A bakery’s ability to clean pans thoroughly has taken on greater importance as quality assurance and cross-contamination issues continue to play a larger role in the baking industry. High-volume bakeries simply cannot afford to have dirty pans with debris continue to cycle through a production line.
One equipment manufacturer has discovered a solution to various pan cleaning system deficiencies with a new pan cleaner that accommodates different sizes and pan orientations. The pan cleaning system accepts pans after products have been depanned. The system uses a series of brushes, air knifes and a vacuum to remove debris from pans and prepare them for the return trip to the makeup department, unstacking or storage. The manufacturer says cleaning pans prior to storage is a better alternative than cleaning debris from pans later, as it keeps the bottoms of the pans cleaner.
By automatically cleaning pans every production cycle, the pan cleaning system minimizes the buildup of debris on pans. Cleaning and removing debris each cycle also eases the cleaning process and eliminates debris buildup that may occur after a few runs. This pan cleaning system also diminishes cross contamination of allergens by using a vacuum to remove debris, such as sesame seeds, after each cycle.
Debris is sucked into a waste receptacle as the cleaning process occurs, leaving the floor under the system free of debris piles. The pan cleaner is powerful enough to suck whole loaves of bread and buns into the waste container when the depanner skips them. However, the system’s manufacturer does not guarantee or recommend this function as a standard operating procedure, but in a fully automated process, this function is advantageous if undepanned product is removed automatically.
Besides the efficient removal of debris, the pan cleaning system also keeps the bottoms of pans clean, which eliminates baking of pan debris. Without proper cleaning of the bottoms of pans, debris may turn black and fall on the plant floor, or worse, on the tops of products as pans are conveyed overhead.
By thoroughly cleaning debris, the system also ensures that subsequent production runs will have less extraneous debris finding its way back into fresh dough. The system also minimizes the number of production employees needed to check pans as they cycle back to the makeup area of the plant.
The equipment manufacturer has developed five standard pan cleaning systems and also offers custom solutions. High-volume bakeries that produce hearty loaves or products with toppings especially have benefited from this system.
"The security of knowing that a cross-contamination liability has been diminished greatly is a good feeling," the system’s manufacturer says. "It’s also great knowing that you’re not leaving burnt debris in your pans that can build up over time and leave blemishes or black specs impregnated in the side or bottom of products."
Problem Solver Quick Tip
By automatically cleaning pans every production cycle, the pan cleaning system minimizes the buildup of debris on pans. Cleaning and removing debris each cycle also eases the cleaning process and eliminates debris buildup that may occur after a few runs.