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by Dr Markus Schirmer, Head of Bakery Innovation Center, Grain Milling, Bhler AG, Switzerland

At the Bakery Innovation Center, Bhler know-how is integrated along the entire added value chain

he Bakery Innovation Center (BIC) at

the Bhler headquarters is now five
years old. As a center for vocational
training and further education for bakers
and millers, it is very popular.
To meet the changing needs of
customers and the market, the selection
of courses is being consistently adapted.
By the beginning of 2017 the BIC will
become the training center for the entire production of industrial
bakery goods.
Even though mankind has been processing flour for thousands
of years, it is still a demanding task.
Grain is a living, organic raw material, says Dr Markus
Schirmer, head of the Bakery Innovation Center from Bhler in
Uzwil, Switzerland.
Because no kernel is exactly like another, the individual flour
batches also vary from one to the other. Small bakeries can adjust
to this because the baker uses his experience to compensate for
the differences in the raw material.
But for large companies that need highly automated and
standardized solutions, this variability presents great challenges.

44 | October 2016 - Milling and Grain

From grain to bread

Bhler founded the Bakery Innovation Center as a part of its

research and training complex at its headquarters in 2011 in
order to provide its customers with the tools necessary for such
complex tasks. Under the motto From Grain to Bread, Bhler
know-how is integrated along the entire added value chain in the
course topics.
Our standard courses explain the influence of grinding on the
quality of baked goods, provide an introduction into the secrets
of producing industrial bakery products and impart knowledge
about the use of sponges and sourdoughs.

Needs of the course participants

Our course participants want to learn what settings they need

to change on their machines and systems in order to obtain the
same end product with varying raw materials, says Dr Schirmer,
summarising the needs of course visitors.
But industrially-produced bread should not only always taste
the same.
Increasingly, the quality of artisanal baked goods is being
sought. The focus of the courses is therefore on teaching basic
knowledge about the interaction of recipes and technology that

happens before the actual baking process.
This basic knowledge is required for
understanding the complex processes of
manufacturing industrial bakery products.
Only someone who has the basic knowledge
can develop ideas for new products and processes
and respond to problems in production, says Dr

Eliminating additives

The knowledge provided at BIC is not only for

bakers, but also of interest for millers.
The trend towards baking without additives puts
more weight on the grinding process, according to
Dr Schirmer, who is himself a master baker and
holds a doctorate in engineering.
What was previously controlled through
additives in the baking process must now be done
through the characteristics of the flour.
For example, the pressure of the rolls can be used to adjust the
modification of the starch. This in turn affects water absorption
of the flour which then has an influence on the freshness of the
The more moisture in the bread, the longer it stays fresh.
Sponges and sourdoughs can create additional advantages.
Such indirect dough versions contain more water, form natural
aromas and stay fresh longer. Quality fluctuations here can only
be avoided by accurate analyses, sufficient expertise or highly
automated processes, he adds.

Expansion of course offerings

BICs course offerings are constantly being expanded and cover

the manufacture of industrial baked goods to laboratory analyses

of flour and bread quality to saving on costs by optimising flour
A new intensive training course is being added for those
interested in becoming an industrial baker.
Over a period of three weeks, a condensed overview of all
topics - from milling to laboratory analyses to enzymatic
influences on bread - is presented. In addition, topics such as
planning a bakery, key figures, principles of food safety and
hygienic design, to name just a few, are included in the program.
This crash course for the Industrial Baker is aimed primarily
at young managers who wish to gain an overview of the
fundamentals of baking.

Digital Microwave Moisture Measurement

Reduce Energy Costs - Reduce Waste - Improve Quality

Hydro-Mix Sensor
Installing a Hydronix digital moisture sensor into your process is a
simple and cost effective way to accurately control your dryer and
to improve the quality of your nal product:

Digital technology with precise linear output

Easy integration into new or existing systems
Install in silos, conveyors or before / after dryers
Wide moisture measurement range

Hydronix Ducting System with

a Hydro-Mix sensor installed
To make installation of our sensor even easier, Hydronix has
designed a ducting system specically for grain, rice and pulses.
Available in both round and square ducting and with vertical or
angled options, the system diverts a portion of the main
ow of material across the sensor head providing
the most accurate, real time moisture
measurement available.

Not affected by dust or colour

Temperature stable
Local service & support

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2016 |08:34:38

Success story

Considering how complex the subject matter of baking is, its

no wonder that BIC enjoys such popularity.
With five to 10 customers per week, we are almost always
fully booked, says Dr Schirmer.
Over 1000 people have taken part in almost 100 courses which
have been carried out in Uzwil so far.
However, knowledge transfer is not only going on in full swing
in Uzwil. The Bhler training centers in South Africa, China and
India are also well visited.
Courses are even being offered in external schools or as a
company course to be in closer proximity to customers. This
not only saves travel costs for the customer; more importantly,
Bhlers local presence means that it understands the local market
and can offer regional-specific expertise.
In Europe, the trends are more customer-driven while in Africa
or Latin America they are often regulated by the government.
Nigeria, for example, requires that cassava flour be added to
wheat bread to help the country become more independent of
imports, points out.
For such regulations, Bhler not only supplies the technology
but also helps customers to develop recipes in order to be as
productive as possible.

Expansion to include an Application Center


The Bhler Bakery Innovation Center will be expanded to an

Application Center over the next few months.
Starting in 2017, courses on the complete production process
for baked goods will be held.
We will be able to offer courses covering everything that
concerns the production of industrial bakery goods in our new

Application Center from handling the raw material over the

mixer to the oven, says Dr Schirmer:
When it is completed, not only classes will be held here. BIC
will be available to Bhler customers for testing new recipes as

About the author

Dr Markus Schirmer leads the Bakery Innovation Center at

Bhler headquarters in Uzwil, Switzerland. His professional
background helps him function as a link between technology
and baking production. As a master baker, Dr Schirmer also
completed an engineering degree as well as master degree
and then did a doctorate in grain process engineering at the
Technical University of Munich with the topic A novel
approach for structural analysis of high viscose starch based
products during heating.
In addition to his managerial tasks at Bhler, Dr Schirmer
is active in the German Baking Industry Association
(Vereinigung der Backbranche, VDB), board member of
the C&E Association, the European Hygienic Engineering
& Design Group (EHEDG), the Weihenstephaner
Institute for Grain Research (Weihenstephaner Institut fr
Getreideforschung, WIG) and is a bread sensor technician
for the German Agricultural Society (DLG).




JUNE 13, 2017



46 | October 2016 - Milling and Grain


GRAPAS is oering those supplying products

and services to millers working in the food
sector to present their latest technological

Part of the FVG Select 2017 event, 13 & 14 June, 2017,

Cologne, Germany

Online registration will open on October 1, 2016

Raw materials, additives and product

Technological developments in the milling

Challenges facing the food industry

For more information and to register visit: