AbstractA large US company is looking for proposals for technology solutions to control the bread textures in pre-baked, pre-assembled, multi component sandwiches that are prepared in microwave oven. They are interested in technology acquisition, licensing, contract research, proof of concept leading to scale up to manufacturing, joint development, supplier agreement.
DetailsIn a world that always seems pressed for time, ready to heat microwaveable sandwiches, pizza, rolls and other bread-based products are convenient and popular dining options.
As microwaveable food demands increase, consumers want tastier, more nutritious options that deliver “home-made” experience. Often, microwaveable sandwiches fall short of providing a “home-made” or fresh baked texture profile and taste experience. Bread products, in particular, present a challenge in the microwave because of textural changes that occur during heating from frozen. For example, bread out of a traditional oven presents as “fresh”, but with other components in the microwave, will lose its texture and flavor.
This request seeks technologies that can offer a “fresh baked from the oven” experience in a multi-component sandwich. The starting point is a fully cooked and assembled frozen sandwich.
Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:
-Ingredients or dough additives/inclusions
GRAS approved or approval in process
Use level should be within permitted regulatory limits
For bread and/or components singly or in combination that deliver desirable texture profile
-Packaging materials or design features that achieve desired results when sandwich is heated in microwave oven
-Functional packaging solutions or devices
-Novel microwave heating apparatus that are compatible with current in-home consumer microwave ovens
-Other ways of designing microwaveability into multi-component baked/par-baked products featuring bread.
Other approaches that require longer term development might include:
-Collaboration, co-development among experts with knowledge on ingredients, microwave and packaging materials and/or designs.
The following approaches are not of interest:
-Approaches that involve multiple preparation steps or the need to separate components for cooking
-Microwave appliance modifications or innovations
-Technologies that are not scalable
-Technologies that are not proven on a lab scale.
Technical Specifications / Specific technical requirements:
The successful technology will:
-Replicate the quality of fresh baked bread in a microwaveable sandwich
Impart a “fresh out of the oven” texture profile when heated in a microwave oven from frozen
-Allow consistent quality bread texture when stored frozen up to 1 year
Allow for consistent quality to the sandwich regardless of appliance variability and consumer preparation
-Preference is for a simple single step preparation (i.e. does not require the consumer to heat components separately) from freezer to the microwave
-Be adaptable to accommodate multiple components and/or consumer preferences:
Food item include egg, meat, cheese, other ingredients
Various bread types may include Biscuits, croissant, English muffins
-Approaches that deliver multiple textural benefits are highly desirable (i.e. technologies that impart both a soft bread interior and a crispy component in a sandwich)
-Be compatible with standard high-speed manufacturing practices and mass-market volumes
-Not adversely affect the nutritional properties of the product
-Not extend the total heating/preparation time beyond 3 minutes (shorter cook times preferred).