European Process Plant (EPP) based in Epsom, Surrey, has been installing pie lines for over 35 years. Customers include numerous leading bakeries. The company’s Comas LTF has a production speed of 25 cycles per minute. The Comas LTT is for pies without foils and the Comas LSP is for laminated doughs. In a small craft bakery the COMAS Tartomatic 1000 is compact and fully automatic. It can produce up to 1,500 pieces an hour in sizes ranging from 75mm to 300mm.
n Latest companies to sign up as exhibitors at next year’s Baking Industry Exhibition include Pentagram, HMP Lindholme andStable Micro Systems. BIE08 takes place at Birmingham’s NEC on 6-9 April 2008.n Administrators report that talks with a buyer for the Hull-based Skeltons bakery chain are continuing. Meanwhile, Martin’s Cakes & Desserts in Manchester has taken on some of the business’ wholesale accounts.n Shipton Mill, near Tetbury, is among suppliers for the flagship Whole Foods Market superstore, which opens in Kensington, London on 6 June.n Morrisons’ The Best Chocolate Orange Pudding, supplied by Farmhouse Fare, was the winner in the desserts category at The Grocer Own-Label Excellence ceremony, held in London last month. La Fornaia, Fletchers Bakeries and Bells of Lazonby were among other winners at the event.n Acquisition vehicle Zetar has bought snacks company Britannia in a deal worth around £27.7m. Britannia, based in Teeside, manufactures biscuits, cereals and snacks. Zetar’s biggest business is Kinnerton Group, which makes novelty and niche chocolate confectionery.n Nottingham company Churchill Food Products took a first prize at the recent Food & Drink Forum and the East Midlands Development Agency Food & Drink Forum Innovation and Quality event. It was commended for its all-day breakfast baguette, particularly for its work in producing a baguette with a three- day rather than a one-day shelf life.
The Competition Commission has sent out legal notices to Asda and Tesco demanding access to e-mails sent to suppliers over the summer, to cast light on their relationships with suppliers.Reports in The Sunday Telegraph said the Comission wanted to see all e-mails over a five-week period around June, to investigate allegations that suppliers were faced with blacklisting if they did not provide discounts.A Competition Commission spokesman told British Baker: “We are not going into details about what we are looking into, but one of the strands of the investigation is looking at how supermarkets treat suppliers.”
Bakers across the UK have raised thousands of pounds for disabled children during National Doughnut Week – and enjoyed boosted sales, too.From selling limited-edition doughnuts to doughnut-eating competitions, bakers took part in a variety of fundraising activities to raise cash for The Children’s Trust.One baker who reaped rewards from taking part in the event, which is sponsored by BakeMark UK, is Townsend Bakery, Liverpook, which has participated every year.The bakery’s Wendy Ainsley said: “National Doughnut Week is great for small independent bakers. The marketing and sales material you receive is perfect to enable you to get involved in this great event.”For further information, and to register for next year’s event, email [email protected] grand total raised by the week is yet to be announced.
Japanese-specialist bakery franchise Beard Papa is planning to link up with major developers to unveil 20 more stores in shopping centres in England by 2010, following success in Asia and the US.The cream puff pastry specialist already has a store in Oxford Street, London, and plans to open a kiosk at Bluewater shopping centre, a café at Highcross in Leicester and another facility at the Bull Ring in Birmingham.Willem Pupella, Beard Papa’s managing director in England, said most of the new developments would be kiosks rather than cafés, because high rents had to be taken into account. He added: “Our successful model is to use a small space to gain a high revenue.”Shopping centres were now the favoured sites, as performance was less conditioned by weather, security was better and high streets are “more reliant on footfall”, said Pupella.Beard Papa is linking up with Westfield, the Australian shopping centre firm, which has a development in Derby, and plans to extend this co-operation. Each store sells the signature cream puff, an eclair cream puff with chocolate on top, cheesecakes, tiramisu and chocolate fondant.There are now more than 300 Beard Papa stores worldwide.
