Baking: Setting up a Controlled and Balanced Process

Presented by ABA – With many food manufacturers utilizing continuous tunnel ovens (i.e. ribbon burner, convection, and hybrid ovens) for mass production it is important to set up robust and consistent baking processes. This presentation will focus on the importance of viewing continuous baking as a process consisting of inputs (i.e. raw dough, heat, hot gases) and outputs (i.e. finished food, heat, hot gases (exhaust), and moisture) which must be balanced. For simplicity, the baking process will be broken down into three segments: 1) Heat-up and Expansion, 2) Bake-out and Structure Formation, and 3) Finishing, with the relationship between inputs and outputs being explained for each segment along with their impact on the product and balancing the oven. Within this framework the effect of heat (the amount applied and when it is applied during baking) will be discussed along with the effect of exhaust on the baking process. While cracker baking will be used to provide examples, the information presented will provide a framework which can be translated to other baking processes.