Polythene As A Food Packaging Material

POLYTHENE BAGS

Polythene, which is the first ever commodity plastic used for packaging food, came into existence during the 1950s. From then onwards, it has been utilised extensively for packing a wide variety of food items as well as beverages. The material is not only easy to manufacture and cost-effective, but also possesses versatile properties.

There are mainly two forms of polyethenes used in the industry of food packaging:

  • films made with oriented and cast processes
  • containers made using blow moulding and thermoforming processes

Besides that, there are also variants coated with thin layers of aluminium that serve as an ideal material to be used in bakery packaging equipment.

Food products that generally have a very low shelf life, like vegetables and fresh fruits, can be preserved for a significant amount of time by packing with plastics. Nowadays, even fish and meat are packed with foamed polystyrene and polyethene film. Due to being highly flexible even at subzero temperatures, plastic films serve as a material for preserving frozen food items. They are even designed to have multiple layers having oxygen barrier resins, like EVOH (ethylene vinyl alcohol), that allow food items to have longer shelf life.

Some instances of beverages and food items that are packaged using polyethene have been mentioned below:

  • Fresh vegetables and fruits – films bags along with heat-sealed overwraps as well as container liners
  • Frozen vegetables, fruits, fish products, meat and poultry – heat-sealed overwraps and film bags
  • Cereals – films bags, occasionally with outer carton board packaging
  • Bakery products – film bags
  • Soups, fruit drinks, fruit juices, soups, milk-based drinks and milk – polythene laminate containers and HDPE (high density polyethene) containers
  • Coffee – polyethylene/aluminium terephthalate laminate bags
  • Yoghurt – aluminium/polyethylene lidding

Many of these containers and films are printed for providing usage instructions, product identification and also decoration. Since polyethylene has low surface energy, it necessitates surface treatment so that the printing inks can achieve sufficient adhesion. The commonly used treatments include corona discharge, ozone and flame which increase surface energy of the plastic by imparting oxidation.

From the time of their inception, plastic packaging materials have been developed comprehensively in order to increase shelf life of foodstuffs. That is why they have achieved a kind of dominance over the years and are now used in countless applications involving edible products. In future, they are expected to develop even further into sturdy packing materials capable of withstanding various temperature and weather extremes.

Some Popular Baked Food Items

baked food itemNearly everyone reading this blog right now would be able to relate to the wonderful experience of walking inside a bakery while smelling the fresh and sweet aroma of baked goods just out of the oven. In the modern age of frozen and prepackaged foods, bakeries offer a fresh alternative that features a wide range of mouthwatering delicacies. Let’s have a look at a few products that we often encounter at bakeries and that are usually delicately packed in plastic wraps with the help of bakery packaging equipment:

Doughnuts

DoughnutsDoughnuts are tasty baked snacks that can be consumed for breakfast. They are usually deep fried and sweet, have a hole in the centre and are filled with tasty items like creams, custards or jellies. They come in two fundamental types – cake and yeast. Common toppings for doughnuts include caramel, glaze and powdered sugar.

Pastries

PastriesPastries are essentially cake-like food items prepared using multiple ingredients including sugar, butter, flour, baking powder, eggs and shortening. Their fat content is higher than that of bread. They are commercially available as desserts, croissants and quiches.

Bagels

BagelsPrepared from yeast wheat dough, bagels have a ring-like shape and are popularly eaten as breakfast items. They are often browned and feature a tough, thick & crispy. They usually feature toppings of sesame seeds and poppy. Almost every bakery prepared bagels, and there are even shops specialising in this item.

Pies

PiesMost bakeries in Australia sell pies more often as dessert food items. Pies are baked dishes that consist of several pastry dough layers that form a shell, which is filled with sour or sweet fillings. Pies can even be eaten for dinner, as there are certain variants that contain meat. However, non-veg pies are seldom sold by bakeries. Vegan pies come in a wide range of flavours like apple, blackberry, strawberry, cream, cherry, key lime, lemon meringue and custard.

Breads

breadsBreads are generally produced in a plethora of varieties such as rye, pumpernickel, Italian and even artisan breads. They are among the oldest kinds of food existing in the world. The primary group of ingredients used for preparing bread are baking dough, water and flour, whereas items like salt, milk, fat, baking soda, yeast and sugar form the second group. High quality artisan breads are even prepared to contain vegetables, seeds and nuts.

Besides the above mentioned items, there are many other baked goods, including cakes, pizzas, ciabatta, cookies and biscuits.

 

Role Of Enzymes In Baking

bakery enzymesFor over decades now, various enzymes like fungal alpha-amylases and malt have been utilised by bakeries to prepare different types of bread. Due to advancements made in biotechnology, several new exciting enzymes are available for modern bakeries. Enzymes play a very important role in bread making and can even be utilised as a replacement for potassium bromate.

Wheat flour, which is one of the main ingredients to make bread, can be degraded using amylases for producing small dextrins that yeast will act upon. Also, there is a special kind of amylase capable of modifying flour at the time of baking in order to trigger an anti-staling effect.

Most of us are familiar with gluten. It is actually a combination of proteins needed in dough formation to create a large network. The said network holds gas within throughout dough proofing as well as baking. Therefore, its strength is extremely essential for ensuring quality of a bread raised with the help of yeast. Now, enzymes like xylanases, hemicellulases, oxidases and lipases can either indirectly or directly enhance strength of gluten.

Listed below are some enzymes and their functions:

  • Amylase – speeds up fermentation process for obtaining uniform crumb structure as well as increased loaf volume
  • Lipase – modifies natural lipids within wheat flour for strengthening dough
  • Glucose oxidase – makes dough stronger, more elastic and drier
  • Maltogenic alpha-amylases – enhances shelf life of cakes and breads
  • Xylanase – conditions dough to make handling easier and also improves crumb structure
  • Asparaginase – reduces formation of acrylamide during baking
  • Protease – weakens gluten for imparting plastic properties needed in dough for preparation of biscuits

All of the enzymes that have been mentioned above possess their own substrate in dough of wheat flour. For instance, amylases work on starch, lipases on lipids and xylanase on pentosans. However, their overuse can have various detrimental effects on bread or dough. For example, too much xylanase or hemicellulase can make dough too sticky for a baker to handle. That is why, industrial bakery equipment suppliers suggest using lower dose of enzymes in combination for achieving as much of their beneficial effects as possible. These effects include securing optimum softness of crumb, appropriate bread quality, and so on.

Not quite long ago, it was revealed by studies that certain potato and cereal based products contain a high amount of acrylamide, which is possibly a carcinogenic substance. As has been mentioned already, however, the enzyme asparaginase was developed for reducing acrylamide formation in these kind of food products.

How Do Sheeting Line Systems Work?

Sheeting Line Systems

Sheeting lines are versatile bakery equipment pieces that can be used for everything from ciabatta to pan bread, having a wide variety of sizes and shapes. These machines are considered by many people as suitable only for the dough of artisan bread, which is very sticky & wet and contains about 60 to 90 percent water. However, their ability to assist in the preparation of various bakery items shows how versatile they really are.

The process of sheeting generally begins with a low stress head having a hopper right above it, into which the dough is normally dumped from the mixing bowl or mixer. Often, the dough is chunked into small pieces and then allowed to enter the sheeting section. In case somebody is using stiffer or grain dough, they usually have to bring it down via the rollers on the conveyor bed in the form of a narrow and thick layer. Bread sheeting lines equipment necessitate the usage of flour dusters all throughout the entire processing method. This helps in preventing the dough from sticking onto the conveyor so that it can be managed through various reduction stations and rollers.

The first thing needed to decrease the dough is often an efficient quick reducer, also known as multi-roller or satellite head. The reducer has a central shaft surrounded by multiple small rollers that would act like a rolling pin on the wet and sticky mass at high speed. And all of these will take place against a bottom roller, which can then be replaced by a cross roller.

The cross roller not only helps in setting breadth of the required sheet, but also allows to apply some stress or tension in the opposite direction. Besides that, it also enables the operator to spread out some of the tension on the sides for ensuring a relaxed dough sheet. Thereafter, the sheet goes inside the gauging station where it is made even and smooth. This step improves the weight control and also enhances product forming.

