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Modelling the crustless bread baking process

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Modelling the crustless bread baking process
Better understanding of bread baking through modelling could help the production of crustless bread, reducing food waste in the home.
In Development – The results of this research were published in a research paper in February 2010.

Product Waste Reduction

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A computational fluid dynamic (CFD) model that tracks the temperature and moisture profile during the bread baking process could enable efficient crustless bread production and reduce bread wastage.

There is huge potential for an efficient method of quality crustless bread production within the bread manufacturing industry but the technology behind the process needs to be properly understood and documented.
Commercial varieties of crustless bread currently available in markets such as the US, Spain and Italy are typically created by the baker cutting the crusts off after baking. However, a crustless bread range that had been produced during the baking process was launched under the brand Hovis by UK food group Premier Foods in 2005, targeting mothers who frequently remove the  crusts from their children’s sandwiches.
Genuine crustless bread could lead to significantly lower wastage of loaves as well as better financial returns for the bakers.
During baking, crust develops at the upper surface of the dough as maximum evaporation takes place from that surface. Crustless bread making processes involve the dough surface being sprayed with water intermittently at controlled temperature so that it does not get too hot and no crust forms. As a result of the water spraying, the thermo-physical properties of the crustless variety are different from conventional bread types, along with the heat and mass transfer that takes place during the process.
Any attempt to modify or alter the baking process requires an understanding of the physico-chemical changes involved in the process, and experimental and mathematical modelling approaches are often used for this purpose. In response, this research has developed a 2D CFD model of bread during baking to simulate heat and mass transfer and to ascertain the actual baking time of this type of bread. The model determines the temperature rise over time in the bread as well as the moisture concentration in the bread, which is defined as the mass of water per volume of bread.
The researchers noted that the moisture removal rate is higher during the first seven minutes of baking when surface temperature increases sharply. They said that as time progresses, moisture removal rate becomes lower with a decrease in surface temperature deviation and also due to the incremental moisture replacement on the surface to prevent crust development. At the end of the bread baking process the centre temperature of the bread increases to around 95°C, while that of top and bottom surfaces increases to between 102°C and 112°C. The researchers concluded that their model is able to predict the pattern of temperature and moisture profile during the crustless bread baking process and could be used to optimise baking oven conditions or the efficiency of the process to obtain a better quality product.

Potential Benefits

The authors of this research cite a consumer survey conducted by Sara Lee Group in the US that revealed that 35 per cent of mothers remove the crusts from their children’s sandwiches, which wastes up to 45 per cent of the actual loaf. Thus, crustless bread could lead to significantly lower wastage of loaves.

Intellectual Property

The research has been published in the Journal of Food Engineering:
Two-dimensional CFD modeling and simulation of crustless bread baking process, Arpita Mondal 1, A.K. Datta, Published online ahead of print: doi:10.1016/j.jfoodeng.2010.02.015

Consultant View

A potential solution for this particular source of household food waste, but perhaps not favoured by all parents.

Contacts and Further Information

Corresponding author for the research paper:
A.K. Datta
Agricultural and Food Engineering Department
Indian Institute of Technology
West Bengal 721 302

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