Baking & Snack - June 2020 - 78

Here's why the cookie
and cracker crumble

OVENS

Often it takes a significant
amount of testing to
perfect how heat and
moisture affect each
product's overall quality.
Tecnopool

To obtain the proper baking parameters,
Mr. Deppieri observed that studies have documented
the proper interaction between the dewpoint and the
oven, crust and dry bulb temperatures.
"We normally suggest our customers use lowpressure steam, and we have created a customized
pipe system for the injection," he said. "However, the
system to remove the steam excess is more complex
to manage, particularly in a tunnel oven. The extraction dampers play an important role since the oven
spring and the addition of steam involves more than
15% of the total length of the oven."
Mr. Nikel noted that Topos Mondial designs its
J4 ovens to tailor the amount of steam throughout
baking process. In the initial zone, it can offer up
to twice the number of steam injection pipes if the
product requires them. Automatic controls wait until
the oven zones rise to the proper temperature, then
adjust the amount of slightly pressurized steam so
that it readily condenses on the product.
"There is a challenge with injecting steam, so it is
not too hot and not too pressurized," he said. "It will
want to condense, and you may get droplets coming
from the steam supply, so they could ruin your product. For that reason, our steam injection pipes are
equipped with an outer jacket, a design that ensures
the liquid condensate droplets are removed from the
injected gaseous steam."
If necessary, bakers can lower a mechanical curtain made of a heat-resistant, woven mesh to effectively cause the steam to flow throughout the entire
baking chamber to obtain a chewy, thicker crust.
Another option, Mr. Nikel noted, involves a hot-air
curtain that controls the distribution of moisture. A

78 Baking & Snack June 2020 / www.bakingbusiness.com

During the baking of cookies and crackers,
humidity controls the amount of moisture and
how fast it's released, which ultimately affects the
quality of the final product.
"The control of the first phase of baking is
most critical in many products as this has a
major influence on the shape, development,
flavor and texture of the final product," noted
Kevin Knott, technical sales manager, B├╝hler
Group. "Control of humidity in the latter phases
mainly determines the final moisture of the
product. However, if the product is skinned or
case-hardened by overheating or drying of the
surface in the first phase, then the moisture is
trapped inside and cannot be removed, causing
quality issues."
Ken Zvoncheck, director of process technology,
Reading Bakery Systems, explained that cookies
are baked a relatively long time and at low
temperature compared to other baked snacks.
"A reason for this is many cookies tend to
'brown' easily with higher temperatures so they
must be baked longer with lower temperatures in
order to achieve the final desired result," he said.
Meanwhile, crackers are generally baked at
high temperatures for a relatively short time,
using a bell-curve temperature profile through
the oven.
"This results in the cracker achieving a thin
crust in the beginning of the bake, most of the
moisture reduction in the middle of the baking
cycle and color attainment at the end," he said.
Moisture in the oven is adjusted by the damper
position in the extraction duct. Somesh Veerappa,
thermal engineering manager for Spooner
Vicars, a Middleby Bakery company, noted a
moisture buildup within the zone produces
a layer of steam above the products, which
prevents the surface of the dough pieces from
drying out - a term known as "skinning." That's
why high humidity is preferred at early stages of
the baking process.
Lack of humidity causes drying out of
the surface of the product and inhibits the
development of the dough piece by trapping
moisture inside.
"The resultant barrier prevents the moisture
from escaping through the product surface
during the drying phase of the baking process,
which impacts the product lift and ultimately
affects the stack height of the product," he said.
Moisture entrapment results in fragile cookies
that could break during packaging and shipping.


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Baking & Snack - June 2020

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