An upgraded vacuum cooling system for baked goods eliminates the need for storage freezing and refrigerated transport, claims Konig.
The bakery equipment manufacturer said in contrast to conventional systems that cool baked goods down from the outside to the inside, its new system, the Ceovac, is designed to cool products simultaneously on the outside and inside, thus preventing moisture migration and preserving the crumb and the crust.
The company claims that, as a result, the volume of the bread often increases and then remains stable during storage: “Baked off bread and rolls not only look good and have a longer shelf-life but also a longer lasting, crisper crust and a softer crumb.”
Stewart Morris, director of European Process Plant (EPP), which is distributing the Konig system in the UK and Ireland explained that the vacuum cooling process involves a trolley of hot part-baked products being placed into a chamber where vacuum pumps reduce the pressure and water evaporates, thus enabling the products to be cooled down in a few minutes.
He said that the equipment makes use of the scientific law that the boiling point of water is lowered as air pressure is reduced. “This principle is applied to extract the energy required for this process in the form of heat from the product. As a result, the product is cooled down and stabilised very quickly.”
“They [part-baked products] can be stored without freezing and then baked-off days or even weeks later with practically no loss in quality,” said Morris.
The pre-baking time is cut by up to 25 per cent because the depression in the vacuum chamber stabilises the structure of the dough pieces, he added.
According to Morris, the system can provide savings for bakery manufacturers in the form of lower energy bills as there is no need for freezing, refrigerated trucks or retarders when the products are finally baked.
He said the Ceovac is suitable for the cooling of sheet and pound cakes as well as delicate products such as panettone and part-baked ready made pizzas in order to prevent soggy bases.