purposes,” said Gally.

Proofing Vs. Baking

During baking, swelling and gelatinization of starch occur, which contribute to the fixation of the structure. It was shown that when starch gelatinization occurred, a noticeable decrease appeared in the electrical conductivity of the sample, which translated into a decrease in temperature and efficiency. To compensate, it was necessary either to increase voltage and current, or to add sodium chloride to the starch suspensions in order to maintain the electrical conductivity, and with it, also the temperature.

When gelatinization was completed and while the temperature continued to rise, the granules broke down and leaked amylose, increasing the amount of free water and causing the electrical conductivity to rise again.

This phenomenon is one of the reasons why the researchers decided it would be better to apply this technology to the proofing step rather than to the baking process.

“While studying the baking process under ohmic heating, we had the idea to apply it to the proofing step. Indeed, we know that ohmic heating allows homogeneous heating throughout the product, fast increase of the temperature, and smooth monitoring of the temperature elevation. These 3 factors are what makes the proofing step quite tricky to handle in the baking facilities, as the dough is usually warmer at the edges than at the core, it takes time to warm up, and there is a delay between the time the heater is turned off and the time the temperature reaches an equilibrium. Based on these points, we actually realized that the proofing process was even more promising than the actual cooking step. We could significantly decrease the proofing time (by 45% compared to regular proofing processes) while lowering the energy consumption of the process 10 times over! (though the machines’ size was not accounted for in this comparison)”

Process Outcome

It is important to keep in mind that a ¨regular¨ crusted bread could not be obtained using ohmic heating technology, for two reasons:

– The absence (or at least very low) of gradients of temperatures. In order to be created, the crust needs a higher temperature on the outside than on the inside.

– The limit of this technology to be used as a ¨drying¨ process. The crust is an area with very low water content, and ohmic heating does not perform well at low water contents (i.e. low conductivity). The temperature of the bread would then never reach above 100°C, since as soon as all the unbound water was vaporized, the conductivity would be too low for safe ranges of voltages to be used.

Ohmic technology could, however, be used to produce crustless bread (the same kind as the crustless sandwich bread that kids love), or linked to another process to produce the crust (such as infrared heating).

Scaling to Industrial Applications

When asked about the possibility to upscale this innovation for industrial use, Timothée Gally is very optimistic: “We could imagine removable stainless steel plates acting as electrodes inside silicone molds. A PLC would monitor the voltage to keep a steady temperature inside of the dough and keep the gradients of temperature to a minimum. A laser would follow the rise of the dough to measure its expansion and switch to the baking process when the growth ratio reaches the target.

Implementation costs (equipment, expertise and training) might be higher than a conventional process, at least in the beginning, but Gally estimates that these costs would soon be counter-balanced by the massive energy savings and shorter processing times.

Limitations and Differences

 Since electrical conductivity is dependant on factors like water and salt content, it’s easy to see how that could limit the formulations which could be used with Ohmic Heating technology.

For example, salt-free formulations would not be suitable for ohmic heating, unless some other non-salt electrolytes (e.g. acids, bases, etc.) were added to the recipe. Also, high fat and high sugar formulations (e.g. pastries) would decrease the effectiveness of ohmic heating, but to a lesser extent.

Gluten-free formulation, however, would not present any more issues for ohmic heating than it already does for the baking process in general, according to Gally.

Electrode gap, current and voltage combinations, and electrical conductivity are all variables that can be fine-tuned to get optimum results. Computer-aided mathematical modeling was used to mimic the process and see the impact of these different parameters on heat transfer and water transfer.

“Our work using X-Ray imagery shows that proofing and baking using ohmic heating leads to a more heterogeneous porosity at the edges than conventional proofing and baking. This result was surprising because OH leads to more homogeneous temperatures inside of the product, and we were expecting the porosity to follow this trend. Our hypothesis is that the absence of crust when using ohmic heating does not prevent the bubbles to expand at the edges, leading to the bigger pores observed on our X-ray images,” Gally explained.

Ultrasonic Humidifiers 

Humidity is one of the most decisive factors in the baking process directly affecting the quality of the bread.

The use of Ultrasonic Humidification Technology, which generates a cold water mist with small droplets size of 1- 2 ?m, provides the opportunity of maintaining high relative humidity levels in the chamber (up to 100%) at low temperatures – which is something current humidifiers cannot do.

Both, the high relative humidity and the small droplet size, avoid the well-known product surface drying and condensation effects in the conventional process.

The ultrasonic humidification for the proofing process was developed by Ungermann System Kälte GmbH and ttz Bremerhaven in 2003. Later this technology was adapted in other processes of the production of baked good (cooling, freezing, etc.). In the first years after developing, the ultrasonic humidification was mainly used in small proofing chambers in craft bakeries.

