To produce cooked products that are consistent, it’s important to balance oven airflow. The breakpoint air stream, created when high velocity airflows collide with low velocity airflows, is what cooks your food. This replaces the cold area surrounding the food with hot air that cooks it.
Well-placed oven airflow location is the difference between over- and under-cooked food. If food is too close to the breakpoint, it will be drier, darker, and produce lower yields (and vice versa if it’s too far away).
These are the most significant ways airflow can affect your product:
If you can accurately direct airflow to different areas of your oven, your product will be more consistent. This is because, in effect, all of the food will be near the breakpoint. It takes less time to get each piece of food up to the required cooking temperature if each part of your oven receives a similar amount of airflow. This means that items closer to the breakpoint will not overcook and means less colour variation, less variation in dryness, and less yield loss.
Consistency is a huge benefit of better oven airflow, so it’s important to invest in quality equipment that will achieve it. Food processing machines can be bought from companies like Clarke Fussells (http://www.clarke-fussells.co.uk/), who sell used food processing machines at auction.
According to Food Manufacturing, controlling airflow and directing it to different parts of your oven has another benefit – more products can be placed onto the same truck. If every area of the truck gets the same amount of airflow from the breakpoint, more products can be placed on the tray without blocking the air stream. A more powerful breakpoint air stream will flow over every item, meaning you don’t need to space out every product in the middle of the truck.
Weighing the truck before and after cooking is usually how product yield is measured in an industrial oven, providing you with an overall truck yield. This method doesn’t provide a clear picture of what’s happening to the food. When the breakpoint can’t be directed to individual areas, as in a typical industrial oven, product yield can vary greatly depending on where items are located. Directing airflow where you need it means that your product, wherever it’s placed, will produce the same yield.