Versatile and fast cake mix

first_imgWhen people think of American baked products, they usually think of doughnuts. American style products, however, can include a whole range of cakes and sponges. Zeelandia (Billericay, Essex) has developed two emulsifier mixes that can be used to make American style muffins and sponges, as well as products such as Swiss Rolls and Genoese cakes. Quicklift is an all vegetable blend of emulsifiers in a paste format, available in 5kg pails. Developed for use with ‘all in methods’, Quicklift is specially formulated for heat-treated cake flours, and compensates for variations caused by non-chlorinated flour. It offers enhanced tolerance to different mixing conditions and all types of mixers, and the paste format is conducive to faster blending. Quickmix offers the same benefits, in a powder format, available in a 10kg bags. Mixed with up to 70% water, Quicklift and Quickmix both enhance shelf life of the finished product.last_img read more

Next Controls

first_imgNext Controls (Farnborough, Hamps) has introduced a new version of its Tutela automated temperature monitoring system. The new Tutela4food system provides automatic monitoring of refrigeration equipment in food outlets.The system records the temperatures in chilled and frozen food storage and display equipment, and relays the data to Next Control’s permanently manned control room in Farnborough. Under environmental health guidelines, the temperatures of chilled and frozen food refrigeration units need to be recorded at least three times a day. If performed manually, this is a time-consuming task, with the possibility that readings may be missed.By taking the readings automatically, the Tutela4food system cuts time and staff costs. The temperature records are stored centrally and can be accessed at any time from any location using a secure browser over the internet, it says.last_img read more

Serpentine system delivers solution for Nordic company

first_imgAmerican-style cake and cookie manufacturer from Europe’s Nordic region, Millennium Bakery (Millba), has increased its production capacity after adopting innovative Serpentine continuous baking technology from industrial bakery equipment supplier AUTO-BAKE.Located in the town of Skien in southern Norway, Millba has been producing a range of premium muffins, cookies and donuts since 1999. As the company expanded its range of products to meet increasing demand, with five sizes of muffins and three sizes of cookies, all in multiple flavours now on offer, it became apparent that a flexible baking solution was of paramount importance.A fully integrated continuous baking system, featuring Auto-Bake’s Serpentine technology, offered the best solution, says the firm, allowing the baker to take the “next step” in its production capabilities.”We now have an annual production capacity of 100 million ’cakes’, thanks to the Auto-Bake system,” says Millba managing director Bernt Ove Søvik. “The flexibility offered by the Serpentine baking system allows us to meet the escalating market demand for product diversity and consistency.”Comprising a Serpentine oven, ambient cooler and refrigeration system, along with infeed and outfeed apparatus, the new muffin and cookie line provided Millba with a seamless baking system that delivers the firm’s full range of products.”Auto-Bake worked very closely with Millba to tailor a baking solution, enabling us to maintain the product quality and consistency that our customers throughout Europe have become accustomed to,” says Søvik. “We were able to perform product tests in one of its test bakeries in Chicago, USA. This ’try before you buy’ service gave us added confidence in the technology.”According to Auto-Bake UK/Europe sales manager Robert Done, an important feature of all its Serpentine ovens is the vertical ’S-shaped’ configuration transport system, which allows the product to be conveyed horizontally through numerous precision-controlled thermal zones. This results in an oven that occupies approximately one-tenth of the footprint of legacy tunnel oven technology. The compact Serpentine transport path has also been incorporated into the ambient cooler and refrigeration system.Done emphasises that Serpentine ovens are more controllable than conventional tunnel ovens. “The Serpentine oven allows precise control of baking profiles, which can vary slightly for different products,” he says. “This ensures greater repeatability, plus seamless product consistency.” Further flexibility can be gained by simply changing trays, in-feed and de-panning tools.Auto-Bake’s clipless tray system allows simple drop-in/lift-out tray changeover. Done explains: “Eight different sized products are baked on four different tray types at Millba. The clipless tray system means the different product recipes can be selected with minimal interruption to the production schedule.”Taking just six months from conception to installation, Millba’s new baking system was commissioned in only two weeks. It underwent extensive testing and trial bakes at Auto-Bake in Sydney, Australia, before being shipped to Norway, and has been operating without incident. “The ability to troubleshoot and test before shipping dramatically reduced the time spent commissioning on-site,” says Done.last_img read more

