New collaboration between Polarbröd, SLU, Umeå University and Prediktera AB focuses on waste and sustainability. With IR technology, it should be possible to analyze bread in previous processes to identify deviations and defects.
Nearinfrared spectroscopy is a type of camera technology that is currently used in the pharmaceutical industry, but is also being tested by a number of food companies. With the help of infrared light, the NIR camera can capture images of the chemical structure of the goods being analyzed and based on these, assessments can then be made regarding quality and possible defects.
Polarbröd aims to be completely circular within ten years, but just like in many other industries, there are challenges at several levels. In order to eventually become circular, the problem of spillage in the production process needs an effective and safe solution.
– The goal is to get a quick, contact-free, efficient and automatic quality measurement in the baking process and then control the process parameters to get a high and even quality of the bread with as little waste as possible, says Ida Bodén, project manager and adjunct university lecturer at the Department of Informatics at Umeå University.
Sample baking and data collection in Polarbröd’s factory
The project, which is a PiiA project with Polarbröd AB and partners Prediktera AB, SLU and Umeå University, started on September 15. By the end of the project in three years, hyperspectral NIR camera technology will have been tested in production and thoroughly analyzed.
– We will test bake and collect data in Polarbröd’s new factory in Älvsbyn in the coming years and really look forward to seeing the end result. The hope is then that the technology and knowledge we build up can also benefit other bread-producing industries, says Ida Bodén.
The project is financed by the parties together with PiiA, Sweden’s national innovation program for process industrial IT and automation, which is a joint venture of Vinnova, Formas and the Energy Agency.