Cakes — Getting the Right Balance
In the UK in 1997 between 300 and 400 new cake products were developed and launched in the marketplace. Competition is keen and marketing and product development teams search for products which will become the brand leaders of tomorrow.
To produce such cake products the development team must ensure the correct ‘technology packet’ for the new product. This requires an understanding of the interactions between ingredients, processing, shelf life and product character. The rules which govern the development of any cake product are both complex and interactive. The development cycle involves balancing the recipe, test baking and tasting each product for the desired character. The cycle can take anything from a few weeks to several months.
A knowledge based system which encompasses the rules of cakemaking coupled with images which show trends in the product character has been developed at Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association. This PC tool enables cake product developers to design the technology packet for new products thoroughly and in much shorter timescales. This system, called BALANCE, is the final module in the CCFRA ‘Cake Expert System’. The other modules, ERH CALCTM and FAULT DoC, are now in use worldwide and together with BALANCE will provide the bakery industry with the much needed ‘knowledge’ technology for fast, thorough and safe cake product development. This paper describes the BALANCE module.
KeywordsBalance Module Ingredient Category Product Development Team Flour Weight Bakery Industry
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