Published Date : Feb 09, 2016
Europe’s love for baking is well-known. However, growing concerns over high energy consumption during prolonged baking process has led the European Union to look for energy-efficient ovens. A project funded by the EU has developed three prototype ovens that will significantly reduce the duration of baking as well as consume less energy. The Low Energy Ovens project uses infrared technology to reduce the baking time by 70% and lessens the energy consumption by 20-40%. The usage of infrared technology for baking is not a new concept though. It was first found out to be ideal for baking processes in the FP6 EU-FRESHBAKE project.
LEO Prototype Ovens Developed for Small and Medium-Sized Bakeries in Europe
The three prototype ovens developed by the LEO are:
These prototype ovens have been not only tested under lab conditions but also in two professional bakeries in Germany and France. The prototype ovens are being targeted at small and medium-sized craft and bake-off bakeries. Small and medium-sized bake-off bakeries constitute about 40% of the baking industry in Europe. The LEO conveyor oven prototype is similar to the medium-scale ovens used in these bake-off bakeries. The batch oven prototypes have been specially developed for small traditional craft bakers who represent the bulk of the regional baking industry.
Infrared Technology to Revolutionize European Baking Industry
The LEO consortium partners have concluded that the project’s final results indicate that the infrared technology has a strong market potential and can transform the European baking industry. The project partners have already prepared a business plan to commercialize the technology. With the help of these prototype ovens, the baking industry is expected to contribute significantly towards energy conservation.