Ever since large-scale agriculture came into existence, grains have been a staple part of people’s diet in almost every part of the world.
Speaking of grains, consumers in most countries in the European and the North American continents rely on wheat to put sufficient quantities of food on the table.
Wheat is the main component of a typical person’s daily bread. So that wheat also has to be both affordable and available at all times.
Unfortunately, in recent years, this has not been the case. Prices of wheat have been consistently on the rise, (excuse the pun) and mills, bakeries, and consumers are affected not just in Europe but throughout the world.
So, why did this happen?
And what kind of impact will this have on the food and bakery industry?
Cost of Grains – Behind the Scenes
Now, let’s first look at how steep the price rise is.
According to a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) report, wheat touched a price of £200.75/t in mid-April of 2021, up from £196/t a few days before that, which in itself was already high.
Why did this happen, though?
All politics and export rules aside, the main reason the cost of grains has gone up is the weather.
Consistently dry weather in European wheat-growing countries has been a significant factor for a while now, resulting in lower yields and stocks.
In addition to the consumer’s basic need to put bread on the table, there’s also a rise in demand from the livestock farming industry, which uses grains as feed.
These requirements, coupled with low stocks have left the grain cultivators with no choice but to increase the commodity price.
Impact on European Bakeries
Sadly, when it comes to baking, both big and small brands are affected. As it’s not just about the quantity of the wheat, but also the quality.
For example, if the weather is too dry, the wheat produced is low in yield and prone to shattering.
Unless carefully handled, this means the separation process can mix bran with flour, resulting in wheat that negatively affects the crumby structure in bread and other baked goods, as well as the elasticity of the dough.
Would consumers like to buy such brittle bread?
So, now, bakeries don’t just have to deal with meeting the huge demands, and the short supply of grains, but also have to ensure whatever their baking is of the same quality that people are used to.
Does a solution even exist? Yes, do read on to find out.
How Can Bakeries Reduce the Impact?
In baking, if the wheat flour is too dry, there are ways to improve its quality.
Methods such as reducing the kneading time and adding high-protein wheat could improve the outcome of the dough even if the raw wheat wasn’t good enough to begin with.
Apart from these methods, bakeries can also improve their productivity despite low grain stock by investing in good-quality non-stick bakeware.
Non-stick coating on baking production lines ensures that the final product is released quickly without any wastage. This means bakeries can improve their efficiency as well as their production targets even from a lower supply of wheat.
Grains Are Here to Stay
Despite all the gluten-free awareness and trends supporting alternative grain options, wheat and other grains still have an extremely high demand, and it is likely to remain that way for quite some time.
So, bakeries still have a job to churn out large amounts of bread, pastries, doughnuts, cakes, and other baked goods to meet market demand. And to do so consistently without breaking the budget, they must invest in the right equipment and adopt the proper techniques.
And this is where Product Release can help…
With the suitable non-stick coating on manufacturing equipment, such as hoppers and bakeware, wastage is reduced, meaning bakeries get the most bang for their buck for their raw ingredients and keeping costs as low as possible.
But what the bakery industry are all keeping their fingers crossed for really is the weather being kinder in the future, causing grain prices to drop, to everyone’s relief.
If you would like to know more about how Product Release could help your with your bakeware needs, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our experts, who can discuss your problem and recommend an innovative solution that will not only help you now but will minimise future damage or repairs, giving you peace of mind.