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Food Quality and Safety in Europe



The baker's profession is one of the oldest in the world. Up to now, European customers looking for healthy bread have turned to freshly baked bread from the baker's. Industrial refrigerated bread, on the other hand, although considered more or less tasty, has little or no nutritional value. However, new ways are currently being explored to merge craftsmanship with high-tech, industrial tools to create fresh, healthy bread.
Bake Off Technology (BOT) involves producing bread from industrial refrigerated bakery goods and retailing them in downtown vending shops (hot points) or sometimes in bakeries, or in supermarkets for domestic baking. So far, BOT has concentrated its efforts on production of plain white bread of low nutritional value. However, if specific enzymes, and fermentation processes are used, the nutritional qualities of bread can be improved through refrigeration. The EU-FRESH BAKE project supports the ongoing development of BOT and is improving its adaptation to consumer needs.


A variety of technologies are adopted by BOT. The three main breads produced and named according to these technologies are as follows: Unfermented Frozen Dough breads (UFD); Partially Baked Frozen breads (PBF); and Partially Baked Unfrozen breads (PBUF). Partially baked (PBF and PBUF) products are the leading products, probably because they can be prepared in less than an hour.
On the other hand, their production is energyconsuming and quality may sometimes suffer. Crust quality is especially compromised (flaking, unappetising colour, etc.). Unfermented frozen dough technology (UFD) gives the best quality, but at least three hours plus trained personnel are needed to deliver a product. Research is thus needed to improve the energy efficiency of partially baked bread.

EU-FRESH BAKE is developing innovative process pathways to reduce energy consumption and at the same time improve the nutritional quality of breads. To achieve this double objective, specific indexes are being established: the Energy Efficiency Index (EEI) determines the energy consumption of a given process; the Nutrition Quality Index (NQI) permits the evaluation of changes in specific nutritional parameters; and the Quality Index (QI) allows the assessment of overall organoleptic quality. The latter is a subjective appreciation of the flavour, texture and appearance of the product.


EU-FRESH BAKE is about a better understanding of both the product-process interaction and process management on an industrial scale. It takes into account health benefits, environmental and economical aspects, as well as consumer acceptance.

Taking the case of partially baked frozen bread as a reference value, processes and formulations are developed in order to reduce energy consumption by up to 50%, while at the same time preserving the organoleptic properties and keeping the QI constant or improving it. Moreover, specific parameters like the Glycaemic Index are expected to be enhanced.

Fermentation is clearly the central step in the bread making process. It strongly affects the structure of the bread (crumb cells, texture, crust thickness, etc) and it also contributes to modifying the nutritional quality of a product.

Mathematical models are being developed to understand the limiting factors to bread expansion during fermentation and baking. Special attention is given to crumb contraction during chilling, which may explain some problems such as crust flaking. The impact of process parameters on crumb and crust is also investigated.


EU-FRESHBAKE evaluates health benefits through specific procedures and protocols. The information gathered is used to design a specific label to be displayed on the shelves of bakeries and sales outlets. This label informs the consumer that the bread has been produced with minimal energy consumption and that it offers improved health benefits.

Bread may be one of the oldest traditional foods, but projects like EU-FRESH BAKE will ensure that it still has a tasty future ahead of it.

List of Partners

  • Ecole Nationale d'Ingénieurs des Industries Agricoles et Alimentaires (France)
  • Krakow University (Poland)
  • Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Spain)
  • Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology Zagreb (Croatia)
  • Technologie-Transfer- Zentrum Bremerhaven (Germany)
  • Russian Academy of Science (Russia)
  • MIWE (Germany)
  • Puracor NV (Belgium)
  • Biofournil (France)
  • Bezgluten (Poland)
  • Dr. Schär (Italy)
Full title:
Freshly baked breads with improvement of nutritional quality and low energy-demanding for the benefit of the consumer and the environment
Contract n°:
Project co-ordinator:
Alain Le Bail, Ecole Nationale d'Ingenieurs des Techniques des Industries Agricoles et Alimentaires,
EC Scientific Officer:
Jürgen Lucas,
EU contribution:
€ 2M
Specific Targeted Research Project

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Last update: 06 December 2007 | Top