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FoodTech Report

Volume 8 Issue 2

Fresh bakery trends expand opportunities for frozen products

By Ola Funkquist, food processing engineer, JBT FoodTech

 Baking bread

As quality-conscious consumers continue to demand fresh bakery products from their supermarkets and cafes, bakery manufacturers have a great opportunity to improve profits by providing retailers with a diverse selection of ready-to-bake or ready-to-thaw frozen products. These products are becoming an increasingly larger part of the bakery goods market, and there is an expanding variety of both “thaw-and-serve” and “bake-off” products available.

With thaw-and-serve and bake-off products, retail bakeries, grocery stores and cafes can offer customers freshly baked rolls, bread buns and pastries in a short amount of time without the need for a pastry chef or a specialized oven. Ready-to-bake products create less food waste since stores can bake based on need while keeping remaining products frozen and preserved.

The benefits of these products to industrial processors are that they can be made in large volumes, better handle seasonal variations of recipes and can serve a broader market, including restaurants and food service. However, manufacturing frozen, ready-to-bake products can be very challenging. It requires a customized approach to proofing, baking, chilling, and freezing to make sure the end product looks, tastes and feels fresh when it is baked later at the retail location.

With decades of knowledge and experience offering bakery solutions all over the globe, JBT FoodTech is a strong and reliable partner for industrial bakery plants to ensure that products meet customer expectations. This gives JBT FoodTech the expertise required to customize processing technologies that meet the specific parameters of a diverse range of baked products.

Specialized processing for each product

JBT FoodTech offers modular systems that can proof, bake, chill and freeze a wide variety of bakery products rapidly and accurately. The Frigoscandia® GYRoCOMPACT® M-series freezer offers a self-stacking spiral design with a continuous FRIGoBELT® Tight Curve conveyor that can complete all three processes in one small footprint.

Accurate control of temperature, air direction and relative humidity is essential for proofing. The air in a Frigoscandia proofer is tempered and humidified before it is transferred through the product zone by the fan, which provides a uniform treatment over the entire width of the belt and throughout the stack. The humidity and temperature controls operate independently, ensuring even conditions and preventing the dough from becoming stressed by irregular or changing conditions throughout the proofing phase. Furthermore the unique air control of a GYRoCOMPACT proofer provides for trouble-free product transfer (no adhesion to the belt surface) at the proofer exit.

The ability to produce a diverse range of products in one single oven has many benefits for industrial bakers — not least of which are an increase in production and reduction in downtime. JBT FoodTech Double D™ ovens can be custom-built to exactly suit customer needs in terms of application, throughput and physical footprint. 

Man and rack 

Double D Rack Oven

The Double D Continuous Baking Oven features a high impingement air flow system that can consistently produce excellent results on large volumes of product varieties including pizza, quiche, pastries, pies, morning rolls and confectionery. It can be supplied with an integral Clean-in-Place system, designed specifically to improve hygiene, performace and safety when baking specialty breads.

The Double D Rack Oven is a versatile batch oven with a rotating turntable. Fully controllable and cost-effective to run, the rack oven provides an even and consistent bake on any given product, with the ability to store up to 99 bake programs. A cast iron steam generator provides abundant steam, giving a perfect finish to crusty rolls and bread.

Chilling partially or fully baked bakery products is a delicate process, and each process and product needs to be studied with special attention. The JBT FoodTech self-stacking spiral chiller can decrease the required retention time by 80 percent compared with a traditional ambient spiral system. In addition to the unique air flow and temperature control, this method improves the final product quality (i.e., preventing crust flaking and increasing moisture content). A controlled chilling step should operate independently from the temperature and humidity conditions in the manufacturing environment, securing uniform product handling, as well as a pleasant working temperature for bakery personnel.

To ensure product quality when freezing different products, such as raw dough, proofed dough or baked products, the secret of success and profitability lies in treating each product case individually. No matter the type of bakery product, the speed of the freezing process has an effect on the final product quality. Some products should not be frozen too fast, while others need to be frozen more quickly.

Frozen bakery manufacturers have a massive sales growth opportunity. However, the competition is strong, so bakers should continuously optimize their production plants and expand product variety. JBT FoodTech has developed the right technology for each application to help processors make their best margins by presenting their products in the freshest, most visually appealing way possible.

Get help from baking experts

To learn more about JBT FoodTech’s bakery processing solutions, or to talk to an experienced food technologist about pilot- or full-scale testing either on-site or at a Food Technology Center, visit the JBT FoodTech website.


Frigoscandia®, GYRoCOMPACT®, and FRIGoBELT® are registered trademarks of John Bean Technologies AB. Double D™ is a trademark of JBT Corporation.

©2010 JBT Corporation. All rights reserved.


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