In the last 10 years, however, the integration of ultrasonic humidification in industrial processes for proofing and also cooling has become more mainstream than ever before.

The Ultrasonic Humidification Technology is based on a climatic chamber for fermentation and cooling with an innovative energy-saving ultrasonic-humidification system for the manufacturing of high-quality bakery products.

The system can be used for the three parts of the fermentation process (direct, retarding and interrupting fermentation) as a single fermentation chamber or as a single cooling unit (especially for the cooling of par-baked and fully baked goods), or as a multifunctional system covering both processes.

NanoBAK Projects

The NanoBAK projects were funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Program. The overall aim of the projects was the demonstration of the feasibility of the so-called MicroTec technology in industrial and craft bakeries including all relevant tests. The project partners were two research institutes (ttz Bremerhaven and the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, ZHAW) and 6 business partners.

Within the scope of the NanoBAK project, prototypes of modified automatic proofers, equipped with the MicroTec technology, were installed at the project partners and their performance was tested under realistic conditions. The aim was to find out how actual production parameters in the bakeries (specific products, flour dust, temperature, humidity, hygiene, etc) will not only affect the function of the equipment and the energy consumption but also the product quality. Apart from the expected tests on product quality, lower energy consumption was also on trial.

Key Features

Rogier Klein Sprokkelhorst, International Sales Manager, Contronics Engineering B.V. walked us through some of the advantages this technology brings:

“Our ultrasonic humidifiers produce an extremely fine, cold mist, consisting of droplets between 1-2 ?m diameter. The aerosol is directed through the proofing chamber by an air current. Some of the droplets evaporate immediately, causing humidity to rise evenly and without condensation. The remaining droplets remain suspended and settle on the dough, forming a minuscule layer of moisture. The combined effect results in better dough and dough handling, improved baking times and energy reduction. The bread gains weight (instead of losing it) and the crust formation is optimized resulting in lasting freshness and longer shelf life.

In the cooling process, the cool mist will optimize humidity and can lead to lower temperatures and/or less energy consumption. There is less drying out and reduced weight loss of the product”, Sprokkelhorst explained.

The use of this technology also gives the user a bit more flexibility when dealing with the other crucial parameters of the proofing process. If you add US-humidification you can lower the proofing temperature (3-5°C) to reach the same proofing results. If you want to keep the same temperature then you can shorten the proofing time (ca. 20%) to get the same volume.

Another possibility is to lower the yeast content or the amount of improver.

Industrial Applications

Dennis Fehner, Area Manager Food Technology, ttz Bremerhaven explained for European Baker & Biscuit what it takes for this technology to be retrofitted to existing plants:

“The ttz is able to make a flow simulation to find out the best way of installation. At first, we simulate the actual system and the air flow in it. So we are able to see how the distribution of air and humidity is existing in the chamber and we can identify critical points of the process. Based on this simulation of the existing and the desired process parameters, we can calculate the needed capacity and the best positions of the aerosol systems. So ttz can scale this technology for every process in every dimension. We already installed systems in chambers ranging from 10sqm up to 1000sqm.”

The costs for an ultrasonic humidification system are no higher than other humidification technologies, while the process is entirely hygienic. The water is cleaned by a reverse osmosis technique, and the air is filtered as well. So there is no danger of contamination in any step of the humidification process. The single most important feature is that the humidity is produced with very low energy-effort. Expensive evaporation of water is no longer required.

Water evaporators (electrical units) are used in conventional processes for the generation of high humidity. The heating of the water and the evaporation process are extremely energy consuming. For example, the evaporation of one liter of water requires 0.8 kWh electricity. The steam, with a temperature of more than 100 °C, is then cooled down to the desired temperature (+36 °C for proofing, even lower for chilling processes). The main part of the steam condensates again which means that the energy used for producing the steam is in fact lost. This is one of the reasons why common proofers hardly achieve a relative humidity of 80-85 % and have a poor energy balance while the formation of condensate is the main factor for critical microbial and hygienic situations. Preliminary tests with the aerosol equipment have shown that energy consumption is only 2.7 % of that needed for a conventional process.


Like in most cases where new technologies emerge to replace traditional processes, there is a certain degree of inertia before they become widely adopted. Bread-making is part of the cultural heritage of so many nations, and so the notion of doing something “the way it’s been done since forever”, still has the power to hold back or at least delay innovations. But the undeniable benefits in terms of energy saving and product quality, coupled with the fierce rivalry in this sector, will surely see these technologies put to use, for the benefit of all.

Source:  worldbakers.com