Carritech in talks for ColdBake process to enter bakery, snacks and cereal sector
ColdBake is a lower-temperature process based on vacuum expansion and drying that can produce foods able to carry heat-sensitive ingredients such as vitamins and probiotics.
The process has been in development for more than five years, and the Northern Irish business said it had now reached a critical point in the commercialization of ColdBake.
Establishing its patent portfolio
Carritech has most recently focused on establishing its patent portfolio, and has been granted patents in the UK, South Africa, New Zealand and Mexico, and by the European Patent Office.
Patents are pending in the US, Canada, China, Japan, South Korea, India and Australia.
Carritech said it is currently involved in confidential dialogue with a number of companies regarding product applications including baked goods and pharmaceuticals. It is also planning to launch a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to invest in expanding its capabilities.
How does it work?
The patented Coldbake process is based on vacuum oven technology, with a typical production process of:
- weighing and blending powdered ingredients
- adding and mixing in of liquid ingredients and water
- shaping the resulting moist powders or dough into granules or larger pieces
- allowing pieces to ‘condition’
- expanding and drying the pieces in a vacuum oven.
Additional steps may be introduced to achieve various formats, such as molding to produce bars.
Feasibility trials and prototypes have been conducted in areas including enhanced protein levels, natural sweetening using maple syrup, breakfast cereals, sports nutrition snacks, and nutrient blend biscuits to help malnourished populations.
“This commercialization phase for Carritech is really exciting as it will tick all the industry challenges,” Carritech managing director Richard Horton told BakeryandSnacks.
“There are obvious applications in breakfast cereals and cereal bars, and it is especially suitable as a low-calorie, nutrient rich-snack for children,” said Horton, adding there would also be application in diet products and tailored diets for the elderly.
ColdBake offers advantages over baking a product at a high temperature and then fortifying it, claimed Carritech, as there are limitations under which components can be added back into a product.
“Once the product is formed it is often not possible to incorporate functional components retrospectively,” said Horton. Carritech added that the vitamins in a vitamin-fortified ‘dry crispy food’ produced using ColdBake could be contained in the product itself as they were not degraded during production.
ColdBake would require a manufacturer to make investment in vacuum oven kit, admitted Carritech, although it claimed this would be no greater than an alternative expansion or dehydration process such as extrusion cooking.