Interchangeable frozen dough machines for the cookie sector enable manufacturers to cater to booming demands for fresh-baked cookies, Baker Perkins says.
The bakery equipment supplier’s TruClean Frozen Dough Machine has been on the market for three years but is now available as a modular range with a paper cutter, paper slitter and topping device as interchangeable add-ons.
“What’s new here is the ability to supply a machine to do one type of format and change it in the future to a different format,” said Keith Graham, marketing manager at Baker Perkins.
Previously, Baker Perkins built bespoke machines according to the needs of a customer but once built it couldn’t be adapted, Graham told BakeryandSnacks.com.
“This is now interchangeable,” he said.
The cookie boom
Eating out is the major growth driver of the cookie sector, Graham said.
“A lot of fast food outlets will now offer cookies. There are also coffee shops, shopping malls, caterers, and sandwich shops. The demand is spreading – anywhere where food is cooked and served,” he said.
The challenge for frozen dough suppliers, he said, is getting the cookie dough to these outlets quickly, in suitable sized deliveries and in a hygienic way.
“The idea behind this market is you bake at the point of consumption so they are a little bit warm, soft and smell good. The high moisture content means they will go stale very quickly, therefore you can’t bake them in a central place, it has to be on site,” he said.
Accuracy, splitting and ease of cleaning
Graham said that dough manufacturers are therefore up against several challenges.
“There are three main things – one is accuracy. You want the weight to be accurate. Weight control is important not just for economic reasons, but the cookies will also bake differently if they are different sizes,” he said.
Graham said that secondly, it is important for suppliers to be able to separate the cookie dough portions into suitable batches for customers – which may differ. For example, he said a coffee shop will likely want a smaller batch for the day but a large retailer would probably want more.
“We can split the paper – we deposit onto a continuous roll of paper and then we use an intermittent rapid advance mechanism to create a gap between the patterns of cookies,” he said.
There are several different and interchangeable patterns that manufacturers can select, he said, enabling them to cater to different customer orders.
Thirdly, hygiene and ease of cleaning are essential, Graham said, particularly given that dough suppliers have no control over the baking which can kill off pathogens.
“A frozen dough manufacturer isn’t applying any heat; the baking is out of their control therefore the frozen baker suppliers need to keep hygiene as a priority.”
Graham said allergens also needed to be considered, particularly in the cookie sector.
The machine’s parts are all removable for easy cleaning to enable manufacturers to keep on top of all of this, he said.