A leading bakery association is taking steps to limit the impact on its members of “bureaucratic and needless” European regulations for food enzymes, which introduce, for the first time, compulsory labelling of ingredients on business to business (B2B) packages.The Association of British Ingredient Manufacturers (ABIM) said that, as well as exposing ingredient manufacturers’ intellectual rights to competitors, the process of re-labelling the hundreds of products on sup- pliers’ lists would be costly, time-consuming and “serve no useful purpose”.The B2B labelling requirements of the new Food Improve- ment Agent Package, which came into force in January and apply from 20 January 2010, are not reflected on consumer-facing products, it added.”The B2B labelling serves no value to the consumer and, in principle, demands that companies openly reveal intellectual property to competitors,” said Chris Morrant, chair of ABIM’s technical committee.ABIM is now exploring ways to minimise the impact on its members, including developing a labelling format, as it considers the possibility of a legal challenge to the regulations.
The NAMB has opted to go with the Scottish Association of Master Bakers (SAMB) training providers, based on workplace training, delivered by accredited industry tutors and assessors.Gill Brooks-Lonican CEO of the NAMB told delegates: “The SAMB has got training and expertise in craft bakery, and is putting in place a series of contracts with the Learning and Skills Councils, which will enable them to fund vocational training in the workplace for English bakers and with English assessors.
== WENDEL ==What’s new?Danish machinery firm Diosna has developed a new kneading tool for its Wendel Mixer, distributed in the UK by Benier. This allows bakers to process batches of dough requiring just one-third of the mixing bowl’s capacity. Anything from 160kg to 600kg of dough can now be processed and it can handle up to 5,000kg of dough an hour.OK, but what are the other benefits of a Wendel?Patience! The mixer has two kneading tools installed off-centre. As they turn in opposite directions, the kneading action encourages rapid development with minimal shear damage and low temperature gain.What about efficiency?You are tough to please! Standard UK mixers tend to have a ’dead’ area beneath the mixing posts or centre columns which may reduce the yield, but the Wendel doesn’t.Does Diosna have any other mixing options?Its recently launched PSPVW Spiral Mixer has special tooling, that combines the functions of a classic mixer with beating machines and planetary mixers. This allows it to stir, mix and beat in pastes, batters, creams and butter for cakes and desserts.www.benier.co.uk== SANCASSIANO ==Impress me!Alright, here goes. Traditionally, the dough for high-volume biscuit plants is produced using horizontal mixers, but the clever engineers at Italian firm Sancassiano have come up with a swanky ’double force’ vertical mixer with two mixing tools. The fully automatic 800kg batch system can handle up to 10 tonnes of dough an hour.What’s all that about?Horizontal mixers do not allow mixing action flexibility. But the Sancassiano Vertical Mixer enables you to change mixing tools depending on the dough, thanks to a quick-lock tool changeover device. It is suitable for biscuit doughs for wire-cut, depositing, rotary moulding or rotary cutting, as well as for cracker doughs.Keep going.Working more frequently with smaller batches lessens the amount of moisture lost from the dough during processing. Vertical Mixers are also gentle on delicate inclusions such as choc chips.What outputs can it handle?The machine is sold as a unit mixer with 200kg to 800kg batch bowl sizes and can be set into a carousel operation. A robotic version can produce up to 10 tonnes of dough per hour.Sancassiano is represented in the UK and Ireland by Sollich UK.www.sollich.co.uk== AQUAMIX ==What’s the latest?The Aquamix, designed by VMI to knead highly-hydrated doughs, has a flat-bottom bowl, fitted with a half-twist expanded spiral and a round centre post, with a scraper. This means it kneads without sticking. Good news for ciabatta and focaccia producers.I’m a control freak.No problem. The Aquamix is fitted with a frequency variator allowing bakers to change the kneading intensity according to the water percentage of the dough. This allows the mixing profiles of recipes to be personalised. Its touchscreen control panel can store up to 99 recipes.What if I’m into cakes?Optional interchangeable tools means the Aquamix can be changed from a spiral mixer to one with a flat beater, suitable for mixing cake and muffin