Many bakers suggest that a space of about 1 to 2 metres should be left between the steps associated with reduction. They believe that it allows the dough to relax and takes out some of its bulkiness. The space also helps to obtain a smooth and uniform sheet that is easy to handle or mould for any food product, be it normal or artisan bread, ciabatta, baguette, and so on.

Why Is Rotating Rack Oven Good For You?

rotating racks

If baking is the only means for you to earn a livelihood, the key for you towards success is a good quality oven. Rack ovens make excellent additions to any bakery because they are highly versatile and can be used for preparing anything & everything – cookies, artisan bread, pan bread, cakes, pastries, muffins, bagels and what not. In fact, rotating rack oven bakery equipment has gained popularity all over the world since its conception.

If you are planning to get a rack oven for your bakery repertoire, go through the undermentioned points to understand why you have taken the right decision:

Lots Of Space

Whether your bakery is a commercial or industrial, it is needless to say that you require to prepare a huge volume of baked goods everyday. As such, you need something that can accommodate a huge quantity regularly. And what could be better than a rotating rack oven to handle that! With vertical chambers capable of fitting higher pan capacities, it can bake within footprints smaller than most other options available in the market.

Uniformity

Rotating rack ovens are designed to make use of convection for baking various items within the least possible time and that too, consistently. They have low speed fans which uniformly distribute the hot air right from top up to the bottom. Since the rack inside the oven keeps rotating steadily, it ensures a uniform bake from back to front also.

User-Friendly

A rack oven can not only accommodate and bake huge volumes evenly, but also be controlled without any hassle. It can be loaded as well as unloaded as simply as rolling out the rack and putting it back in. Even the products can be allowed to remain on the rack for storage and cooling until they are ready for use or packaging. Nowadays, some variants even come with programmable control pads. Programs can regulate timing, steam generation, temperature and more. All you need to do is choose a bake cycle and wait till the buzzer starts ringing.

Versatile

Flexibility is a very important thing to take care of in the baking industry, especially while choosing ovens. Rack ovens will allow you to adjust the product line quickly for accommodating emerging trends. Besides cookies, pies, cakes, pastries, muffins, croissants and other similar stuffs, they can also be used for roasting meat and vegetables.

So what are you waiting for? Locate a reputed local bakery equipment supplier and get your rotating rack oven today.

Origin of Pizza Boxes

Origin of Pizza Boxes

Most pizza connoisseurs would say that the delicious snack tastes best when served straight out of the oven. However, more than a billion pizzas are delivered every year using simple cardboard boxes. Despite of the fact that almost everyone amongst us are familiar with pizza boxes, very few might have an idea about their origin. So let’s find out how these wonderful boxes came into being.

During the early years of 18th century, bakers commonly utilised copper containers called stufas for transporting pizzas and small breads on the street. These stufas were very effective in keeping the food items warm because of copper’s excellent ability to dissipate heat. They even had lids featuring covered vents for managing steam exhaust.

As the century turned anew, pizza started becoming popular in the industrialised cities of America. After World War II, especially during the 1940s, the snack was sold on stiff corrugated bases that could snugly slide in a big paper bag. The thin structure of the bag allowed steam to evade, but not without significant heat loss.

The next decade witnessed the introduction of the first ever pizza boxes made out of thin paperboard. Although some places still use this material, it is not very efficient at withstanding the heavy moisture released by hot pizzas. As a result, these boxes had a major drawback – they collapsed under their own weight. They are far better suited for use along with bakery packaging equipment to increase the shelf life of other baked items.

The evolution of pizza boxes took a giant leap with the founder of Dominos, Tom Monaghan. As Dominos mainly focussed its trade on delivery, Tom Monaghan wanted to develop corrugated cardboard boxes. He collaborated with a corrugated box firm based in Detroit, Triad Containers, to create something that became a standard in the field of pizza delivery.