Paul learns UK lessons

first_imgCalling your company a ’start-up’ when you’ve got the wallop of a 300-strong homeland army of shops buttressing your advance into a foreign territory may stretch the definition of the phrase somewhat. But this is how French bakery chain Paul sees its foray into the UK retail bakery market.Since its successful sortie into London in 2000, with a café opening in Covent Garden (see overleaf) to test the waters for future empire building, Paul has stepped up its operations, with 10 shops opening this year following on from a new state-of-the-art bakery built in October 2005.Rather than lifting the successful production and delivery model straight from France, Paul’s UK management has adapted it to suit the needs of its growing number of London stores.”If you go into a new country and replicate your management system, you will make a lot of mistakes,” says David Belhassen, MD of Paul in the UK.”When we first came here, the Paul family said, ’You’re independent, here’s an amount of money, here’s your business plan, go out and do it’. We still have that spirit of a start-up in the UK, of being in a small company.”Paul opened its new production hub in West London to take the strain of Covent Garden, which was creaking at the seams, running at three-times capacity.In a typical week, the bakery would receive three deliveries of between 30 and 50 600kg pallets of products. “It was taking a real hammering,” says production director Richard Blades, a French-trained English chef with an established restaurant career in London, who learned to bake bread from scratch when he took over running the Acton bakery production.Furthermore, the Paul breadmaking process is temperature- and humidity-sensitive, which meant a move from the old premises was a must, says Blades.Temperature control at Covent Garden was non-existent. So the challenge was to produce a handmade, artisanal product in a modern facility that gives surety of end-product and greater volume.”When the back door of the Covent Garden bakery was opened for deliveries, the temperatures dropped and slowed the process down,” he says.”We’ve taken a wholly artisanal process and added complex controls; we can absolutely ensure the consistency of quality. Because of that, we can now produce in much bigger quantities than we had done before and in France.”The process requires a temperature maintained at between 25-28?C, with a 25% humidity, while the bread ferments for four hours. During that process, it develops the taste, texture and liquidity of the dough – it is a very wet dough, says Blades.With the new bakery, Paul has a different production/delivery model to France. Across the Channel, the company runs independent units, with a bakery in the smaller towns and, in the large conurbations, cartwheels with a central bakery hub, delivering to four or five shops. Each of the shops also has its own patisserie production.Rocketing property prices in London forced a rethink for the UK and all bread production is now focused at a single point in suburban Acton.The location was chosen, ahead of Liverpool Street in the heart of London’s financial district, and Battersea in south-west London, for its proximity to the A40 and easy access into the city.Paul settled on a drab old engineering factory, completely stripped it and built a bakery.The air handling system, for the all-important environmental controls, ate up a third of the capital outlay. All storage areas, the staff changing rooms, the bakery and the patisserie are independently temperature- and humidity-controlled and all areas are air-locked.The cooling room has its own separate air supply; the air is dehumidified, so that when the bread comes out of the oven, it keeps its crust qualities.Equipment was sourced in France, including a low-stress mixer, large walk-in retarder/prover and a gas-fired deck oven, with 36sq m of baking space, a single stone deck and steam injection.With bulk purchasing offering obvious advantages on ingredient costs, these are also imported from France, but also for quality reasons, says Blades.”There are six different additives in English flour and it just doesn’t work in our process,” he insists.”It changes the way the bread works. We use a straight ground flour with nothing added to it at all, from a strain of wheat with a slightly higher level of gluten and slightly less starch.”The management has taken a long-term view by training all staff from scratch. Staff turnover is low; a team of 17 bakers – mostly French, Portuguese and Polish – work across three shifts over 24 hours. Between 9pm and 10am they will hand-roll and bake in-excess of 11,000 individual pieces.Only two people are in training at any one time and every person who starts work in the shops can spend at least a couple of days at the bakery.All unit managers and assistant managers spend a week working nights in Acton to gain familiarity with the complexity of the products and the names.”The key to running a shop is knowing the product range, how