Muffin solutions

first_imgA leading UK bakery manufacturer and supplier of bakery components, Baking Solutions, has recently purchased a complete muffin-processing unit worth £100,000 from specialist depositing technology manufacturer Turbo Systems.Baking Solutions, based in Oxfordshire, had won a major contract from a leading customer to supply muffins for over 300 outlets across the UK and required a new injection system to meet increased demand and to provide its customer with high-quality products. A range of flavoured muffins, including blueberry, chocolate chip and lemon, were included in the deal.familiarityHaving been in close contact with Turbo Systems for around four years, Baking Solutions turned to the equipment company to supply all the main components of the processing line.So that it could meet the retailer’s supply requirements on deadline, Turbo Systems initially loaned Baking Solutions a D152 depositor, before the main injection unit was installed. The first system, now incorporated onto Baking Solutions’ existing oven system, is an eight-across muffin injection unit and the second machine is an off-line system, comprising a six-across mini monoblock depositor and indexing conveyor.In operation, the muffin batter is deposited in rows of four onto baking trays, and then conveyed into the oven. After the muffins have been baked and come off the cooler, the baking trays are indexed, two at a time, and the various sauce flavours and textures are injected into the muffins.Baking Solutions special projects manager Andy Bastable, says: “The muffin line is now working to full capacity and its performance is excellent. It’s very compact, freeing up factory floor space, and the throughputs are very high. Also, the back-up service and training have been a real bonus.”lengthy experienceTurbo Systems has been a provider of bespoke equipment solutions to the baking industry for over 50 years. Its machine range includes cutting units, coating and decorating nozzles, and a whole range of depositors.Baking Solutions has been trading within the baking industry for over 10 years and has a 70,000sq ft nut-free bakery facility in the heart of Oxfordshire. It maintains ’A grade’ BRC accreditation and produces branded, own-label and third-party bakery lines for the market.last_img read more

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Millers welcome decision to suspend set-aside rules

first_imgNews that 3.8 million hectares of EU farmland will be allowed back into arable production next year has been given a cautious welcome by grain traders and millers.The decision to suspend the set-aside rules that helped reduce Europe’s grain mountain to 2.5 million tonnes this year came as prices for November-traded milling wheat hit £174/t on the Liverpool grain exchange, fuelling further flour price increases and making it impossible to insulate consumers from a retail hike this autumn.The country’s second largest miller ADM announced on Tuesday that it was to add £68.13/t to all flours from August 20, reflecting similar increases by rival miller Rank Hovis. Others are expected to follow suit.According to the Home Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA), the premium for UK bread-making over feed wheat has rocketed by £25/t to £36/t since May. Question marks over both the quality and quantity of the UK harvest, due to get into full swing this week following almost two months of unremitting rain, mean prices are unlikely to stabilise soon.”Very few millers have taken any wheat cover and they are all going to be pretty short from next week onwards,” said one trader. “Prices for milling wheat are moving up dramatically. It’s a very thin market and the millers are looking for cover, but the rest of the world’s in the same state.”Predictions that cutting set-aside would bring as much as 17 million tonnes of grain back on to the market from next year were misplaced, he said. “The problem in the UK is that with the water damage being done to the soil structure, will it be dry enough to even plant the extra acreage? Meanwhile, every wheat-growing country has reduced its crop expectations and continues to do so on a daily basis.”Federation of Bakers director Gordon Polson said the net effect of reducing set aside to zero was likely to be negligible, since far-mers were not compelled to plant milling wheat.last_img read more

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FSA action on irradiated yeast

first_imgThe Food Standards Agency has taken action to stop the sale of a number of products which contain dried irradiated yeast from China, in breach of UK regulations. The products recalled include some batches of Snacks Unlimited’s Weight Watchers Smokey Bacon Corn Bites and Burton’s Snackrite Mini Cheese Thins, Mini Pickle Thins and Tesco Baked Mini Cheese Thins (see below for batch numbers).While the agency has taken action to remove the affected yeast and products not yet on sale from the food chain, it will not recall products currently on sale or those which have been sold. The yeast and affected products do not pose a safety risk.Spot testing by a US company revealed that the yeast, which originated from China’s Shanghai Evergreen Chemicals Company, was irradiated. It was imported into the UK by food broker FuerstDay Lawson and distributed to food manufacturers by Overseal Natural Ingredients. The FSA’s chief scientist Andrew Wadge said: “This is not a food safety issue. But it is a breach of regulations and the sensible and proportionate approach is to prevent any more getting into the food chain. The Agency is ensuring manufacturers dispose of this product.”The agency has organised a meeting with food manufacturers.Irradiation raises the temperature of food by a few degrees to kill bacteria. Current UK regulations only allow for the irradiation of seven categories of food, not including yeast.Affected products are: Snacks Unlimited’s Weight Watchers Smokey Bacon Corn Bites; batch 8153 BBE 21 September 2008 and batch 8157 BBE 25 September 2008; Burton’s Snackrite Mini Cheese Thins BBE 22 October 2008 to 22 November 2008, Snackrite Mini Pickle Thins BBE 25 October 2008 to 22 November 2008 and Tesco Baked Mini Cheese Thins BBE 25 October 2008 to 22 November 2008.last_img read more