batters. An all-stainless steel option is also available for high-risk operations.Tell me more about VMI.The firm supplies craft and plant bakers with removable bowl spiral and double spiral mixers with individual dough batch capacities up to 900kg. Automated mixing solutions range from 500kg to 1,500kg per hour. European Process Plant supplies the mixers in the UK and Ireland.www.europeanprocessplant.com== BAKER PERKINS ==Why so excited?There’s a new control system for Tweedy mixers from Baker Perkins, designed for both standard and pressure-vacuum mixers. It has clearer, more intuitive graphics, better recipe management and upgraded historical data trending. This all helps enhance quality and consistency in the final product.I see. Any more details?Sure. The system offers intelligent alarm handling, including suggested actions to guide operators to the source of problems. Simpler communication also enhances the recipe and schedule management for plants with multiple mixers.Sounds like a big project.Not as big as you might think. To minimise installation times Baker Perkins has significantly reduced site wiring, and software interfaces are tested prior to shipping to site.What else should I know?Baker Perkins says the Tweedy can mix 14 batches of dough an hour (up to 5,400kg). The pressure-vaccuum model improves oxidisation leading to better product texture and colour and can be used to vary texture from very small cell size to more open structures.www.bakerperkinsgroup.com
Paul CatterallBakery technology manager, Campden BRIWell the new harvest is in, so it is that time of the year when everything that goes wrong in the bakery can be blamed on the ’new crop’ flour! Millers have a difficult job; they have to produce a consistent product from an infinitely variable raw material. And as bakers, we expect one flour to make a variety of products perfectly. So we don’t want much then?A true baker should have the knowledge and skills to recognise normal variations in flour and have the experience to deal with the issues. It worries me that some of the people I meet these days in bakeries don’t have these skills and, just as importantly, they don’t have the passion for bakery products. How can we ask our staff to make a ’good’ loaf if they don’t understand what a ’good’ loaf looks like? The consumer definitely knows what they want, and if they don’t like what they see they will go elsewhere. Good quality will always sell.We all talk about training and skills development, and we take exception if we are told there is not enough training being done. Good training is not a ’tick box’ exercise “We’ve done training now, so what’s next?” It has to be continuous, it has to be refreshed, it has to be involved in all aspects of the product from the raw materials, through processing to final product characteristics.The winner of this year’s Trainee Baker of the Year at the BIA is exactly the sort of person we need in the industry. He expressed great wonderment at how products were made, how they rose in the oven, and what they tasted like. He had opinions on quality and a passion for bakery that was very obvious. It was good to see such enthusiasm in a newcomer to the industry. It makes you realise the passion is still there; it just may need unlocking.
Fans of spurious corporate litigation that we are, Stop the Week was as pleased as ever to see Subway up to its old tricks. The sandwich chain, has been wrangling its way through the UK courts, trying to prove that its toasted subs are VAT-exempt, and in so doing, posing the most profound philosophical, ’when is a toasted sandwich not a toasted sandwich?’. This time, it is going to be getting its subs out in court after trying to trademark “footlong” for its 12-inch subs.Subway in the US had issued a cease-and-desist letter against Casey’s for using the term in advertising. Casey’s was having none of it and filed a lawsuit against Subway to prove it had no proprietary ownership of “footlong”. An Iowa court will now adjudicate as the two measure up in a courtroom sub-off.The case revolves around the use of “footlong” as a noun or verb. Subway has used “footlong” as a noun across 34,000 outlets, while Casey’s has begun using it as an adjective on menus in 180 stores. The latter claims it is a generic adjective to denote 12-inch subs. Subway has already had a trademark application for restaurant services denied, but another bid for footlong to describe the sandwiches is still pending.For those of us excited by linguistic sparring, the role of grammar in trademarking will have its day in court. Sit tight, this one’s going to be a rollercoaster.