Over the years, equipment suppliers and bakers of gluten-free products have learned a lot about how to make bread without its most crucial component, but the key to success will always be testing.

“We’ve gotten to the point as an industry that just by observing how the dough reacts and feels, we have a much better idea of if a product will run through a specific piece of equipment or not,” said John Giacoio, vice-president, sales, Rheon USA.

But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t encourage testing it.

“Dough, especially gluten-free dough, acts different when it’s being processed, so we have test facilities on both coasts so that we can throw dough into the machine and see what comes of it,” he said.

Testing is so important, in fact, that many equipment suppliers hesitate to sell a machine for gluten-free without a practice run first.

“We wouldn’t be comfortable selling a gluten-free system without testing it at our technical facility first to verify the process,” said David Moline, vice-president, sales and marketing, Moline Machinery. “Testing gluten-free is important because of the formulation development, there can be a lot of differences depending on the type of products.”

Running a formulation on a piece of equipment to see how it’s going to react can be very helpful, but working with a technical team to take the next steps is vital. A team of engineers, food and process technologists, and bakers working with the customer can determine the best equipment for their formulation.

“We have on-staff Reiser bakers to get into the process with our customers so they can understand the challenges and recommend equipment solutions that work,” said John McIsaac, vice-president of strategic business development, Reiser. “We have built a wealth of knowledge on gluten-free that helps us help our customers.”

That enables bakers to increase production efficiency and expand their product ranges.

Rondo brings together its engineers and food and process technologists to partner with bakers and find the right equipment solution. Rondo’s team has experience developing its own gluten-free recipes across applications.

“With our developed recipes, the time to market is reduced,” said Alex Weissbach, head of technical process management, Rondo. “Our main target is to handle the baker’s dough without any changes on the formulation itself. If the dough cannot be handled with our lines, we will find a mechanical solution.”

This level of expertise combined with testing will help bakers optimize their product quality and production efficiency.

This article is an excerpt from the December 2018 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on gluten-free processing, click here.