The Red Hill Baker in The Mornington Peninsula in Victoria’s south-east recently installed a Weber vacuum cooling system in their bakery. Since then, the company has seen significant improvements in production efficiency and energy savings. As companies continue to look for ways to optimise their production processes, vacuum cooling systems are becoming increasingly popular for bakeries across Australia.
Traditional cooling methods, such as ambient air or blast chilling, result in inconsistent product quality and significantly longer cooling times. During the cooling process, baked goods are still cooking, and moisture is still evaporating from the product. This moisture can build up on the surface of the baked goods, causing them to become soggy or sticky. Additionally, the uneven cooling process can cause the baked goods to develop inconsistencies in texture, shape, and size. Vacuum cooling, on the other hand, creates a vacuum within a sealed chamber, causing water to evaporate from the product at a lower temperature than normal. This results in a faster and more uniform cooling process, which can help improve the volume, quality, and shelf-life of baked goods.
“This is an absolute game changer for us, it’s very exciting to see something like this in action,” says Ray Johns, owner of The Red Hill Baker.
“It has completely changed the way we run our business!”
With this new vacuum cooling system, Ray has been able to significantly reduce baking and cooling times, which has in turn increased the bakery’s production capacity. This has allowed the bakery to produce more batches of baked goods in a shorter amount of time, which has increased their overall production output. As well as the production benefits, they have also seen significant energy savings since implementing the vacuum cooling system. Because baking time is reduced and the cooling process is faster and more efficient, less energy is required to cool the baked goods. This has resulted in a reduction in the bakery’s energy costs, which has had a significant positive impact on their bottom line.
The vacuum cooling process also has environmental benefits. Because the process is faster and more efficient, less energy is required to cool the baked goods. This can result in significant energy savings, which can have a reduced impact on the environment.
In addition to the production and energy savings benefits, vacuum cooling can also help improve food safety. Because the cooling process is faster and more uniform, there is less risk of bacteria growth on the surface of the baked goods. This can help ensure that the products are safe for consumption and can help prevent foodborne illnesses.
“The implementation of vacuum cooling is a positive advancement for the baking industry. Not only does vacuum cooling improve the quality and shelf-life of baked goods, but it also has significant environmental and energy savings benefits,” says Nick Hanley of Heuch Fresh.
“As more companies begin to explore sustainable and efficient production methods, vacuum cooling is likely to become an increasingly popular option.”
The benefits of vacuum cooling are:
- Increased efficiency
- Reduction in baking time
- Significant reduction in cooling time
- Increased throughput
- Reduced cost
- Improved product quality
Vacuum cooling systems also align with the increasing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly practices in the food industry. Consumers are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of the food industry and are demanding that companies take action to reduce their carbon footprint. By implementing vacuum cooling systems, companies can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and meet consumer expectations.
Implementing vacuum cooling systems requires careful planning, investment, and training, which can be challenging for smaller companies.
The benefits of vacuum cooling systems make it a worthwhile investment for many companies. Not only can it improve the quality and shelf-life of products, but it can also reduce production times, energy costs, and enhance food safety. As the demand for sustainable and efficient production practices increases, vacuum cooling systems are likely to become more widespread in the food industry. Vacuum cooling systems have proven to be a valuable investment for companies in the food industry, particularly in the bakery sector.
Come and see how it works!
Weber will have a model unit on display and running live demos at this year’s trade shows:
Baking Industry Trade Show 2023
When: 30 May–1 June 2023
Wattle Street, Glebe, NSW
Fine Food Australia 2023
When: 11–14 September 2023
International Convention Centre
14 Darling Drive,
Darling Harbour, NSW
For more information, visit the Heuch Fresh website.