it tastes and what goes into it,” adds Blades. “All the products are environmentally sensitive; they have very short shelf lives and the only way to learn that is to get your hands dirty.”A major difference between the UK and French businesses is staffing, with a limited number of experienced bakery shop workers and managers to draw from in Britain’s recruiting pool.”That has pushed us, in terms of the management of our people, to a much more involved, incentivised level – much higher than in France. It’s easier for people to learn, say, 10 coffees at Starbucks than it is to learn our 140 breads, 45 of which will be on sale daily,” says Belhassen.Freshness is key and fresh sandwiches are produced daily; the shops without bakeries on-site receive deliveries three times a day. The popularity of Paul’s sandwiches – described by Belhassen as ’sandwich à la Paul’ – took them by surprise and is not an element of Paul’s success in France.”Freshness is very important,” says Belhassen. “Some brands are starting to capture this, but they are buying in bread frozen for bake-off.”He claims no products are frozen for bake-off, although some are part-baked as a means of lengthening the shelf life from as little as three hours to nine.”We do not freeze any of our bread at all, as it is so sensitive,” he stresses. “The elongation of the shelf life is done by part-baking, not through the addition of any chemical improvers.”It’s a formula that appears to be winning fans in the capital. But could the firm really translate its success to outside London?”We think bread and sandwiches are not a luxury; we are aiming for the mass market,” responds Belhassen. “We want people to buy bread once, or even twice, a day.”The sea-change in eating habits that is slowly transforming the UK’s food landscape is presenting a great opportunity for the French bakery chain, he believes. “Healthy for me doesn’t mean eating a diet product,” he says.”It means knowing the ingredients, where they come from, and that the product has been made with caution, without additives or chemicals. I’m looking for long-term profits by delivering quality every year. That’s how we will get the brand recognised.” n—-=== Paul at a glance ===Established: Lille, 1889. The family-run business has handed down ownership through five generations and has 271 shops in France, and one in MartiniqueEstablished in the UK: Covent Garden, London, 2000Number of UK outlets: 20 – 16 run by Paul UK and 4 travel concessions run by French catering firm EliorProducts: 140 breads, 45 of which will be on sale daily; Viennoiserie, sweet pastries; cakes and desserts; sandwiches; deli products; restaurant fare in larger outletsInnovation: “As a business we’re seen to be typically French, and that is one of our marketing advantages; all the French items – baguettes, pain au chocolat – sell very well,” says production director Richard Blades. One recent product launch was Le Tresse, a brioche dough with the butter taken out, which has a plain version and one slightly flavoured with orange and anise; also new is a range of celebration cakes made to order.—-=== The steady rise of Paul in the UK ===The first UK Paul shop opened in December 2000 in Covent Garden, London, and by 2004 there were still only three outlets.Now, with 15 shops turning over around £15m, 10 of which opened this year, Paul plans to continue its expansion in London and outside the capital in 2007/8, notching up a total of 50 stores in Dublin, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester over the next 10 years.”We really waited to feel the market before expanding,” says David Belhassen, MD of Paul in the UK, referring to the steady but quickening roll-out.”London is exerting a real influence over the rest of the UK. Every year, we have to see where the resources, locations, management availability, delivery capacity and opportunities are.”Paris, at half the size of London, houses 13,000 bakeries, 98 of which are Paul bakeries. With London’s high-grade patisserie scene poorly serviced in comparison, a target of 20-25 shops is achievable in London over the next five years, he believes.”As people get to know more about our bread, patisserie and sandwiches, we will be able to add to that.”The Covent Garden outlet has a traditional brasserie, as does Marylebone High Street, while the rest follow the salon de thé concept.All the fittings are sourced from a large storeroom in France, which has a collection of pictures, antiques and paraphernalia. “We try to make every shop different in terms of feel, but there is always that traditional French aspect.”French catering company Elior runs Paul’s growing roster of airport and railway concessions separately, on a franchise basis.Meanwhile, wholesale is a small element of the business, supplied to selected high-class restaurants and hotels.”We are not dependent on wholesale business. It sounds arrogant, but we can afford to pick and choose our customers,” says production director Richard Blades.last_img read more

