The Drawbacks and Superiorities of Using IR-Microwave System in Cake and Bread Baking: A Review

  •  K.A. Abbas    
  •  S. M. Abdulkarim    
  •  M. Ebrahimian    
  •  N. Suleiman    


This review work tried to highlight and summarize the drawbacks and superiorities of three different heating methods commonly used for baking bread and cakes. These methods are infrared heating, microwave heating and infrared-microwave heating. The literature revealed that infrared heating method usually result in good quality food products, but the system performance is still underdeveloped to meet challenges of the current era. Whereas microwave heating method possesses superior system performance features but present many problems with the eating quality of the final food product. In order to improve both system performance and the food quality, researchers found that the infrared-microwave system is the best alternative. This system (halogen lamp-microwave) is a combination of the first two heating methods and at optimized conditions; the system can produce good quality food with better performance. Studies revealed that the good crust color formation and time saving are the superiorities, but the lower moisture content and lower specific volume are the drawbacks on using such system. The products were firmer as a result of the high moisture loss. Halogen lamp power, microwave power and baking time are found to be the major factors that affect the characteristics of the baked products. Based on the heating effects, it is possible to conclude that microwave heating is the dominant heating mechanism in halogen lamp–microwave combination system. However, this system was still be able to produce acceptable quality of baked products therefore researchers recommended IR-microwave for cake and bread baking.

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