UK bakery Warburtons and texture analysis firm Stable Micro Systems have joined forces to develop equipment that enables manufacturers to assess the stickiness of dough immediately after mixing.
The new solution – Warburtons Dough Stickiness System – is in box form, enabling manufacturers to test dough for consistency during production.
Trials have been carried out over the last 18 months and it is now available globally.
Jo Smewing, applications manager at Stable Micro Systems, detailed that sticky dough is a common problem in bakery manufacturing.
“Ultimately, sticky dough hampers operating efficiency,” Smewing told BakeryandSnacks.com.
“Dough sticks to the equipment leaving a build-up and this prevents machinery parts from moving smoothly and more stoppages and downtime are required for the cleaning of the equipment,” she added.
A common response to dough stickiness is for manufacturers to reduce the water added to the mixer or use dusting flour, she said, but these “have the potential to introduce quality losses in the final product.”
Dealing with dough problems
This is why Stable Micro Systems and Warburtons came together to develop new testing equipment, Smewing said.
“The ability to measure the properties of the dough provides a means of assessing the results of any modifications to processing that may be made in order to prevent the problem of stickiness,” she said.
The testing equipment is in box form that the dough is put in and a retaining plate then covers the dough. A narrow blade is then driven through a slot in this plate and a compression peak and area of the dough is detailed (indicating consistency). When the blade is withdrawn, software calculates the adhesion peak and area indicating stickiness.
Previous systems required dough manipulation prior to testing, and thus exposure to drier atmospheres common in most laboratories, distorted results, she noted, but here “manipulation of the dough pieces is kept to an absolute minimum.”
Stable Micro Systems said the system is ideally suited for bread manufacturers due to the high speed of the test, the ease of cleaning between tests and the reduced need for temperature-controlled environments.
The Dough Stickiness System is suited to large bread dough pieces and is available in two sizes to accommodate dough sizes of 1000 grams and 500 grams.