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SENBAK

Development of a multi-sensor system for the supervision of durable bakery products

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Funding: CRAFT-Project in the 6th EU Framework Programme
Project Duration: 01.02.2005 - 31.01.2007
Project Manager: Beate Hajek
Homepage: -

During the production of durable baked goods (hard biscuits, crackers, crisp bread, rusk, ice-cream waffles, etc) and after baking, it is necessary to supervise certain product parameters in well-defined periods of time in order to ensure that the products fulfil the required quality and appearance standards (weight, moisture, physical dimensions, colour, etc).

Nowadays, in craft bakeries the product samples are taken manually from the production line by the operators and then inspected. This inspection consists in most cases just of moisture determination and of the measurement of the product´s physical dimensions. These parameters are then used to determine the conformance of the product. The determination of the colour, a very important attribute for the consumer, if determined, is done visually. These methods are therefore subjective and not precise enough. The use of more accurate techniques is usually limited to large companies due to the high costs of more complex and precise devices on the one hand and due to the lack of skilled personnel able to use them on the other hand.

In the last years, large amounts of SME bakeries have disappeared due to the difficult task of surviving in a world where the big players (industrial bakeries) have access to the latest innovations, the best resources and to a more specialist and trained workforce. Therefore, there is an evident need for the development of low cost, user-friendly instruments suitable for use by small and medium size bakeries. The aim of the proposed project is to develop a modular sensor inspection system - SENBAK - for the supervision of the quality parameters of durable baked goods in production lines. The development of this new multi inspection system will be oriented for its use in small and medium size enterprises, in order to provide them with an easy to use and precise tool for product quality control. The SENBAK system will contribute to increase their process effectiveness becoming more competitive within the market of durable baked goods.

The SENBAK system will be a low cost system, rugged, simple, able to withstand the harsh condition in bakeries and to make automatic, fast and accurate quality inspection of durable baked goods.

The aim of this project is to develop a multi sensor system for the automatic supervision of durable baked goods - SENBAK - with the cooperation of 3 European SME end-users, 2 SME sensor producers and 2 RTDs with expertises in the field of cereal and bakery technology and quality control.

The main objectives aimed to obtain through the development and implementation of the SENBAK system in the European durable baked goods market are:

  • Improving the quality control in production lines, productivity and process efficiency of SME
  • Improving SMEs competitiveness
  • Improved customer satisfaction due to better and standardised product quality
  • Improving operators working conditions
  • Reduction of waste (raw materials and products)
  • Reduction of time due to the automation of the system
  • Real-time product inspection allowing a quick process modification when required

SENBAK system will measure product's colour, physical dimensions, weight and moisture using the following technologies:

  • Colour and physical dimensions by imaging systems
  • Moisture by IR-Technology
  • Weight by scale