Baking benefits from oven profiling

by Charlotte Atchley
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Commercial bakery oven profiling
Oven profiling may collect data on the velocity, temperature and humidity of the air inside of bakers' ovens.

CHICAGO — Oven profiling offers bakers a wealth of data about the inside of their ovens that may help them control the baking process and replicate the results.

In his breakout session at the American Society of Baking’s (A.S.B.) BakingTech conference in Chicago, Feb. 28-March 1, Phil Domenicucci, AMF Bakery Systems, Richmond, Va., detailed how oven profiling may assist bakers in exerting this process control.

Through an array of sensors, bakers may collect data on the velocity, temperature and humidity of the air inside of their ovens. Lateral 2D graphs may identify cold and hot spots in the oven. Three-dimensional analysis provides illustrative evidence of peaks in temperature, airflow across pans.

“Now you can know for sure if your oven is even,” Mr. Domenicucci said. “You can know your standard for temperature and flow. Now you can have detailed information on baking conditions and make informed decisions.”

This amount of data helps bakers understand issues with lateral temperature and airflow issues, maintain uniform product moisture, identify the heat source for uniform production lines and monitor lifecycle changes. Most importantly, however, it may be an integral tool in kill step validation.

The array of sensors isolate cool oven sectors and measure product core jumps. All of that data then may be collected and run through the kill step process calculator to validate the oven as a kill step. This data, however, only becomes useful when it’s used properly.

“For this tool to work, there must be top-down management commitment,” Mr. Domenicucci stressed. “There needs to be a champion in the plant who understands how to use the graphs and data.”
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