Air Conditioning of Bagel Retarder
A major UK bagel manufacturer was experiencing severe product quality problems with a line producing 48,000 bagels per hour. The dough for the bagels is shaped then proved before entering the prover retarder. The bagel is then passed briefly though a hot water bath before baking. This process gives a bagel the unique density and texture.
Unfortunately, the bakery had experienced poor performance of the retarding process causing the product to be rejected on quality issues. The site had tried a number of times to rectify these problems.
Operational carried out a detailed process investigation and identified a number of issues that were likely to be causing the problems. A scheme was proposed to address these problems, improve the product quality; improve throughput and improve process control and data capture.
New air handling equipment with high quality filtration, multi-stage cooling and droplet elimination was installed. New distribution ductwork was also installed within the retarder enclosure with controls for temperature, humidity and air flow rates integrated into the factories existing control systems and HMI displays. All the equipment was stainless steel lined to meet food hygiene requirements. In order to minimize loss of production time the majority of the installation works were carried out through weekend periods and night working.
To improve air distribution problems and air contact with the product a new air distribution system was installed. Using up to 120,000mᶾ/hr of conditioned air with controlled air temperatures down to 5°c, irrespective of ambient conditions, the internal retarder conditions were thus fully optimized.
The bakery has minimised product losses due to quality problems and is now able to operate at maximum output throughout the year.
48,000 x 90 gram bagels per hour; Inlet Temperature 40°C; Outlet Temperature 8°C
New high flow chilled process air conditioning system installed
Excellent product quality; Increased production speed; exact control of process parameters.