New system sets standard for bread quality control

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Quality control Bread

A new version of an image analysis system for baked products has
been launched, designed to make quality control and ingredient
testing an easier and faster process for the bakery industry.

The updated version of the C-Cell image analysis software was launched last month by the UK's Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association (CCFRA) and Calibre Control International, and can be used to assess bakery products such as bread, bagels, cake and doughnuts. Its developers claim that C-Cell, which recently won an award for innovation in quality control at Europain 2005, it is the only standardized system of its type available on the market. A digital camera is used to take images of product slices, which are then analysed by some of the system's 48 different parameters in order to provide quantitative information on the product's technical aspects, including cell structure, slice dimensions and colour. "Previously, in order to test quality control in bakeries, experts would look at a slice of bread and give it a score. But that is a subjective measurement, it is not regulated by any standard, and is not a quantitative analysis," said Martin Whitworth of CCFRA. "C-Cell measures the cell structure, size and orientation, as well as the thickness of the walls between the cells. Through this analysis the success of certain processes such as dough moulding can be measured, as well as the effectiveness of certain ingredients, such as bread improvers," he told The system also measures all aspects of the dimensions of a bread slice, including how concave the sides are, as well as the product's diameter in order to determine whether it would fit into a certain sized bag. C-Cell is already used throughout Europe, the US and Australia and acts as the first measurement standard that can be understood throughout the industry, claimed Whitworth. "If figures are quoted by researchers testing a new ingredient, then bakers know what they refer to and what they mean," he said. The updates to the system were created based on feedback from users, and have been designed to make the system easier, faster and more convenient to use, according to Whitworth. The new version of C-Cell comes in three different editions: standard, special and advanced. The standard edition can be used in bakeries for product quality control, the special edition offers greater detail in technical analysis and is suitable for ingredients manufacturers, whereas the advanced edition would be used by food scientists in research institutions. The method has also been adopted in the UK as part of the standard assessment procedure for new wheat varieties in order to test their performance in bread-making applications. External links to companies or organisations mentioned in thisstory: CCFRA Calibre Control International

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