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The fermentation process is a real test of how well a company handles liquids. As the market leader in this area, we offer extensive knowledge of the properties of viscous and compressible media.

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Biotechnology for better quality

The fermentation process is a real test of how well a company handles liquids. As the market leader in this area, we have deep knowledge of the properties of viscous and compressible media. In producing pre-ferments and sourdoughs, our customers can be sure that they will always receive a hygienically perfect product at a consistently high quality – thanks to our plant technology.

Our comprehensive portfolio for the operator-friendly production of pre-ferments and sourdoughs:

  • Plant control
  • Storage hoppers for the precise dosing of raw materials in accordance with the recipe
  • Water mixing unit for mains and warm water
  • Agitator containers for dissolved or liquid yeast
  • ShearDos and DymoMix shear flow mixers, offering short mixing times for lump-free dough production
  • Fermenter / fermentation pipe
  • Heat exchangers for cooling
  • Storage tanks
  • Automated pipeline and tank cleaning
  • Pre-ferment production

The quality of wheaten baked goods is determined by the raw materials used and, to a significant extent, by the use of pre-ferments. The inclusion of pre-ferments is essential to meet the burgeoning quality requirements of consumers. Added pre-ferments produce a natural baking agent, which ensures that the baked goods produced are crisper, have a deeper flavor and aroma, and that they remain fresh and last longer.

In continuous pre-ferment production, water, wheat flour and yeast suspension are gravimetrically dosed into the ShearDos continuous shear flow mixer and immediately combined together. The dough is then moved to the fermentation tank; it is later pumped into a storage tank once fermentation is complete, at which point the dough is cooled to stop the fermentation process. At this point the pre-ferment for the production lines can be dosed from the storage tank. Alternatively, the wheaten pre-ferment production process can also be completed on a batch basis.

Key advantages of using pre-ferment:

  • Pre-hydration of flour content
  • Increased dough elasticity
  • Improved machine operation
  • Natural fermentation
  • Longer-lasting freshness
  • Mild, balanced flavor
  • Tender, elastic crumb
  • Higher volume yield
  • Reduced resting time for dough
  • Sourdough production

Sourdough is no longer solely associated with rye flour. This type of dough is now also produced using other grain types such as wheat and spelt, so a range of baked goods can benefit from the positive effects of sourdough. Much as it always has been, today sourdough is transported to dough pans in single or multiple stages and manually dosed, which necessitates a laborious production process and is personnel-intensive. This, combined with stringent quality and hygiene requirements, has led to the development of automatic batch operation and continuous sourdough production, with ample benefits inherent in both processes. Choosing the right process depends on your requirements.

Continuous rye sourdough production

This process works in largely the same way as the continuous pre-ferment production process outlined above, though instead of a measured dose of yeast suspension, a sourdough starter is added to the ShearDos shear flow mixer together with water and flour. The sourdough starter is produced in a fermenter reserved specially for this purpose. The sourdough is then cooled in a plate heat exchanger, to 5°C–15°C as needed, and held in a storage tank, available for production. The fermentation time required is 10–12 hours. What is special about this process is that the equipment (ShearDos, fermentation tanks and storage tank) can be installed to include a WIP (wash-in-place) function, which fulfills the stringent hygiene requirements of the food industry.

Sourdough production in batch operation

Sourdough production extends to include a single- or multi-stage proofing process involving a flour mixture as well as sourdough. These processes were developed for harnessing intentional yeast growth or the development of a specific sour flavor. The flour is pneumatically conveyed into a storage hopper, then dosed into the fermenter by means of an adjustable conveying screw. The mixing water is added in appropriate quantities at the same time as the flour, with the desired mixing ratio maintained via constant adjustment of the dosing quantities. The starter culture or starter is added as a third raw material. The raw materials are then homogeneously blended in the fermenter and the flour is hydrated. Various proofing stages with different dough yields and temperatures can be selected at this point.

After a fermentation time of approximately 10–18 hours, the finished sourdough can be cooled to the desired storage temperature of around 15°C, in the double-walled fermenter. This allows the sourdough to be available for several hours without any deterioration in quality expected; as such, the double-walled, insulated stainless steel tanks function as both fermenters and storage tanks. An intelligent electrical control unit guides the user and regulates the necessary fermentation duration and process.

Key advantages of using sourdough:

  • Rye doughs become suitable for baking
  • Loosening and souring of the dough
  • Elastic crumb
  • Better to slice
  • Better aroma
  • Well-balanced flavor
  • Fresher for longer
  • Extended shelf life
  • Reduced acidification agents and yeast needed