Every day, in every country and in every food product development lab, these words will spring into a food formulator's mind, “What if I…?”

The answer to that question in a trial formulation lies somewhere between that moment and months of work later. Although the formula is still viable sensory-wise, even the best recipe may not meet the consumer-friendly labeling parameters sought by the marketing department, cost and equipment constraints.

With the purpose of helping formulators rise to these challenges, Bakery Innovative Technology (BIT Corp.[tm], Patchogue, N.Y.) launched the integration of Production, Recipe, Ingredient, Management Software (PRIMS[tm]) with Color-Tec's[tm] (Clinton, N.J.) Formulator[tm]. These Microsoft Windows-compatible software packages allow bakers to achieve an optimal formulation by guiding recipe development, testing, labeling and production scale-up. “Your R&D departments will know everything about the product--from how it will look to the length of its shelflife--before they even bake a test batch,” says Bob White, president of BIT Corp.

Most importantly, PRIMS reports also can be used to ensure total compliance with Title III of the Bioterrorism Act, which requires rapid detection of adulterated food. The Lot Tracking Module enables PRIMS to record and track up to three lot numbers per ingredient in each batch, and allows the flexibility of tracking items manually or by using bar codes.

Process variables, such as oven temperatures, proof temperatures, time and freezer dwell times, piece weights and even equipment stoppages that affect the quality of each batch, can be recorded in the batch report.

The Formulator program is supplied with the USDA food database as a resource. It has the ability to set nutrient targets, select appropriate ingredients and calculate and report calories per serving from fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Additionally, the program allows users to define portion calculations and costing analysis as the formula is developed, and before creating a Nutrient Facts Label.

BIT also offers The Bakery Product Development Software Suite consisting of Balance[tm], ERH CALC[tm], Fault DoC[tm], Bread Advisor[tm] and Baking Technology Toolkit[tm]. “This Bakery Development Software allows formulators to modify and develop recipes in a fraction of the time of traditional methods,” says White.

Balance looks at the ingredient ratio and the impact it will have on the product quality. It provides visual images of the final product before actually making it.

ERH CALC calculates the Equilibrium-Relative Humidity and calculates the effect moisture change has on a products' MFSL (Mold Free Shelf Life). Moisture losses from packaging can be determined from the composite packaging model.

Fault DoC will diagnose product faults arising from incorrect combinations of ingredients and/or mixing and baking conditions. It displays inferior product examples using photos.

The Bread Advisor is used to create and/or modify bread recipes using selected ingredients and processes. The program notifies the user of any faults in the recipe or process. The Bread Advisor also includes a “What if” feature for cost-saving experimentation, and provides visual images of prospective outcomes.

The Toolkit consists of energy input, water temperature and heat rise calculators--plus a raising agent tool.

Each program can load new, existing and generic recipes, or a master client list of recipes with special ingredients and quantities. Programs are used alone or as a part of the suite.

For more information:
BIT Corp., Robert White, 631-758-3081
bob.white@bit-corp.com, www.bit-corp.com