Baking & Snack - May 2021 - 96

featured technical expert Q&A
Kevin Knott
Bühler Group
Kevin Knott began his working life as an apprentice mechanic
in a glass bottle-making plant while studying part time at
Sheffield University in the United Kingdom, where he earned
his bachelor's degree in engineering.
" Studying at a major university in the Steel Capital of the
UK, many aspects of the study work was in thermodynamics
and fluid mechanics, " said Mr. Knott of his studies that would
eventually take him down the path of ovens. This lead him to a
final year thesis on the finite element analysis of glass furnace
regenerator design.
With a background in thermal engineering, Mr. Knott
joined a baking ovens manufacturing company in 1984 as a
technical design engineer. This new role involved the thermal
and airflow design of baking
equipment, including proofers,
ovens and coolers. In 1991
he moved to the United States,
where he continued working for
several oven manufacturers based in
both Europe and the US.
Mr. Knott joined Bühler through the acquisition
of the Franz Haas Co. in 2018. He has been involved
in many different baking processes around the globe, including
design, installation, commissioning and troubleshooting.
Mr. Knott is currently a technical sales manager working with
North American bakery customers.
When installing a new mixer, what are the most
common mistakes? How do you help bakers avoid
those mistakes?
Undersizing or oversizing the mixer can be an issue. It is very important
to clarify the products to be made. If a mixer is undersized,
then you will either have to slow down the production capacity or
shorten the mix times, more batches/shift to keep up, which leads
to underdevelopment of the dough. If the mixer is oversized, then
the dough could be unevenly mixed. In addition, the total cycle
time, not just the mixing time, needs to be considered.
How can bakers decide whether batch or continuous
mixing is right for their operation?
Several critical factors need to be considered, including the number
of minor and micro ingredients because the cost of feeders can
be high. Bakers also must look at the number of SKUs to be run on
the line and how far they differ from the largest volume SKU, and
the number of changeovers. A good rule of thumb is a minimum
run time of eight hours before changing over.
What are some troubleshooting steps when the finished
product isn't baking correctly?
Always start with the beginning of the process. Check if anything
changed with the ingredients being used - different suppliers, different
seasons, different storage conditions. Next is possible changes
in mixing - human or mechanical - then forming and baking.
Make sure the process is always under control.
How can bakers optimize their ovens' bake profile
to prevent checking in their cracker products?
Don't over-dry the product in the beginning of the process. Allow
96 Baking & Snack May 2021 / www.bakingbusiness.com
What are some best practices to achieve the perfect
color on cookie and cracker products?
Color of the product takes place when the sugars on the surface
carbonize - sugar carbonizes at 273o
F. The more time above
273oF, the darker the product. Higher flows result in higher heat
transfer at the surface of the product and the color starts sooner.
Utilizing convection baking particularly in the last phase of the
baking process is very important. Especially as we build wider and
wider ovens, the control over temperature and airflow across the
width become critical for color.
What are the most common reasons a baker isn't
getting the right bake from an oven?
Some typical reasons include variations in dough/batter, variations
in the forming process, inconsistencies in temperature control and
humidity control. Poor management of the baking curve makes for
borderline production, typically trying to bake too fast too soon
in the first phase, and running more product than the oven is designed
for.
the product to develop correctly. Use of hybrid baking technology
helps a lot. Also important is control of the baking chamber environment.
Temperature and humidity are critical.
How should bakers adjust their ovens to accommodate
a new type of cookie texture, such as going
from crunchy cookies to soft or vice versa?
Control of temperature and humidity are important for this, as
well as changes in air flow in convection ovens. Changeover times
are much faster in convection systems. Texture can be affected by
starch swell, yeast activity and amylase activity.
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Baking & Snack - May 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - May 2021

Baking & Snack - May 2021 - Intro
Baking & Snack - May 2021 - 1
Baking & Snack - May 2021 - 2
Baking & Snack - May 2021 - 3
Baking & Snack - May 2021 - 4
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