During a presentation, Switzerland's Aston Foods AG introduced a host of domestic and foreign guests to another world's first: Now that its vacuum cooling process has become the standard for medium-sized producers worldwide, the global market leader is also supporting industrial food production with its patented technology. With the fully automatic Continua, large-scale bakeries will benefit from the advantages of continuous vacuum cooling starting in 2013.
After an 18-month design and implementation phase, the curtain was raised on Dec. 12, 2012, to introduce Aston Foods AG's innovative new product. With the introduction of the Continua, the machine manufacturing company in Rotkreuz will in future also support industrial food manufacturers with its patented vacuum cooling system. "Over the past couple of months, we have invested a great deal of energy and know-how, staff and financial resources in the development of our continuous vacuum cooling for large-scale bakeries," says Patrick R. Duss. After the founder and CEO of Aston Foods AG made his technology a resounding success with medium-sized companies around the globe in a very short time, he focused on developing this market - the result of this intensive work is the Continua. The fully automatic system for the continuous process combines all the benefits of tried-and-tested vacuum cooling and enhances this technology with industry-specific features. Using optical identification, the baked goods are directly and automatically conveyed from the tunnel or shelf oven to the correct chamber. Bread baked in loaf pans is depanned and sliced after a short time; hours of cooling are no longer required. The vacuum cooling unit is loaded on one side and unloaded simultaneously from the opposite side—the capacity of the system is fully utilized at all times to ensure maximum profitability.
All the benefits of vacuum cooling
Whether a fully automatic system or a batch system, the benefits of the tried-and-tested vacuum cooling process are obvious. For instance, the cooling process for baked goods can be reduced to about three minutes, which has a positive impact on the entire production process. In addition to reducing the time and staff required, vacuum cooling also requires significantly less energy than traditional methods. At the same time, the Continua takes up only a fraction of the space compared to cooling carousels and lines. Vacuum chambers furthermore eliminate the risk of food contamination. Overall, the baked goods gain volume while shelf life and taste are also improved. The innovative method has already gained acceptance in small and medium-sized bakeries around the world; and soon, customers of large-scale bakeries will also be able to enjoy the technology. "With the Continua, we are offering the well-known benefits of vacuum cooling to an additional customer segment. This is a great step forward in our continuously successful future," explains Patrick R. Duss, reflecting on his positive outlook.