Fermex gives frozen dough a lift

first_imgFermex (Worcester) supplies a frozen yeast product with characteristics similar to dried and fresh yeasts, but also a number of advantages over both, particularly when used in frozen dough applications. Like dried yeast, it is free-flowing, even at –20°C, is unaffected by oxygen and moisture, so vacuum-packed storage is unnecessary, says the company.Fresh yeast normally has a shelf-life of around four weeks when stored at 4°C and in conventional bakery production works satisfactorily throughout its shelf-life. However, when used in frozen dough, particularly when sugar is present, the effect of the age of the yeast can reduce the long-term storage quality of the frozen dough. This is not the case with Fermex F3 yeast, claims the company. The yeast remains in peak condition throughout its shelf-life in frozen storage. It has the same gassing power of traditional yeast and so is especially useful in ensuring consistency of final product, says Fermex.The shelf-life of frozen dough products is adversely affected if fermentation commences before the freezing process. Fermex F3 yeast contains approximately 75% solids, compared to about 30% solids in fresh, compressed yeast. This reduced moisture content means the onset of fermentation is delayed as Fermex F3 yeast has to absorb water, first.In addition, dough temperature can be kept to a minimum as Fermex F3 is added directly to the mix in frozen form, and does not suffer the “cold shock” that can reduce shelf-life of frozen dough products made with dried yeasts, says the company.The strains of the yeast are also specially selected to ensure optimum stability of fermentation power.last_img read more

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Bread battle

first_imgThe food exhibition SIGEP will take place at Rimini Fiera in Italy from 26-30 January 2008.Last year it attracted over 90,000 visitors, from 121 countries. Just over 40% of these were ice-cream makers, a third were confectioners and 10% were bakers.This year SIGEP will showcase a range of competitions, pitting bakers from different countries against each other.Both the Senior and Junior Bread Baking Championships will take place over five days. Eight teams will compete for the Senior cup in front of a live audience, baking a range of innovative bread, a leavened bakery cake, and an artistic item.See [http://www.sigep.it/en]last_img read more

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Reporting in

first_img== Gordon Polson ==Director, The Federation of BakersWhen did you last think about training? At the Federation of Bakers (FoB) we believe that training is vital to ensure a healthy long-term future for the plant bakery industry.As part of our commitment to consistently high-quality standards across the industry, we have developed four courses, each offering information that will help delegates excel in their role and gain a detailed understanding of best practice.The newest of these courses is the Dough Making course, which is due to run for the first time in autumn 2008 at Leeds Thomas Danby College. It will examine the factors affecting cost, the best use of materials and the criteria involved in producing and manufacturing dough. The information learnt through attending the course will help participants to increase efficiency in their bakeries.This, of course, is vital, but we are also proud of our two-day Introduction to Plant Baking, which looks into the baking process and the different methods of production; Principles of Plant Baking, a group of four independent modules that give an in-depth grounding in the basic principles of the industrial baking process and managing that process in the workplace; and the one-day Bread Weights and Measures, to help students understand, comply and build confidence in dealing with different aspects of bread weight control legislation.A combination of interactive learning and theoretical work guarantees bakers the opportunity to learn the skills that are so essential to their job.last_img read more

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PepsiCo drops PJ Smoothies brand

first_imgPepsiCo is to discontinue its PJ Smoothies and Tropicana Spirit brands. According to a statement released by the company, the reasons for the move are due to the current economic climate and “unprecedented pressures” being experienced by the firm.A strategic review of its businesses reinforced “the impor- tance of focusing on best-selling lines”. “We have acted to simplify our manufacturing operations, which includes ceasing production on one of the lines at Boxford. So we will be rationalising our beverage portfolio,” said the statement. “This decision means we will be retiring the PJ Smoothies and Tropicana Spirit brands.”PepsiCo said it will concentrate on its best-selling lines, including Tropicana Pure Premium Juice, Tropicana Smoothies and Copella. The company is in the process of notifying its customers.last_img read more