The ambient life

first_imgStuart Chadwick has been with the Co-operative Group since 1996. Among other things, he was the buyer for horti-culture for four years and then joined the bakery team as category buyer for ambient cakes last year.He arrived in the bakery department just as his new team was working towards its recent overhaul, as part of a drive to make shops “more exciting” (see British Baker, 9 March, 2007). Co-op research had shown that while shoppers trusted the Co-op, they tended to only buy basics at its shops, not dinner-party and indulgent foods. The Co-op decided to fill in this gap by offering more premium products.”I am responsible for buying ambient packaged cakes,” says Chadwick. “Within this category, I am in charge of ranging, product development and terms for negotiations.”He says that the Co-op sources new products by firstly identifying a gap in their product offering. “Then we will approach current and new suppliers and set up meetings to discuss potential business opportunities. “I am conscious that we should have a good working relationship with our suppliers, based on mutual trust and respect.”This, he explains, is part of the Co-op ethos: “Our aim is to be the UK’s preferred community retailer and, as such, we appeal to a wide cross-section of consumers. However, as we have recently seen a shift in our customers’ needs towards more premium products, we are actively developing more indulgent goods to satisfy this requirement with our new Truly Irresistible premium range.””This year, we have revamped all Co-op own-label bakery products and introduced 15 premium Truly Irresistible bakery lines, which include loaf and round cakes, cup cakes and tarts.”Indeed, new ranges have rolled out in stores throughout the bakery area. In the bread sector, for example, plant bread was reduced and new premium products brought in. “With our current drive on premium,” says Chadwick, “we require quality products with named ingredients and provenance.”The new Co-op Truly Irresistible Pot au Chocolat, for example, is made with Belgian chocolate. Other lines in the Truly Irresistible range of desserts include the Chocolate Chip Muffin Dessert, which has layers of chocolate sponge, Belgian chocolate sauce, chocolate chips and chocolate mousse, topped with white chocolate cream and chocolate curls, Rich Fruit Cake, Chocolate and Brandy Truffle Torte, hand-baked Petit Fours and hand-baked Shortbread Rounds.Shelf space challengeChadwick says that one of the biggest challenges he faces on a day-to-day basis, is shelf space, “and ensuring that we offer a breadth of range across varying store sizes and formats”.”This makes ranging decisions more important and difficult,” he adds “particularly when coupled with the differing regional products that we stock. But it’s also the most rewarding part of my job. I enjoy the development of, and introducing, a new range of products. Delivering a finished product from plan inception to on-shelf delivery is very rewarding, and something I and the team are very passionate about. And I enjoy the buzz of presenting these products to colleagues and customers.”The way the Co-op judges the success of a product is by setting target rates for those products to hit. “The great thing is that we are in a position to be able to trial products and ranges in small numbers of stores,” says Chadwick. “Thankfully, I have never really been disappointed by any products that I hoped would take off. I have not experienced this in the last year and I keep my fingers crossed for our new product launches!””We are also looking to be market-leading in new product development and delivering unique selling points, such as Fairtrade,” adds Chadwick.And he has a message for potential suppliers . “For any bakeries or manufactures wanting to supply our stores, approaches need to be via phone in the first instance, followed up by emails, detailing company structure and financial information.” n—-=== Vital statistics ===WHO: stuart chadwickWHAT: bakery buyer, ambientpackaged cakesWHERE: the co-operative group—-=== What is the Co-op? ===The Co-operative Group has 3,000 outlets in its family of businesses with a turnover of £7.3bn in 2006. This includes the group’s biggest division, Co-operative Food Retail, with more than 1,700 food stores, which had a turnover of £3bn in 2006.last_img read more

Quote of the week

first_imgWhenever a Pepsi is purchased, our consu-mers will be led on a journey of discovery – Bruno Gruwez, marketing director of Pepsi Beverages UK on the wonders ofdrinking his sparkling cola brandlast_img


first_imgn Food Safety Week will take place next year from 9-13 June, the Food Standards Agency has announced. The UK-wide campaign aims to raise awareness of good food hygiene practice.n Siwgr a Sbeis Bakery in North Wales has opened a 5,000sq ft bakery in Llanrwst after outgrowing its old premises nearby. It produces a range of flapjacks, cakes, desserts and quiches supplied to retail and wholesale outlets in Wales.n Kingsmill and French’s Classic Yellow mustard have launched an on-pack promotion to celebrate Halloween and Bonfire Night. Packs of Kingsmill white rolls, will carry a coupon for 30p off a purchase of mustard.n James Russell is to bring out a new edition of the 1938 book High Street by English artist Eric Ravilious. The book refers to Buszard’s Cake Shop on Oxford Street. If anyone knows about the shop’s history, please contact him on 0117 966 2018 or e-mail [email protected]last_img read more

