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Published: 4 March 2014  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
EnergyRational energy use
Industrial researchIndustrial processes & robotics
Success storiesInnovation
Video reports
Countries involved in the project described in the article
Czech Republic  |  Denmark  |  Germany  |  Switzerland
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Cool baking technology

Jorg Schulz is a baker in Germany who has found a new, cool and money-saving way of baking his bread. "The NanoBak Technology, which we developed, is a new system of humidification, in which very small droplets are created via ultrasound, which then deliver humidity mainly to fermentation and proving chambers in bakeries," he explained.

Photo of two people examining some dough
Video in QuickTime format:  ar  de  en  es  fa  fr  it  pt  ru  tr  uk  (10.4 MB)

There is a new ingredient in the age-old recipe for breadmaking at Emden in Germany.

The NanoBak system allows the Sikken family bakery to cut energy costs on the production line by changing the way dough is proved.

“NanoBak-Humidification means that water is made to oscillate by small piezo elements, which are activated by electric impulses,” Jörg went on. “That makes the water column vibrate and tiny droplets form at the surface. They are so light, that they are sort of suspended, then they are carried on a current of air into the proving chamber.”

NanoBak uses a mechanical process to create the light fog of moisture around the bread proving chamber.

That is a big advantage over conventional humidifiers that need a lot of energy to heat water until it evaporates.

Food processing consultant Dirk Sikken told euronews: “We realised that before our production was a bit hit and miss. It worked, but with different weather influences we couldn’t keep the process stable. The quality wasn’t the same all the time, so it was clear for us that we wanted to invest in a ‘cold’ technology.”

“Normally it’s not that difficult to integrate a technology in the baking process, but it’s more difficult to tell the worker, who has done the same job for years, to work with this new technology and play with this system in order to get the best out of it.”

Project details

  • Project acronym:NANOBAK
  • Participants:Germany (Coordinator), Denmark, Switzerland, Czech republic
  • FP7 Project N° 218993
  • Total costs: €2 242 249
  • EU contribution: €1 430 404
  • Duration: March 2009 - February 2012

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The video on this page was prepared in collaboration with Euronews for the Futuris programme, also available as a podcast.

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Countries
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  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Botswana
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czech Republic
  Denmark
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  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Finland
  France
  Gambia
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  Germany
  Ghana
  Greece