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Season retains sparkle

first_imgAstraw poll of bakeries up and down the country has revealed that the meltdown on the high street witnessed by non-food retailers has not yet infected bakery retailers. While many felt twitchy throughout December, the last few days before Christmas came good, with sales often matching – or even exceeding – those of 2007.For 19-shop Chatwins of Nantwich, like-for-like sales were down. It saw a dip of 3-5% in the five weeks from the beginning of December to the first week in January, but this was tempered by better-performing sales of savoury lines such as sausage rolls. “Sales of traditional Christmas items were down, as people scaled back,” said joint MD Trevor Mooney.The upwards savouries trend has also helped Greggs achieve strong sales figures over the festive period. The company said like-for-like sales over Christmas, comprising the four weeks to January 3, increased 5.3%. This no doubt prompted CEO Ken McMeikan to announce a step-up in store openings to 50 a year from 2010.Those who made an extra effort with windows or products seem to have reaped the rewards. Christopher Freeman of one-shop Dunns of Crouch End, North London, reported that sales of mince pies, chocolate logs, Christmas puddings and stollen went very well, with turnover up 4% and footfall up 1.5%. “We felt that when customers wanted something really good, they knew where to come. We made fabulous window displays. We opened again on the Saturday after Christmas and bread sales that week were up,” he said.== Non-bakery boost ==A focus on non-bakery food boosted sales for 10-shop business Janes Pantry in Gloucester in the two weeks commencing December 22 and 29, by 5.5% on last year. The arrival of a chef in December gave a more rounded offering, including a new range of five fresh homemade soups, hot meals and hot sandwiches, including a turkey version for Christmas, which were an immediate hit. “The build-up to Christmas was slow, but we had a really buoyant last three days,” said Janes Pantry MD Neville Morse.Others have had to redouble their efforts just to tread water. Gloucestershire craft firm Hobbs House Bakery began selling mince pies a week earlier than 2007, offering six-packs for the first time as well as in-store sampling and evening openings. This helped edge up mince pie sales by 0.5% on last year to 30,000.Even where Christmas sales matched those of 2007, some were predicting a tough 2009. “There are fewer shoppers on the high street,” said Thomas Adams, MD of the Northampton-based 28-shop Oliver Adams bakery chain. “Confidence is the problem. The press is talking us into a recession, as people believe what they read.”Others have felt the pinch in wholesale supply due to lay-offs at nearby firms. The Cavan Bakery in Hampton, Surrey saw overall sales down 22%. “There are lay-offs on industrial estates, which we supply via third parties,” said Jeff Greenall. While Christmas products sold well, bread and savouries fell off and customer spend in its three outlets was also down 4-5%. “We sensed an air of caution among shoppers,” he added. Yet an investment in ovens and a new fourth shop in Teddington, mean he is “cautiously optimistic about 2009”.Carol Herd, MD of three-shop business Peter Herds of Wilmslow, Cheshire, said 2008 Christmas trading rose 7% on 2007, following a marketing push and efficiency drive. “Over the year we got our costs down – but not quality. Our Christmas cakes, logs and tortes all went well. I’m a fighter so I’m quite optimistic about 2009.”last_img read more

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Less than alluring

first_imgMaking a bid to become bakers’ public enemy number one is ageing ex-supermodel (miaow) Cindy Crawford, whose baker-baiting bread abuse was snapped for a photoshoot in the April issue of US women’s magazine Allure. The image of 43-year-old Crawford tearing up a loaf in the mag’s ’anti-ageing issue’ was captioned with: ’White bread may be slang for innocuous, but not for your diet’.The story was picked up by The Daily Mail, which ran the headline: “Want to look like Cindy Crawford? Then ditch bread”. Well, we don’t, but we wish Ms Crawford all the best in her efforts to defy gravity, wrinkles and an ever-decreasing pay packet.last_img read more

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IBA defies world crisis with larger show in store

first_imgThe 21st IBA international bakery exhibition, due to take place in Düsseldorf this year, will be larger than in 2006, despite the recession, say the organisers.Bernd Dieckmann, of IBA’s advisory board and MD of ingredients supplier Ireks, said: “The global economic crisis has left its mark on the baking industry, but has also provided opportunities. More exhibitors have registered this year and requested more space than for the previous IBA. There is also a growing number of foreign exhibitors.”Over 990 companies have booked over 123,000sq m for the show, set to run from October 3-9. Machinery and raw ingredients will dominate, but shopfitting refrigeration, sales and energy-saving will all feature strongly.The show is designed to appeal to all sectors of the industry, from the smallest craft baker up to the largest industrial firm. One area in Hall 11 will focus on coffee machines, accessories and coffee-making.As it is 60 years since the first IBA, any baker or confectioner celebrating a 60th birthday this year will be granted free admission for one day.l For details, visit www.iba.de.last_img read more

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Is the FSA ’full of it’?

