Successful results of the LEO project

25.02.2016

The two-year project LEO, coordinated by Intelligentsia, aimed at developing an innovative infrared (IR) baking technology. The project ended in December 2015 and it is with great success that we are thrilled to present the latest results obtained. During the course of the project, several prototypes have been designed and manufactured: one batch deck oven, one batch convection oven and one conveyor oven. Each prototype yielded different results but overall, the IR baking technology has contributed a real added-value compared to existing baking technologies at a similar cost.

All prototypes demonstrated energy savings compared to the reference ovens as well as a reduction of baking time between 10 and 20%. The pre-heating time has been reduced up to 89% and the energy savings made are substantial. The LEO technology, therefore, has two main benefits for the bakers, which are the reduction of energy cost and a possible increase of production volume.

A professional sensory analysis of bread baked with the LEO technology has been conducted and the results surpassed our expectations. The products baked with the three prototypes have been unanimously accepted by a large panel of consumers, which is encouraging to bakeries in embracing and adopting this technology. Moreover, the study highlighted that consumers preferred the bread baked with the IR technology rather than the one baked with the reference oven. In addition, the tests performed with the conveyor oven showed an increased shelf-life of products which appear fresher than the reference bread after 24 hours.

Further tests are required to optimise the settings of the oven but we are expecting to commercialise the first infrared ovens within the next 18 months. More information  is available on the project website and/or the project video.

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