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Weight relaxation just for wrapped bread

first_imgCraft bakers selling unwrapped loaves cannot take advantage of the recent relaxation of bread weight laws, which abandons specified loaf quantities, because the new legislation only applies to packaged bread.As reported in British Baker, an EC directive to be introduced next April will scrap ancient restrictions that limit loaf sizes, weighing more than 300g, to multiples of 400g. However, unwrapped bread falls outside the directive’s scope.The National Weights and Measures Laboratory (NWML) has launched a consultation, due to close in January, proposing that rules governing unwrapped bread weights should be relaxed in line with packaged loaves.In the meantime, The National Association of Master Bakers is advising craft bakers who sell unwrapped loaves to stick to the ’400g rule’ until the rules are clear. “Bakers need to be sure they are not going to fall foul of their Trading Standards Officers (TSOs),” said a spokesperson.LACORS told British Baker that, in “99.9% of cases”, TSOs would not prosecute bakers selling unwrapped bread outside specified quantities, but that they would be “technically breaking the law”.Warburtons and Tesco are among those already selling packaged loaves outside the traditional 400g-multiple format.last_img read more

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Baker heads up top job at Maple Leaf UK

first_imgCanada-based Maple Leaf Foods has announced the appointment of Peter Baker as the new head of its UK operations, Maple Leaf Bakery UK. He will take over the role of MD, effective 6 April, after Maple Leaf’s parent firm Canada Bread announced the departure of former MD Peter Maycock last month.Baker, based at the company’s Park Royal office in London, has over 30 years’ experience in baking, including chief executive of La Fornaia from 2003-2007, a company bought by Maple Leaf in late 2007. Prior to that, he was MD of British Bakeries.last_img

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Tameside student win Hovis scholarship

first_imgThe Hovis Scholarship Award has been given to Gabrielle Baxter from Tameside College, who will get the chance to obtain first-hand bakery experience working with industry professionals. The scholarship, created by Rank Hovis, is awarded to one student a year for an all-expenses-paid learning experience. Baxter underwent an interview for the award, in which she discussed her progress to date and career aspirations.Baxter will start work at Southampton Mill, which specialises in flour testing and milling. She will be assisted by Christopher Foxall, a representative from Premier Foods, during her scholarship, which will see her travel around the UK, visiting bakery institutions including flour mills, testing centres and local independent bakeries, as well as larger chain bakeries. The trip concludes in Lichfield, where Baxter will learn about healthy food production at Holgran.“Gabrielle is the first student from the college to win the scholarship award and the entire bakery department is very proud of her achievements. She has won many competitions since starting at the college and I’m sure she’ll continue to excel,” commented Tameside bakery tutor Lorna Jones.last_img read more

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In my world

first_imgAs I sit here on the comfy sofa at iCafé on the Great Western Road, sipping a latte, I can’t help noticing some wee things that could perhaps be a little better and, of course, things that we already do superbly, like this latte in front of me.When I arrived, I was served by one of the newcomers, who very kindly asked me if I’d like something sweet with my coffee. “Perhaps one of our lovely muffins or a pastry, sir?” she asked.”I’m off cakes and pastry for a few weeks my dear, but thanks for asking,” I replied.Of course, she didn’t know I am the managing director of the company and may well still not know, which is even better, as it gives me an opportunity to have a true customer experience without any “sugar-coated” treatment – not that we have any in my company. I’d like to think we are very transparent with things.In this very competitive marketplace, where every coffee shop, deli or sandwich bar is after the same customer, it’s important that we have some fundamentals absolutely nailed down. What is it that we stand for? What makes us different? Why do our customers come back time and time again? Is it our products, service, experience, location or price? Whatever it may be for your company, I think we will all agree that it’s not just one, but a combination of factors. The key, however, is the consistency of the “package”. An establishment may not do the best coffee in the world, or may not sell the tastiest muffin in town, but if they have consistency each time, they have a formula that works. Logically speaking, they meet customer expectations every time; the customer knows what they stand for and they stick to what they know best.Here at iCafé, we try to make each part of the business the best it can be. Of course, no one is perfect and there is always room for improvement, but if we have this mind-set of continuing to benchmark our previous achievements in terms of sales, mystery shop results or other performance and sales measures, we will continue to travel in the right direction.Some of the measures worth considering for your outlet include mystery shopping, surprise visits, feedback from family and friends, from regular customers and from staff members’ friends. We have to remember that not everyone will be honest with their answers, and mystery shopping provides only a snapshot of a business at any given point; it may not give you the true picture but it is still a very popular method now used by thousands of companies.The best method in my opinion is one’s own approach to all the above. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula out there. After all, most of us know what we are looking for and would probably know our company’s weaknesses and strengths inside out, we just have to go through a brainstorming session and nail down some key areas.Nothing changes overnight, but the first step is to acknowledge and realise what needs to improve or change, think of a plan, and what we will hopefully find is that half an orange tastes as sweet as a whole one. On that note, I wish everyone happy holidays and thank you for reading my column.last_img read more

