History tends to repeat itself. Cain Food Industries has taken that cliché and flipped it on its head to benefit its customers. If Cain Food can learn from history, it can then challenge history to innovate and avoid mistakes of the past.

Cain Food built its 2,000-square-foot innovation center in Dallas in 2016 to create pioneering products for customers in a constantly changing food industry. By looking outside traditional supply chains, Cain Food has challenged traditional processes and improved products, said John Hinds, innovation and product development manager, Cain Food. The ultimate goal, he added, is to develop highly functional, nutritious products through perpetual and mutual learning with suppliers, customers and academia.

“Learn, learn and learn,” Mr. Hinds said. “We wanted to have a place that would foster an environment for learning and innovation to help improve our contributions to the baking industry as well as offer a space for customers to come in and work side-by-side with our team on new and innovative products.”

Cain Food’s partners and customers can reserve the facility to refine or formulate a new product. Because the innovation center is at its corporate offices, the company is able to dedicate a wealth of resources to customers to complete projects in the required timeframe.

The space features a set of industrial mixers, in which Cain Food experts can observe dough mixing characteristics in real time and quantify results of dough conditioners. Tools like texture analyzers, colorimeters and volumeters provide the real-time data to prioritize testing variables.

“We think of our facility as a one-stop shop for ingredient testing, formulation balance, new product design testing and education,” Mr. Hinds said.

The innovation center can process anything from pan bread to laminated dough. The standard bread manufacturing equipment featured in the center includes an artisan-style sheeter, moulders and mixers.

“We have a very versatile workspace allowing us to quickly transition from breads to cakes or sweet goods or laminated products within the same work zone,” Mr. Hinds said.

When selecting equipment for the center, Mr. Hinds said Cain Food was particular in choosing systems that offered that versatility. Not only can customers test products like artisan bread and sweet goods, but they can also evaluate products like tortillas, lavash, crackers and even frozen dough.

Cain Food also offers formulating innovations that reduce labor and other operational costs. Their micro-dose ingredients work either in tablet or powder forms for various applications to help reduce oxygenization, replace bromate for a clean label and inhibit mold growth. Each outcome can be tested and evaluated for a variety of products in the lab.

Education is at the core of Cain Food’s innovation center. The company provides instruction on ingredient functionality and formula balance. Mr. Hinds said clean label formulating is a key focus.

“We can also provide workshops on dough processing and what to look for when converting to clean label ingredients from traditional formulas,” Mr. Hinds explained. “We usually like to spend most of the education sessions in the dough where the learning is more practical.”

The center is available to bakery operations of any size. The Cain Food team has a vast array of knowledge on baked foods production from artisan to industrial. Everything at the innovation center can be tailored to the baker’s needs.

Through hands-on learning, specialized resources and a wide variety of equipment, Cain Food will take its customers into the future with new ideas that pull from the best practices in baking’s history.