Callebaut invests in Spanish venture

first_imgBarry Callebaut has opened a new factory in Spain, dedicated to the production of frozen pastry – “haute patisserie” – in the Alicante/Valencia region.Barry Callebaut Pastry Manu-facturing Iberica is an 80:20 joint venture between cocoa and chocolate product manufacturer Barry Callebaut and master pastry chefs Paco and Jacob Torreblanca. The new factory forms part of Calle-baut’s strategy to expand its offering to professionals in ’ready-to-serve’ convenience products, said Philippe Janvier, vice- president gourmet Europe, of Barry Callebaut.Paco Torreblanca will create the desserts, while his son Jacob takes on the role of production manager. Callebaut is respon-sible for international dis- tribution. The factory employs around 40 people and is capable of producing up to 30,000 pastries per day.last_img read more

Food associations square up to FSA over salt issue

first_imgFood safety could be put at risk by squeezing salt reduction targets further, it was revealed, as sandwich makers and bakery manufacturers dug their trenches over “unachievable” proposals to slash salt in food.For the first time, all the lea-ding food associations, including the Food & Drink Federation (FDF), British Sandwich Asso-ciation (BSA) and Federation of Bakers have co-ordinated a joint approach to fighting the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) proposals to cut 2010 salt targets again by 2012, with crunch talks planned for late November/early December with the FSA.”There is overwhelming evidence that there could be serious food safety risks in setting the new targets,” said Jim Winship, director of the BSA. He criticised the FSA for not undertaking a full risk assessment before outlining its revised targets for consultation. “There are concerns over shelf-life and even botulism coming back in the UK, particularly in ham and bacon.”The FSA failed to address salt levels in ingredients before announcing its plans, which would make a raft of products “unachievable”, he added.The FDF responded to the consultation by slamming the 2012 targets as “hypothetically generated to try and shoe-horn the achievement of a net daily salt intake of no more than 6g”. The introduction of maximum salt levels, rather than average levels, was cited as “unrealistic and overly restrictive”.The Association of Bakery Ingredient Manufacturers (abim) added that the sodium content in raising agents alongside salt meant that cutting sodium in products such as crumpets and scones was again “unachievable”. A National Association of Master Bakers spokesman said it was embar-king on a project with the FSA to help craft bakers reduce salt.Meanwhile, pressure has been mounting on independent sandwich retailers to cut salt and offer clearer labelling. The BSA has met with major sandwich produ-cers, including Greggs and Subway, to lobby the FSA. “We have discussed what is and isn’t practical, and come up with a way forward, which involves not dictating how to label products,” said Winship. “It’s important to give customers the information.”Last week, Subway introduced nutritional information at counters across its 1,300-plus UK and Ireland outlets, featuring the salt content of food. A Subway spokesman said: “The change is designed to provide our customers with greater nutrition information, without overloading them.”—-=== Media salt scares ===Many croissants, pastries and muffins were found to contain more salt than a rasher of bacon, claimed Consensus Action on Salt and Health (CASH), which looked at more than 200 food items. It revealed that Starbucks’ Cinnamon Swirl contained 1.74g of salt – the equivalent of two rashers of bacon. In addition, certain American-style muffins were found to have more salt than a standard bag of crisps; Costa’s Raspberry and White Chocolate muffin contained as much salt as three bags.last_img read more

Mouthing off

first_img“If you think Islington is all air-kissing, cocaine-snorting, gym-going, Guardian-reading, latté-slurping, organic, free-range, GM-free munching fashionistas, think again. It’s worse than that – much, much worse than that”- a new report titled ’Invisible Islington: The Dirty Secret of Café Society’, by poverty charity Cripplegate Foundation, lifts the lid on the sixth-poorest borough in the UK”People have been going crazy for coffee shop jobs. We will have to bring the recruitment drive forward a day to cope”- can’t get the staff? Costa franchisee Jacky Elliott, who was inundated with 200 job applications for 10 positions after announcing plans to move into Stourbridge’s Ryemarket, finds the pool of available workers has suddenly got a bit biggerlast_img read more