Customers can now test and evaluate new methods and recipes in Spiromatic’s Research & Development Center. The center includes dough preparation equipment, a sifting and conveying line and a test bakery. “It allows us to help customers scale-up newly developed processes to an industrial level, including processes using sourdough,” explains food technologist Christian Degraeuwe.
Most of Spiromatic’s R&D activity is centered around production installations at the company’s main plant in Nazareth, Belgium, which allow customers to test alternative recipes and processes, and use cutting-edge technologies. The center houses dough preparation equipment such as an Idromix pre-dough mixing line and M4E magnetic mixers, a closed-loop system for sifting and conveying solids, as well as a fully operational bakery. A team of six experts assists customers to carry out their testing.
Evaluating Idromix promise
“The liquids installation allows customers to assess the benefits of Idromix technology,” says Degraeuwe. “Our claim is that Idromix improves flour hydration during the first mixing stage and speeds up the entire mixing process. In this installation, we give customers the opportunity to test and evaluate this promise using their own recipes. We show them how to use the machine and help them evaluate the quality of the resulting dough.”
The M4E magnetic mixing technology is used to boost waffle batter and cookie dough production. “Magnetic mixers are much more efficient than high-speed stirrers or spiral mixers,” explains Degraeuwe. “Customers need to see it first-hand to believe it, so what we do is go onsite with our M4E mixers and carry out side-by-side tests.”
Alternative baking processes such as clean label production using sour-dough can be tested and evaluated on an industrial scale.
Checking alternative flour mixes
The solids line at Spiromatic’s R&D Center is a closed-loop system for a variety of tests. Degraeuwe explains the purpose: “The introduction of alternative flour mixes or powders tends to induce skepticism among bakers. How about the fat content? Will that affect conveying? Customers can come over to check it all out, along with their flour-mill representatives. Or maybe they’ve developed a new sieve. Here they can plug it in to test how the resulting product behaves in the closed-loop.”
Scale-up sour-dough processes
A major component of the R&D Center is the brand-new fully-equipped test bakery. “This allows customers to bring new ideas, recipes and processes to fruition,” says Degraeuwe. “A prime example is sour-dough baking. Industrial bakeries are keen to develop sour-dough recipes and processes to reduce costs and achieve clean label quality. They might already have developed and tested recipes on a smaller scale, but here they can produce batches of perhaps 200 liters of sour-dough, see how they behave in the proofing and baking stages, and then evaluate the quality and expected shelf life of the resulting bread.”
Spiromatic’s Research & Development Center includes the following equipments for you to test:
- Standard mixer
- Magnet mixing
- Closed loop conveying system
- Inline sifter (various mesh sizes)
- Sourdough preparation unit
- Vacuum conveying for flour
- Dough divider and roller
- Proofer retarder
- And more to come to test your unique ideas