first_imgSalt is yet again top of the agenda at the Food Standards Agency (FSA), with bakers seemingly obliged to stand in a continual firing line. Its new campaign encourages shoppers to look at the labels of foods, such as bread, sandwiches and pizza, and buy those with the lowest salt content.It has been seen as a slap in the face by many bakers, who have been working “voluntarily” to reduce the salt in their products, only to have a metaphorical pile of salt, heaped on their flames of glory for achieving the FSA’s own targets. The Federation of Bakers (FoB) told the FSA wouldn’t provide a statement of support for the consumer campaign, however FoB director Gordon Polson told British Baker: “We’re not going to try and counter their multi-million pound campaign.”Despite the FSA’s rejoinder that it is not suggesting consu-mers eat less bread, displaying posters of loaves with salt pouring out of them is hardly good publicity for bakers. A spokesperson for the FSA admitted that some bakers may come out of it worse than others. “If bakers aren’t actively trying to take salt out, then those are the bakers that may be affected as a result of this campaign,” she said.When it comes to warning consumers about the amount of salt in bread, international law firm Eversheds says the FSA has to rely on advertising, as UK labelling rules are governed by European law, meaning salt levels do not have to be indicated on food packaging. “EU law on free trade also prevents the UK from legislating for maximum salt levels in bread,” said Owen Warnock, partner and food law expert at Eversheds. “An update of EU law on food law is currently being undertaken, which will require declaration on the front of the pack of the percentage content of many nutrients. However, there is no proposal to require salt content to be indicated.”The FSA will this week be updating the European Com-mission on the UK’s position on salt at a conference in Brussels, organised by the EU Platform for Diet and Physical Activity entitled ’Salt in Bread: Technical, Taste and other Parameters for Healthy Eating’.Polson, who will be speaking at the conference, explained the main purpose of the event is for the European Commission to understand the different developments on salt in bread within Europe. “There is no suggestion that there is going to be any new legislation coming out of Europe,” he said. However the conference will focus on national salt initiatives, salt and health, technologies of salt reduction in bread, suggesting it’s becoming a hot topic in Europe.AnnoyanceComments from the FSA that “supermarket own-label versions of some foods, including bread, are often lower in salt than the branded versions”, has been met with annoyance by the plant and craft industry alike. Polson is disappointed that all the work that has gone on to reduce salt has not been recognised. “If a certain number of slices of bread makes up a third of your daily salt allowance, there is nothing wrong with that. There has not been enough emphasis on the good qualities of bread.”However, the FSA insisted that the comments regarding branded bread having more salt, were based on fact. “We looked at the salt levels in around 70 commonly available branded and supermarket own-label white, brown and wholemeal sliced breads,” explained a spokesperson for the FSA. “For example, of the top 15 white loaves with higher levels (range 0.7g to 0.41g sodium per 100g bread), 12 were branded and three were supermarket own-label. Of the bottom 19 white loaves containing lower levels of salt (range 0.4g to 0.3g sodium per 100g bread), one was branded and 18 were supermarket own-label.”Jan Thomson, co-owner of Thomsons Bakery in Newcastle Upon Tyne, is angry that despite meeting the salt levels the FSA has asked for, small craft bakers are not being acknowledged for all the work they have done. “That has got no publicity at all,” she said. “Bread is a staple in people’s diet, and if the FSA flag it up as something that’s bad for consumers, then what next?”last_img read more

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German bakery shops make inroads in the UK

first_imgWe have had ciabatta from Italy and pain de campagne from France, now Germany is the next Continental bakery superpower targeting British high streets after two of the country’s leading retail bakeries revealed ambitious roll-out plans for the UK.Pretzel company Ditsch, which has over 200 stores in Germany, plans to build its fledgling UK business to around 50 stores in the next five years, while German self-service bakery concept Bake & Take opened its first store in the UK last month, with more in the pipeline.Ditsch currently has 12 stores in the UK in London, Birmingham and the north west plus a wholesale business supplying Waitrose with pretzels. UK MD Raz Nehushtan told BB that the company is currently looking for sites of around 2,500sq ft in railway stations, shopping centres and busy high streets. “We want to grow as quickly as we can and are aiming to open three to five new stores this year in major cities in England and Wales, with a target of 50 in five years,” he said.The shops sell a wide range of soft pretzels in different flavours, pizzas made with pretzel dough and sweet pastries. Bakery products are imported frozen from Germany, before being proved and baked in-store.Meanwhile, German bakery company BackWerk, which operates over 280 stores across six European countries, has opened its first store in the UK under the Bake & Take brand. The self-service shop bakes croissants, pastries, loaves and breakfast rolls throughout the day, and also sells sandwiches and drinks. Customers use tongs to help themselves from display cabinets before paying at the till.”It is a great concept, which works well in this day and age, as time-pressed consumers are increasingly demanding fresh, affordable food and drink, without the wait,” said shop owner Alexander Boll.Further franchise stores are expected to be rolled out, once the first outlet has bedded in.last_img read more

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Tesco posts worst sales in 20 years

first_imgTesco fell victim to the consumer slump with its worst UK sales in 20 years while rival Sainsbury’s reported only modest growth.Tesco said UK second-half profits will be flat following its recent £500m investment in price cuts in a bid to boost market share, which fell from 30.8% to 30.4% in recent weeks.It said that UK sales excluding new store space, VAT and petrol fell 0.9% in the three months to August 27. The group reported a 12% in underlying profits to £1.9bn in the half-year, boosted by a strong performance in Asia.Sales rose 9% to £35.5bn.Sainsbury’s said same-store sales including VAT increased by 1.9% in the 16 weeks to October 1, the same increase as the previous quarter.Sainsbury’s, which recently changed its slogan to ‘Live Well For Less’, described its performance as “good” in a tough consumer environment.last_img read more

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