Addressing the needs of bakeries, Linde North America is showcasing a range of state-of-the-art cryogenic technology for precision temperature and process-quality control. Linde process experts will be available during BakingTech, Mar. 2-4, at MarketPlace, 4-6 p.m. at the Shick table.
Linde technology solutions can make a positive impact on process quality across the baking operation, from mixing and forming to final chilling or freezing and packaging. The process solutions use high-purity, food-grade carbon dioxide (CO2) or nitrogen (N2), and span: flour and dry-ingredient chilling systems, dough mixer chilling systems, continuous chill or freeze processing systems, and gases for modified atmosphere packaging to help preserve freshness and extend shelf life.
For chilling dry ingredients, Linde's cryogenic gas system uses a specially-designed injection process to instantly cool fast-moving flour, sugar, spices, dry mixes, etc. as they flow from the silo to the mixer. The efficient chilling system can control temperatures to within +/-1 degree F of the setpoint for high consistency and repeatability at the mixer. Through cooperative efforts between Linde and Shick, processing parameters for any ingredient can be validated prior to installation with sample quantities at Shick's test facility in Kansas City, MO. The dry ingredient chilling system can be used on new pressure or vacuum ingredient handling systems, or retrofitted to existing systems.
"Wholesale bakeries know they must pay attention to process quality year round, and especially when production increases or the service area is expanded and places new demands on shelf-life," says Ed Cordiano, Linde program manager for Bakery & Prepared Foods. "Linde can build greater control into processes for higher repeatability even at high volumes. This leads to more consistent quality and better freshness out of the package – things that keep retail bakeries, restaurants and consumers coming back."
Coles Quality Foods, Inc., for example, recently installed a Linde flour chilling system at its North Liberty, Iowa, facility. The system improves temperature consistency at the mixer and helps improve dough handling characteristics for downstream forming operations for Coles' signature twisted bread products. In addition, Coles utilizes a Linde cryogenic spiral freezer, an efficient, high-quality freezing system to meet demands across their product lines.
"The importance of brand quality and a better understanding of the technology are leading more bakeries to consider cryogenic solutions," Cordiano says. Cryogenic tunnel freezers and spiral freezers, for example, can freeze high volumes of baked goods at a precise rate which protects the internal cell structure for better taste and texture profile. Crust freezing also protects the surface quality of frozen dough products and par-baked breads including any toppings on baked goods for a more consistent appearance. "Bakery managers are often surprised by the difference in the quality of their finished products, especially when switching from mechanical freezing and ice chilling methods."
Cordiano says process engineering can make a difference in operating costs, and Linde works with bakeries to optimize process parameters through laboratory tests and on the production floor. He emphasizes that new cryogenic chillers and freezers introduced over the past few years "provide efficiencies never seen before in our industry." For example, the new Cryoline® XF spiral freezer features a patented cross-flow air design for more consistent temperatures across the conveyor belt. Baked items such as these artisan breads travel through the spiral freezer in a compartment shaped like a cylinder rather than a box. "The new design improves heat transfer efficiency, so the freezer can improve throughput by 10 percent or more, in a footprint smaller than that of a traditional box spiral," he says.
Linde offers a comprehensive range of food-grade gas technology for bakery processes. New systems can often be installed in a matter of days, and typically include supply lines and venting as well as system optimization and training. Once a bakery implements CO2 or N2 for one process, it is easier to capitalize on cryogenic solutions for other baking processes.
"More bakeries now recognize the value of cryogenics and look to invest in the technology as an efficient platform for solving several needs throughout their plant," Cordiano says.
The Linde Food Team performs in-plant assessments and works with bakeries to develop optimal process solutions. For more information, see Linde (www.lindefood.com), or call: 800-755-9277.