MIWE oven from EPP passes the test at Zeelandia

Zeelandia UK has invested in a MIWE condo deck oven from European Process Plant Ltd (EPP) to bring enhanced consistency, capacity and energy efficiency to its technical centre in Colchester, Essex. The bakery ingredients supplier uses its latest investment for baking breads, pies, cakes and other sweet products, enabling a key part of its work in developing and testing bakery ideas.

Zeelandia supplies bakery ingredients and formulates recipes for customers around the world, with 3,200 employees worldwide. It works collaboratively with customers to provide a diverse range of solutions tailored to local tastes, including bread mixes, bread improvers, fermented product, pastry base mixes, fillings, coatings, release agents, divider oils and more. It sought to replace its existing oven at its testing centre, which was more than 30 years old and had begun to deteriorate in performance.

“We began to see that steam generation was ad hoc, we had hot spots and cold spots, and the baking area was too close to the door, so the product wasn’t baking properly, and results were very inconsistent,” says Andrew Taylor, Product Development Manager at Zeelandia.  After carrying out research to find a quality replacement, the team opted for a MIWE Condo 5-deck 1208 oven. EPP is the exclusive distributor for MIWE in the UK and Ireland. “We use MIWE ovens across the test bakeries in the Royal Zeelandia Group,” adds Andrew. “As we are a growing company in the UK and worldwide, we needed extra capacity. We did look at UK-produced ovens, and others from across Europe, but we knew MIWE ovens are very well built and last the test of time.

“We were looking for an oven that would last many years, be cost effective in use, provide reliable steam generation, and deliver a consistent bake wherever the product is placed. We wanted no cold spots, and glass doors to enable us to see the product baking. With Zeelandia now one of the largest manufactures of mincemeat in the UK we were also looking for an oven that could also bake sweet pies and cakes as well as bread. The new oven has three high crown decks and two low crown decks especially for sweet products.”

The installation was not without its challenges, as the oven was installed as a whole unit, with its size causing logistical problems. A door frame and section of the wall above the door had to be taken out in order to remove the old oven and replace it. Once this was achieved, EPP’s engineers were able to connect the oven and set up for use in under a day. The MIWE condo provided by EPP features a powerful steam device with steam-proof casing for intensive steam and an excellent crust. It has separate insulation for each oven deck delivering energy savings, and a new door seal delivers superior steam use and better climate in the bakehouse.

“Energy costs are always a factor, but especially so at this time,” comments Andrew. “The MIWE Condo has an eco mode which reduces the amount of energy needed in between bakes, cutting back on the amount of electricity needed. This was very important to us when choosing the oven. This new oven will help us with this growth and enable the amount of test baking to increase along with customer visits to our state-of-the-art test facility at the Colchester site. It will allow us to explore bakery alongside our customers, with the best and most consistent results possible.”

The oven has been put to immediate use, with pleasing results. “EPP were one of the easiest companies to deal with, with regular updates on the build and shipment. The oven is performing better than expected with amazing heat transfer and consistent end baked results. Zeelandia plan to work with EPP on future growth plans and projects in the test bakery and beyond.”

Among its range, Zeelandia has specially developed its Exakt Zest concentrate to tolerate higher levels of fruit compared to other bun concentrates, making it well suited to baking festive products such as fruit-rich stollen and panettone. The bakery ingredients supplier also has a site at Flemings near Wigan, where it produces a range of quality jams, curds and marmalades designed to meet all bakery requirements.