Sprouted grains are on many bakers’ lips because of the added health benefits, digestibility and extra protein and nutrients they provide. Everfresh Natural Foods is securing its position in the marketplace with its range of loaves and cakes.
Unlike traditional baked goods, which use dairy, sugar and often preservatives, the Everfresh sprouted grains product range will not contain these. This meant that the privately-owned Gloucestershire bakery, which has been operating for over 25 years, had to find a different way to preserve its products. With minimal processing at the heart of its company ethos, this provided a challenge which was tackled effectively by the expert team at Holmach Ltd.
With the support of sponsorship from Innovate, the brief from Everfresh was for Holmach Ltd to work with the team to improve food safety and the quality of its sprouted grain products, through the use of more efficient processes.
With over 40 years’ retorting expertise, Holmach Ltd was confident that the latest steam/air technology from Lagarde Autoclaves would produce a safe, ambient product. Featuring an extended shelf-life, whilst retaining flavour and valuable moisture, without spoilage.
Following a successful trial at Lagarde’s head office in Montelimar, France, Everfresh purchased a four-basket, 1400m static retort to integrate within their production line.
Everfresh also utilised Holmach Ltd’s extensive thermal processing knowledge to explore new ways of packaging the baked goods to further reduce the processing time, whilst not detracting from the product’s appearance and ease of distribution.
The improved performance from the new retorts have resulted in four new lines already being introduced; banana and walnut, date and orange and vegan chocolate cake, along with some wheat-free loaves.
Tom Russell, Managing Director of Everfresh Natural Foods, is delighted with the results he has achieved by upgrading his technology: “I am thrilled with the Lagarde retort. It really is the Rolls Royce of autoclaves! The process has been greatly simplified thanks to the superb Samantha PC controlled, Recipe Management System. Holmach provided excellent training and support and continue to provide thermal processing expertise. The telephone support, when needed, has also been excellent. My team picked up the process easily because it is so simple to operate.
“The temperature probes mean that we are able to significantly refine the process, further improving quality, as well as saving energy, time and production costs.”