With so many years spent to make pizza boxes more durable and well-insulated, some of us may wonder if there is still room for them to improve even more in the near future. Many experts would answer that curiosity with a yes, because various pieces are coming up that can tackle heat loss more effectively and also combat steam release issues. However, it will take a bit more time for them to become commercially available. Until then, all we can do is wait anxiously for the next big leap in the pizza box industry.

Tips To Eliminate Risks of Respiratory Illnesses In A Bakery

Tips To Eliminate Risks of Respiratory Illnesses In A Bakery

There are many amongst us who just love to have baked goods, and we should really thank bakers for that. Besides investing their skills and effort, they also take extreme care for ensuring preparation of items like artisan breads, cakes, pies, etc to highest standards. And sometimes, they even go to the extent of risking themselves to contracting various respiratory diseases like bronchitis and asthma.

There are several factors which can trigger asthma in bakery workers, including flour dust. However, these factors can be easily nullified using some effective technology safeguards. If you own a bakery and wish to protect yourself as well as your employees from respiratory illnesses, have a look at the points mentioned below:

Preparation Of Dough In Agitator & Mixer

The highest concentrations of dust occur at the time of pouring out flour into mixers. The resulting dust gets scattered throughout the air and increases chances of developing asthma. In order to prevent that from happening, many professionals dealing with bakery mixing systems suggest installation of source extractors in dough mixers.

Metering Flour By Hand

Flour is generally metered manually for establishing the required consistency and this leads to distribution of flour dust in the bakery environment, which can cause asthma as well. Using a source extractor can put an end to this problem as well.

Powdering Bins & Bread With Flour

Before working on top of tables or filling baskets & bins with dough, the surfaces are powdered using flour. Since this activity is performed in high frequency over large areas, the dust gets evenly scattered in the atmosphere and inhaled later on by the workers. The only solution to prevent spread of dust at the time of powdering is making use of powerful air cleaner with high filtration.

Metering Flour Over Silo

When flour is metered over a silo, dust in high concentrations mixes with the air because of the short filler hoses used. This issue can be simply resolved by using a long filler hose. Alternatively, you can even get a source extraction system.

Sweeping Using Brooms

Sweeping with the help of brooms inside a commercial or industrial bakery is quite an outdated practice. It whirls up the fine flour particles and then redistributes them, thus contaminating the entire premise. If your bakery still follows this practice, then you need to dump this obsolete cleaning technique immediately and get a central vacuum system instead.

Following the solutions given for the above mentioned problems can significantly help you to keep your bakery free from respiratory illnesses.

Basics to Examine While Buying An Oven

Basics to Examine While Buying An Oven

If you own a bakery business in Sydney, you must have understood by now that a good oven can help in maintaining consistency and quality of the food items you bake. However, there are certain factors which need careful consideration when you are planning to buy a new oven. If you are still confused what those factors are, have a look at the information given below:

Air Changes

In an oven, the way how air changes plays a very important role. Therefore, you must determine the quantity of air changes, volume of air every minute and air velocity inside a product you are considering for purchase. For instance, make sure the air velocity is just enough for allowing powder applications to melt properly without getting blown off.

Fuel and Heat Source

Ovens utilise a number of ways to heat up, the most common among which are electric heat and natural gas. Other less popular options include steam, infrared and propane. While buying your pre-decided product, consider the accessibility and cost of fuel sources. Choose a variant that would not make you spend a fortune for procuring its fuel.

Heating Capacity

The heating capacity of any oven, be it a microwave or rotating deck oven baking equipment, is dictated by its burner. Check the burner to see if it is sized appropriately for handling the volume of items you need to bake everyday. You may do so by going through specifications of the unit that you are planning to purchase.

Insulation

Bear the fact in mind that an oven having proper insulation can help you to bake more productively. This is because insulation prevents loss of heat and keeps the exterior surfaces from becoming too hot to touch. Thus, you must check the insulation density of the product prior to buying it.

Exhaust Volumes

It is important for an oven to remove an adequate volume of air for ensuring supply of the combustion air. If you are going for a dry-off unit, make sure that its exhaust volume expels a sufficient amount of air for removing humidity. However, a good oven must not exhaust beyond the requirement, because it would be throwing away the energy.

