||Technology in Australia 1788-1988
Table of Contents
I Technology Transported; 1788-1840
II Technology Established; 1840-1940
III The Coming Of Science
i Education for Food Technology
ii Research Institutes
IV From Science To Technology: The Post-war Years
V Products And Processes
Research InstitutesIn this same period, three industry research institutes were set up; The Bread Research Institute (BRI) in Sydney in 1947, the Sugar Research Institute now at Mackay in Queensland in 1949, and the Australian Wine Research Institute in Adelaide in 1955.
Though the work of all three of these institutes belongs to the post-war period it is, perhaps, more convenient to survey it briefly here. The first, the BRI, was set up by the bread industry to carry out scientific research and to provide a technical service to the industry. It has carried out a great deal of basic and applied research and has extended its interests back to the raw material wheat and forward to the nutritional value of the final product. It has especially contributed to reducing the time required to bake bread.
Traditional breadmaking was laborious and time-consuming especially because of the idle time (from the baker's point of view) of proofing. Accordingly, in the 1950s attempts were made to shorten the time involved and a method of mechanical dough development, first suggested in 1926, was introduced in America. There was no first fermentation, the dough being extruded into the baking pans within a few minutes of the commencement of mixing. But the bread produced in this way was unacceptable in Australia, Britain and Europe though it is still made widely in America. This, the Do-maker process, stimulated R & D in Australia and Britain and the Chorleywood process was developed by the then British Baking Industries Research Association
to develop a batch process for making bread which could be utilized by small, as well as by large, manufacturers and importantly, to produce by mechanical dough development bread of a quality that would be acceptable to the consumer.
Australian R & D worked to the same criteria.
Today, most bread in Britain is made by the Chorleywood process and most bread in Australia is made by a similar process, BRI's Brimec or 'no-time' process which was introduced in 1964. This is more flexible than the Chorleywood process in that it allows for variable total work requirements whereas the former is based on the assumption that the work requirement is constant. The Brimec process is suitable for producing a range of breads which can be ready within two hours of the commencement of mixing and though mixing and development is a batch process it can be integrated with the continuous elements of breadmaking. The essential unit is the Brimec dough developer, the design and operation of which combines kneading and shearing with variable pressure as required to control work input and air entrainment in the dough.
As knowledge of dough chemistry increased it became possible to reduce and finally eliminate bulk fermentation of dough by using chemical methods such as the addition of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and other dough modifiers such as potassium bromate and L-cysteine but
the line of demarcation between the two methods of achieving rapid dough development is not as clear today as it was at one time thought to be. With both methods rapid development is achieved at high levels of oxidation, mixing intensity and the use of reducing substances being the main variables.
The second industry institute was the Sugar Research Institute (SRI) which was established in 1949 by twenty-six Queensland sugar millers. SRI has carried out much fundamental work itself and has been associated with similar work in CSIRO, universities and colleges. Like BRI, it is well known internationally and leads the world in the chemistry and application of juice flocculation and clarification.
Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Australian Wine Research Institute, Adelaide; Bread Research Institute, Sydney; CSIRO Division of Food Research; Sugar Research Institute, Mackay
© 1988 Print Edition pages 119 - 120, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher