Product-Highlight iba 2023

Continuous proofers. A wide range of products, even at high outputs.

In this article, we want to focus on introducing Kornfeil's continuous proofers, which we have devoted our best efforts to develop in order to facilitate the expansion and change of the bakery product range for medium and industrial-sized bakeries.

The common denominator of industrial bakeries has always been a narrow product range with high baking outputs, which allow economies of scale but at the same time significantly reduce the attractiveness of the bakery portfolio. It is the alpha and omega of successful product placement in multinational chains, as well as a measure of sales to end customers. With the use of Kornfeil continuous proofers, this success can also be achieved in industrial bakeries.

All Kornfeil continuous proofers are manufactured by the Kornfeil Industry subsidiary. The individual models are thus primarily developed and built to match Kornfeil deck oven assemblies or Kornfeil thermo-oil conveyor ovens. Our proofers are always custom designed to the specific specification of the required output and the breadth of the product range. We offer control of all components of the line, both the ovens and the baking plant, by one control software MultiControl, which can be gradually equipped with additional devices according to the growth and development of the bakery product portfolio.

Several types of proofers have been developed and built based on client requirements. This technology is developed with an emphasis on the variability of proofing time and temperature. In recent years, for qualitative reasons, there has been a shift away from high temperatures and short rising times to lower temperatures of around 26–28 °C and variable rising times of between 90–120 minutes. This means a completely different technical solution in terms ofthe movement of the hinges or plates and the possibility of humidifying and circulating the internal air. In general, most continuous proofers are heated from the waste heat of the proofer by the Ekoblok. However, ensuring sufficient humidification of the proofer space at lower temperatures offers more options, namely humidification with a fine mist produced by an ultrasonic aggregate. The adiabatic process thus cools the proofer and represents the most cost-effective method of humidification. A similar effect can be achieved by humidification in the form of spraying pressurized water with air, which is also widely used. The most energy-intensive method is low-pressure steam from the central boiler room, which consumes 700W/1 kg of steam and is mainly used at proofing temperatures above 30 °C.

And now to the individual models of automatic continuous proofers. These meet the requirements for the production of classic bread in oval or round shape, loose-leavened products or ciabatta-type products that require rolling, breadsticks and similar products that rise on a baking sheet, and standard proofers for the production of Czech rolls and buns.

Continuous bread proofers

Bread proofers are among the most frequently installed proofers in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, together with lines based on deck ovens, which is due to the primary orientation of Czechoslovak bakeries towards classic consumer bread. Proofers are just as frequently installed together with conveyor ovens. The most comfortable model is hanging bread proofers with baskets, which have been developed for the assemblies of deck ovens with very variable use and are available with one or two types of baskets, oval or round.

The classic continuous bread proofer DUO is equipped with two types of rattan baskets, round for bread weights of 300–800g or oval for bread weights of 300g–1200g. The breads are transferred to the line through two loading devices for both oval and round breads.

The dough tipping is fully program-controlled, so that the dough wedges fall perpendicularly and without deformation onto the feed table. We can also adjust the angle ofthe hinge and the speed of rotation, which fully simulates the manual work of a skilled baker. A properly configured proofer allows us to produce a wide range of breads from pure wheat to breads that have 80% rye. The feed table, on which the wedges are tipped, has a pneumatic lifting system that ensures tipping from the lowest possible height. The proofer can thus be used for proofing very loose doughs.

Like our entire product range, the continuous proofer is controlled by MultiControl software. This connects the individual elements of the line, in layman's terms, everything speaks the same language. The proofer operates fully automatically according to the desired settings and is controlled by a main control panel where the operator can easily check which hinges are filled with dough, thanks to the identification of integrated chips in each of thehanging baskets.

The assortment can be easily rotated, but with good planning of dough preparation and a minimum assortment quantity of 100–500 pieces. For optimum temperature and humidity distribution, air is circulated in the proofer by means of an air handling unit including cooling. Customers appreciate this, especially during the summer months, when the rising temperature of conventional bread ovens ranges from 30 to 35 °C in 45–55 minutes.

Slab and plate proofers

The assortment can be easily rotated, but with good planning of dough preparation and a minimum assortment quantity of 100–500 pieces.

Even rustic products can be easily produced with the help of molding lines, and the wedges are then automatically loaded on the plates and proofed at cooler temperatures, thus ensuring the suppleness and high quality of the product. We supply proofers mainly to Poland, Romania, Hungary, generally for the free-fermenting wheat markets. However, we see a huge potential for offering free-fermented products in our country as well. A wide range of wheat bakery products does not mean complicated production.

For the above products, fixed slab and plate with ciabatta dough rolling can be used.

Continuous proofer with plates

The above-mentioned proofers offer two alternatives: with a fixed proofing time, where the plates with the bakery product move horizontally or vertically on a chain track. This is a relatively simpler type of proofer, similar to a hanging proofer.

The second variant, with a variable rising time of, e.g., 60–120 minutes, is technically more complex and more costly. The proofing plates move only vertically in separate towers, and by omitting the designated towers the proofing time is varied according to technological requirements. The same principle is used by proofers on baking sheets, but instead of plates, the towers are fitted with sheets. This is how the typical French baguettes or salted beer breadsticks are produced.

Continuous proofers formolded bread

The growing popularity of molded breads encouraged the development of a continuous proofer for just such bread, which is a very interesting export item in foreign industrial bakeries. These are hanger-type proofers with the possibility of variable rising times, where whole cassettes of molds are moved at the proofer in let to individual hinges. After proofing, they are ejected at the outlet for further sprinkling or slicing, and then primarily conveyor ovens are used for baking. The automatic line for the production of wheat, rye, or whole meal mold bread is always equipped with fully automatic technology for the collection of finished bread, returning, cleaning and cooling of molds and other additional equipment according to the final product.

All continuous proofers can bee quipped with accessories for sprinkling, slicing and moistening, thus significantly expanding the possibility of assortment production using one type of dough.

For cutting products for high-performance lines, we cooperate with foreign partner companies that offer robotic cutting with rotating discs orthe so-called plotter system from the Spanish company Auxpama.

Our experience with the production and installation of continuous proofers to date has convinced us of the significant benefits of continuous proofers in medium and industrial bakeries with a minimum daily production capacity of 5,000 pieces of bread. They consistently confirm significant savings on wage costs due to the saving of 3–4 production workers depending on the production volume, easier expansion of the product portfolio with an average economic return of 4–5 years without the use of European subsidies.