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In Short

first_imgFree-from successFinsbury Foods said that falling sales in its cake business has resulted in a 2% drop in revenue for the 17 weeks to the end of October. Its bread and free-from businesses achieved double-digit growth, with its acquisition of Goswell Bakeries contributing to an 11% growth in sales. Like-for-like sales in the division increased 8%.Heinz sells dessertsUS-based food company Heinz has completed the sale of its private-label frozen desserts business in the UK, to newly formed firm PoleStar Foods. The sale comprises two plants in Okehampton and Leamington Spa employing 580 staff. The transaction will result in a $33m (£19.93m) pre-tax loss during the third quarter.Nero seeks growthCaffè Nero plans to more than double its presence overseas, according to Emirates Business. Speaking to the UAE business publication in Dubai recently, founder Gerry Ford said the coffee chain was eyeing up growth opportunities in China, the US, central and eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the GCC, and hopes to increase its 400 stores to a projected 1,000.Raisins raise importsCalifornia Raisins has imported a record-breaking tonnage into the UK. The first quarter of the 2009/10 crop year has seen 11,416mt imported 51% more than the first quarter of the 2008/09 crop year and higher than any previous years.Britvic increaseBritvic has announced a group revenue increase of 5.6% from £926.5m to £978.8m in its full-year results to 27 September 2009. The firm achieved volume and value share gains across its six core brands: Pepsi, 7Up, Tango, Robinsons, J2O and Fruit Shoot.last_img read more

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Bank revalues Sunfresh business by another £70k

first_imgThe directors of Sunfresh Bakers Ltd were asked to stump up more to buy their business out of administration after a revaluation by their bank.According to documents from administrator MCR, directors Mark and Stephen Taylor purported to sell the Sunfresh bakery to a new company run by themselves Taylors the Bakers for £50,000 earlier this year after the bakery got into financial difficulty. The Taylors said that the original business would not have been able to continue if a buyer had not been found immediately, saving 140 jobs as a result. However, despite draft sales of £9.4m in the year to 1 October 2009, Sunfresh Bakers’ bank put Sunfresh into administration and, following a second valuation, asked the brothers to pay another £70,000. The Taylors have paid out £35,000 of this additional valuation and are paying off the rest in instalments.Taylors the Bakers, based in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire produces oven-bottom muffins and, at the time of the sale, a spokeswoman said the company had the support of its clients.MCR reported that a total of 167 creditors were owed £3.4m by Sunfresh, including Sainsbury’s (£78,751), Asda (£9,783) and Bako North Western (£29,789). But director Mark Taylor disputed some of these, including Asda.Sunfresh’s last full accounts in November 2008 showed a pre-tax loss of £365,337 and net liabilities of more than £200,000. The company had to make 30 workers redundant earlier this year, due to a downturn in trade. Taylor said the company had taken back on 20 of these workers this year, thanks to an upturn in trade.last_img read more

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Williams upgrades Doughmaster controls

first_imgWilliams Refrigeration has launched an upgrade to its Doughmaster controller, which will be fitted to its Modular Dough Retarder Prover range.The new controller introduces touchscreen technology for the baker, in place of its existing push button controls, as well as an energy saving Economy Mode.The new touchscreen features PC quality graphics, and aims to be more user-friendly.”Most regular bakery controllers will flood the chamber with forced steam, much of which is wasted energy. Williams’ new DoughMaster controller regulates steam generation and calculates the exact inlet required, only supplying this precise amount, thereby dramatically reducing lost energy,” explained the firm.The controller has also been designed to accurately read the chamber’s temperature, regulating the fans accordingly.last_img read more

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