Measuring Key Parameters During the Baking Process: Temperature, Air Velocity, Heat Flux, and Humidity

Global bakeries trust the SCORPION® 2 Profiling System from Reading Thermal for measuring the key parameters during the baking process – temperature, air velocity, heat flux, and humidity.

Reading Thermal, headquartered in Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania, has focused on researching the commercial baking process for more than 25 years. We manufacture and support the state-of-the-art SCORPION® 2 Profiling System and Data Logger that has become a standard in the baking industry.

Sensor Measurements

Connecting smart sensors and sensor arrays to the SCORPION® 2 Data Logger and passing them through the oven with your products, allows the measurement system to capture the four primary baking parameters:

1) Temperature: Oven temperature affects oven-spring, drying/dehydration, and color formation during baking. Inadequate or excessive heat can also lead to unwelcome changes in texture and taste. The Scorpion® 2 Temperature Sensor Array measures the temperature at product level, in fixed positions across the conveyor, and delivers a precise picture of temperatures from side-to-side and end-to-end.

2) Air velocity: In a convection oven, the airflow comes primarily from the air distribution plenums.  In a radiant oven, it comes from the moving conveyor, the exhaust system, and natural combustion air currents.  Measuring oven air velocity with the SCORPION® 2 Air Velocity Sensor is crucial because airflow will influence the texture, firmness, coloration, and baking time of the final product. The profiles will help you spot airflow differences between baking zones and undesirable air currents at the entrance or exit of the oven that can cause inconsistent baking.

3) Heat flux (energy transfer):  Some product characteristics are defined by the amount and type of heat applied during the baking process. The differences explain why one oven bakes differently than another. And analyzing and controlling these differences is critical to understanding how the finished characteristics of a product will be affected.  The SCORPION® 2 Heat Flux Sensor measures radiant and heat fluxes at product level and displays the results in Btu/hr·ft2 or convective W/m2.

4) Humidity: Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. As your products bake, they use the available moisture in your oven. Without humidity, the quality and texture of your products will not turn out as expected. High oven humidity can lighten the crust color of baked goods and prevent it from burning. Lower humidity typically results in crustier bread.  The SCORPION® 2 Digital Humidity Sensor accurately measures the absolute moisture content of the thermal environment in heating and cooling processes.

By utilizing thermal profiling technology from Reading Thermal for measuring key parameters during you baking process, you will gain information about temperature, air velocity, heat flux, and humidity that you can use to make reliable data-based decisions about your processes and products. Contact us online, or call (610) 678-5890 Ext. 2 to explore our line of innovative products.