Not long ago, veteran baking engineers grumbled that nothing has changed in 50 years when it came to oven technology. That’s no longer the case. During the past decade, new digital controls, energy-saving oven designs and space-age advances in conductive materials have transformed how batters and doughs are baked.

Bakers have seen significant new developments in ovens even since the 2019 International Baking Industry Exposition, the industry’s last major in-person trade show.

AMF Bakery Systems, for instance, introduced an emission-free, direct-fired, hydrogen-fueled tunnel oven. The modular Multibake VITA Tunnel Oven by AMF Den Boer allows bakers to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 99.9% within the baking process while reducing the cost of utilities.

At Middleby Bakery, Auto-Bake offers its direct-gas fired convection oven as electric convection. Scott McCally, president, Auto-Bake Serpentine, said this oven is 40% more energy efficient than its standard gas-fired model.

To increase the baking precision of its stone oven, Mecatherm finely controls the oven jump at the beginning of the process by adjusting the temperature of the stone when the product is deposited.

“A new feature was developed to increase the control of the energy transmitted by the stone to the product throughout the baking phases to set the desired bottom crust thickness and color of the product,” said Marie Laisne, Mecatherm’s oven product manager.

Meanwhile, Topos Mondial simplified the proofing and baking process by linking the two processes with a single chain belt. No transfer conveyors or other systems are needed between the oven and the proofer.

“It’s something that bakers have been requesting recently,” said Ondrej Nikel, director of engineering, Topos Mondial. “As an engineer, I get excited every time I can eliminate moving parts. I love these obvious tricks that make an oven much simpler to operate. With this proofer-oven marriage, there are fewer things that break and require maintenance, and you’ll never have to clean or lubricate all the hardware.” 

This article is an excerpt from the November 2020 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on ovens, click here