To source new raw material to develop the company’s range of Cake Gels has been the focus with the student cooperation between Bakels Sweden and the University of Gothenburg. The academic exchange has added significant insights and is likely to lead to new material sourcing in selected products.

Innovation is a constant movement driven from market insights and trends, new production techniques, changing consumer demands and legislation. Questioning and challenging to get better is what ultimately drives the development of our product range, the improvement of production facilities and more successful customer projects, going forwards at Bakels. A curiosity and a huge interest for innovative solutions makes the cooperation with students and the University a natural choice.

There is a great deal of emphasis in allowing research and commercial operations to meet in order to be able to combine science with experience and apply on real cases, says David Thomelius, Product Development Engineer. As a constantly learning organisation, we are always looking for new inspiration. It is a way for us to invest in the future.

David Pralin

During the 20/21 winter, Terese Bergecliff, a student at the University of Gothenburg, participated in a project in cooperation with Bakels Sweden. The project has aimed to find and evaluate new combinations of raw materials that can create a more advantageous Cake Gel. One of the most important aspects has been that the raw material has to be free from palm and allergens, to meet the market expectations. But nevertheless maintaining high quality and the characteristics that a large scale production as well as a small producer of soft cakes requires.

It is a complex task, with many different parameters to balance and many stakeholders to satisfy, says David Thomelius. It is not just the raw materials that must have a good source, but rather decisively it is the functionality, shelf life, quality, production processes, declarations, price and much more that needs to be correct. It simply has to be an attractive product for the customer as well as for our own production.

In the project, different compositions of fatty acids that are used for the manufacture of a key ingredient for Cake Gels, have been evaluated. By testing different combinations of raw materials in commercial Cake Gels in a laboratory environment, the project has investigated how various factors affect the stability of the end product and how the functionality can be maintained for a longer period of time.

It has genuinely been inspiring to be given the opportunity to apply theory on actual problems that have a commercial worth, says Terese Bergecliff, student at Gothenburg University. I have particularly valued the mutual exchange of knowledge and new ideas. The cooperation with the University is also an opportunity for companies to contribute to the education of future food technicians and indirectly to the food industry in general.

Therese Pralin

The project also contributes in the long run towards the product development of pre-existing and new products, as well as keeping the product portfolios up to date and appealing. The new solutions that have emerged through this project are already in large-scale test production together with customers. There is a potential to eventually also use the new solutions in other products.

The University exchange has really contributed valuable insights to our business and has given a boost that has given the impetus to dig deeper for techniques, theories and methods, says David Thomelius. Through the project, we have had the opportunity to evaluate our own test methods, which further ensures an even and high level of production. External cooperation also gives us the opportunity to look at things from a different angle.

The cooperation with the University of Gothenburg has been a very positive journey with a rewarding effect from several aspects. In addition, also an opportunity for Bakels Sweden to prove itself as an appealing employer. There will absolutely be opportunities for new collaborations in the future.