Trials prove efficacy of bread waste reducer, says supplier

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Bread Baker Baking

The trial phase on a starter that enables reprocessing of rejected bread has demonstrated its efficacy in reducing waste within the bakery facility, claims the Sonneveld group.

One to two per cent of bread baked in large bakeries is unsuitable for sale as is does not satisfy the required specifications with the bread ending up as cattle feed or waste but the Dutch based ingredients supplier said its starter Sonextra Sustain allows rejected bread to be processed into sour dough and thus become an ingredient for daily bread production.

Peter Weegels, I&D manager at the Dutch based bakery ingredients supplier, told that following the release of the starter Sonextra Sustain at the trade show IBA, the company has successfully scaled up production with European based baked good manufacturers.

He explained that the starter enables a baker to reprocess overages, production errors and out of spec bread in a high quality and safe manner, reducing a manufacturer’s level of waste while also ensuring cost savings.

“German bakery manufacturers are required to pay a fee for disposal of their waste, so an ingredient that can process left-over or waste bread closes the production cycle in a sustainable manner while controlling costs,”​ said Weegels.

The I&D manager said that the starter generates sour dough out of wheat bread, and can be added to the normal bread recipe without deteriorating the bread’s crumb structure and volume.

The starter consists of 90 per cent rye, 10 per cent dextrose, 1 per cent enzymes and 1 per cent salt.

He agrees that not all rejected bread can be reprocessed due to factors such as the potential presence of allergens like soy or milk in surplus bread returns from retailers or concerns over rope formation by Bacillus subtilis​ and B. cereus​ bacteria but he said that the pH lowering during sour dough fermentation is fast enough to prevent microbial contamination.

“The lowering of the pH in the sour dough is fast and stabilises within 12 hours to a level that does not give an acid taste when added up to 20 per cent on flour basis in the final bread recipe,”​ explained Weegels.

He said that bakeries do require investment in specialised equipment in order to reprocess waste bread using the starter but that the ROI on machinery would be one to one and half years, considering the reduction in ingredients and savings on waste transport realised.

Weegels added that the Sonneveld group can liaise with equipment suppliers such as VMI or Sobatech on a bakery manufacturer’s behalf.

He claims those companies who are already involved in manufacturing products using the sour dough fermentation process or small industrial bakers who can reprocess overage from their own bakery shops are ideally placed to benefit from the innovation.

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