There are several other less significant factors which include cold spots, part positioning, air balancing and control. Considering them altogether will help you in buying the best option available on market, which in turn can hike up your profits considerably.

Choosing The Right Commercial Oven

commercial ovens

Buying a commercial oven for any bakery or restaurant involves a significant amount of investment. Therefore, the selection has to be done with meticulous consideration. Otherwise, you can end up wasting your money on inferior quality equipment that would hamper the reputation of your company.

There are several factors that you need to take into account before commencing with the selection of a commercial oven. The fundamentals are as follows:

  • Menu items
  • Amount of food that must be handled
  • Available space inside the kitchen
  • Kind of fuel used
  • Budget

Once you have penned down these factors and determined your requirements, focus on the available options which would help you in producing an appealing menu. There are three main types of commercial ovens present in market. Each one of them has been explained below, have a look:

Pizza Oven

This type comes in three basic styles – rotating deck, conveyor pizza and deck ovens. The former ones can rotate and ensure energy efficiency. Conveyor pizza style ovens are quite popular among bakery owners because they require only about 15 minutes to get preheated and can efficiently cook a huge volume of food during the peak hours. Deck options are those which comprise stainless steel, bricks and stone. Inside them, the cooking space is usually lined with stones, bricks or ceramic tiles. As such, they can withstand consistent high temperatures. They can also impart an exotic touch to any bakery or restaurant. This is why there are many reputed commercial deck oven suppliers throughout Australia.

Convection Oven

Convection ovens are among the most commonly used bakery equipment in several regions of Australia. They ensure uniform heat distribution by circulating air using an enclosed fan. They aid in cooking food items efficiently without burnt bases or raw tops. They also allow the operator to use low temperatures for cooking, which helps to retain nutritional value.

Microwave Oven

This kind of oven is a versatile option for any commercial kitchen as it can be used for melting, cooking, reheating, thawing and roasting. A microwave oven is more productive because it saves time and can cook small quantities very quickly.

There is one more thing that you should take care of while looking for a good commercial oven. Assess the implements and cooking procedure used by the option you are considering carefully. Also scrutinise the reputation and experience of the company from whom are purchasing the oven.

Supplies Primarily Used For Bakery Packaging

colourful bakery packaging

Gone are the days when packaging supplies were utilised only if there was a need to move or gift baked goods. Nowadays, manufacturers make use of bakery packing materials for increasing the appeal of products as well as their saleability. These materials are required to be functional as well as decorative concurrently. They must be attractive in colour, texture and shape. Most importantly, they should keep the product packed in them fresh, besides protecting it from potential damages which can occur during delivery or handling.

Given below are some of the commonly used forms of bakery packaging supplies, have a look:

Plastic Containers

plastic containers

Plastic containers are generally used when there is a need for potential customers to see the contents of a product before buying it. They also help to increase the shelf life of baked products significantly. However, goods that are to be placed within plastic containers must be cooled beforehand to decrease chances of condensation. Otherwise condensed water droplets can gather on the walls of container and then trickle back on the food, leading to mould formation. Plastic packaging generally comes in various sizes that are designed for holding multiple standard-sized baked goods.

Bakery Boxes

Bakery Boxes

These are standard cardboard boxes used to hold pastries, cakes, pies and cookies. Though they do not allow a see-through view of the products kept in them, they are still appealing enough to draw the attention of potential customers. They are often used as a part of some form of bakery packaging equipment, especially in large commercial and industrial bakeries. Like plastic containers, these boxes also help to preserve the freshness of baked items for a long time.

Gift Packaging Materials

Gift Packaging Materials

Gift packaging materials meant for bakery food products can be made of either cardboard or plastic. They are quite expensive when compared to plastic containers and bakery boxes, but that is because they have a more attractive design in order to suit celebratory occasions. Sometimes, even straw baskets are used to pack baked goods for holidays like Christmas or Easter. They are preferred by many people primarily for their chic and tempting appearance.

Thus, we see that there are several packaging options for bakers to choose from. All they need to do is pick the right one as per their requirements. The material chosen would play a very important role in determining saleability of the products kept in them, which is an important factor to keep in mind.