Developers of a industrial sized ‘vacuum cooling’ system for baked goods claim it can slash the cooling time required for vast quantities of bread from hours to minutes.

The “Continua” system had already become the industry standard for small and medium sized bakeries, said Aston Foods founder and CEO Patrick R Duss.

Now, after 18 months of development work, large-scale industrial bakeries would also be able to use it - dramatically reducing cooling times.

“Bread is de-panned and sliced after a short time and hours of cooling are no longer required,” said Duss. “The cooling process for baked goods can be reduced to about three minutes, which has a positive impact on the production process.”

The cooling system also took up a “fraction” of the space of cooling carousels and “eliminates the risk of food contamination”, he claimed.

“In addition to reducing the time and staff required, vacuum cooling also requires significantly less energy than traditional methods,” he added.

“We have invested a great deal of energy and know-how in the development of our continuous vacuum cooling. This is a great step forward.”