The LEO project will enable small-to-medium sized oven producers and bakeries to exploit two key research results from the completed FP6 EU-FRESHBAKE project, “Freshly Baked Breads with Improvement of Nutritional Quality and Low Energy Demanding for the Benefit Of the Consumer and of the Environment” (Project no. 036302).
The key results to be exploited in the LEO project consist in an Infrared oven technology developed for batch and conveyor oven. A prototype oven was built by ONIRIS and the use of only infrared lamps for heating was successfully demonstrated for baking dough during the EU FRESHBAKE project. Compared to a standard baking oven, the pre-heating step with the prototype oven required between 20-40% less specific energy with a gain in time up to 70%. The invention has been patented by ONIRIS in 2009 (WO 2011/006955-A2).
Only laboratory scale demonstrator of the low energy oven technology was investigated during the EU FRESHBAKE project. However, the LEO project will enable the manufacture of prototypes and their testing in-situ within European bakeries. Also an assessment of their environmental, social and economic life-cycle impact will be conducted, and a market study and comprehensive business plans will be developed in close relation with all the actors of the value chain to optimise the spread of the technology on the market.
This novel low energy IR oven has an excellent potential for commercial exploitation in the baking market. Small to medium-sized companies represent an important share - 40% - of European bake-off bakeries, and most of these bakeries use medium scale ovens similar to the conveyor oven envisaged in LEO . Also batch oven prototypes (deck and rack) will be constructed to target small traditional craft bakers which represent the bulk of the European baking industry.
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