KANSAS CITY, MO — The quick-serve restaurant (QSR) channel is one element of foodservice that has fared well — relatively speaking — in recent months, no doubt because these locations are designed with easy carryout options and dining rooms conducive to social distancing. The channel is also seeing an increased demand for decadent baked goods such as brioche buns known for their rich formulas and glazed exterior.

The shiny glaze that makes the product so appealing for consumers is not without its production implications. At the American Society of Baking’s BakingTECH conference, held Feb. 16-18, a panel of experts including bakers, ingredient suppliers and equipment manufacturers discussed what those implications mean for bakery production and the opportunities for growth they bring.

“QSRs have really spearheaded the glazed brioche trend in recent years, and we’re seeing it in nearly every fast-food outlet now,” said Chris Gizzi, senior application specialist, Puratos. “And now, we’re seeing increasingly more private label brands embracing this approach to European-style buns for restaurant and grocery distribution.”


As consumers not only expect the level of quality that comes with brioche but also go out of their way to seek it out, research shows that buns only account for 10% of the industry’s glazing potential. “There’s a whole gamut for glazable products in our industry including pan breads, sweet breads, laminated pastry, pies, scones, savory items and more,” Gizzi said. “With this, glaze formulators are developing new ways to bring versatility, value and peace of mind to the industrial baker through easier-to-handle formulas, pre- and post-bake solutions industrial-friendly packaging, and cleaner, allergen-free and non-GMO claims to meet the ever-growing health-and-wellness-focused brands.”

With that in mind, equipment suppliers that manufacture glaze application technology have a lot to consider. Clay Miller, president, Burford Corp., a Middleby Bakery brand, agreed that there are dozens of untapped application opportunities for glazed baked goods.

“We’ve seen it with buns, and it’s moving into bread,” Miller said, noting that as more opportunities present themselves for glazed baked goods, there are also challenges that come with spraying these products on automated lines.

There are plenty of glaze options with a range of mix ratios and variations. “All of those can impact what type of tip or what type of gun to use,” Miller said. “The setup really needs to be tailored.”

“QSRs have really spearheaded the glazed brioche trend in recent years, and we’re seeing it in nearly every fast-food outlet now,” said Chris Gizzi, senior application specialist, Puratos.


The key, of course, is flexibility. “You’ve got to have a system that’s flexible enough to meet requirements and maintain that flexibility to meet various bakery needs,” Miller said.

Storage and delivery are critical as well, including temperature control and packaging options. Glazes are not all developed the same, and they can enter facilities with different requirements such as temperature that are based on a specific application.

“From an equipment standpoint, you need to have good communication with the bakery and the supplier of the glaze,” Miller added. “That way, you know it won’t come in 40 degrees too high and leave you with an extra lode to get out in the chilling process.”

Location of the sprayer is also important, and there’s a big difference between glazing pre- or post-bake. Obviously, pre-bake spraying is done in a pan, Miller noted. “It will be structured, and everything will be where you can target the spray and minimize that waste,” he said.


But spraying post-bake is a different story. After the depanner, spray is applied on loose product, and that can create a host of challenges. Space constraints are common in a bakery, so spraying has to be done right the first time. There’s no room — literally — for error. “You’ve got to validate to make sure you have the path you need to get it to a wash bay or drains in the area to make sure you can clean the system in the way you need to,” Miller said.

Portability of the spraying equipment is important for flexibility and efficiency, especially in terms of changeovers. A system could be cantilevered or set up on wet/dry conveyors that can be swapped out to minimize downtime when switching from a sprayed product to non-sprayed.

There’s a lot to consider, but all these factors come down to one important protocol: matching what the plant needs to make the process work.

“They really have to own the system,” Miller said. “If they don’t own it, it’s not going to work.”

The panel, which also included Jeremiah Tilghman, GM at Johnstown, CO-based Canyon Bakehouse, and Liborio Villalobos, VP of global engineering for Mexico City-based Grupo Bimbo, also discussed the future of remote support for installations, critical control points for effective coating and glazing, and more issues relating to ovens and spraying. BakingTECH attendees can watch the panel on-demand by visiting for more information.

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