KANSAS CITY — With surging inflation and the rising ingredients costs, bakeries have motivation to reduce waste while positioning their companies as eco-friendly. It’s become an increasingly critical variable in determining an operation’s profitability, and another important factor to consider when calculating return on investments in a capital spending budget. Not all these investments need to be big-ticket items.

Today’s flour dispensers and digital-controlled topping systems strew less flour, place sesame seeds precisely on buns and offer tool-free cleaning that requires less water and time for sanitation. For instance, scrap, also known as rework, is often a byproduct of sheeting lines and may be troublesome when too much is made such as during the production of some pizzas and other circular products.

That’s why there has been a focus on reclaiming as much as possible. In most cases, this reworked dough becomes part of the formula and can positively impact the product. Still, there is often a limit as to how much scrap makes it back into the mixer.

Gentle sheeting technology can eliminate dough stress and the “snap back” effect that creates uneven edges that bakers need to cut off to obtain a consistent sheet. Additionally, precise application of butter and other fats may also lower ingredient costs by reducing giveaways for the most expensive raw material in laminated dough.

Moreover, digital controls have the capacity to provide automatic startup of components and switch them on when they need to be used in the production process. In addition to reducing waste, software controls lower downtime, streamline changeovers and allow for online training of new operators.