Quality assurance plays a key role in the food industry. Current control of safety and quality characteristics in the bakery industry is carried out mainly by random sampling of the initial, intermediate and/or final products. However, this methodology does not allow immediate adjustments to the production process in case any negative quality features are detected and consequently large batches of non-conforming products often need to be disposed and a lot of resources (energy, water, ingredients) are wasted.
Therefore this project aims to develop an innovative and affordable quality and performance control system for baking processes based on nanospectrometry and ultrasound, allowing for continuous quality measurement and process adjustment. The complete Bread-Guard system consists of two sensors and a corresponding soft-/hardware package which in combination can measure the key parameters of the baking process and adjust it to the optimal set-up. The first sensor is based on nano-spectrometry (Fabry-Pérot principle) and will be used to measure parameters in the ambient air of the oven (e.g. humidity, temperature) as well as product surface characteristics (e.g. degree of browning). The second sensor based on ultrasound will measure structural and mechanical properties within the products (e.g. density, porosity, mechanical strength). The sensor-data will be used to adjust the baking process (temperature, humidity) in real-time through a feedback loop.
An applied research approach involving Europe’s leading research institutes in the field of baking, sensor development and process control, equipment producers for sensor, oven, and software development as well as several SME bakeries will not only ensure the compatibility of the new system with current technologies, but also raise the acceptance of the baking sector. Nevertheless, it is foreseen, that the to-be-developed technology in future can be adapted to other sectors in the food industry.
Field of science
- /natural sciences/computer and information sciences/software/software development
- /natural sciences/physical sciences/acoustics/ultrasound
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCP-TP - Collaborative Project targeted to a special group (such as SMEs)