Bakers are always on the lookout for ways to expand their offerings and create new bakery product styles to attract consumers. Also, they actively seek methods to automate production and eliminate costly labor expenses. Here are a couple of technologies introduced last year that accomplish these tasks.

To automate the production of twisted pastries, the Swiss company Rondo Burgdorf AG introduced the Twist & Place machine. Awarded an innovation prize at iba 2012 in Munich, Germany, the Twist & Place performs a process that previously had not been offered, according to Jerry Murphy, president, Rondo, Inc., Moonachie, NJ.

“Twists are very interesting products with many different product forms and fillings,” he said. “Twisted products can be made using a long-shelf life product formula.”

Fritsch GmbH of Germany introduced pinching and bending robots for the fully automatic production of croissants this past year. “These robots can output 12,000 to 30,000 croissants per hour, and already we are seeing demand for those capacities to be higher,” said Liam Burns, managing director, vice-president of Fristch USA, Cranbury, NJ. Processors can offer differing croissant shapes by changing tooling on the robot heads, he said.