In the opening-podcast we want to give a general overview of the FLOURplus project and introduce you to two of our consortium members: AIBI and ASEMAC.

First we are talking to Susanne Döring from AIBI and she itells us about herself, her organisation she works for and of course about the project. After that we are speaking with Virginia Fernandez who is coming from the big spanish association (ASEMAC). She also introduces us to her organisation and provides insights into the spanish bakery market.



Susanne Döring (AIBI)

AIBI is the International Association of Plant Bakers – Large Bakeries in Europe and beyond and the abbreviation comes from the French “Association Internationale des Boulangeries Industrielles”. Susanne Döring is the Secretary General and leading the association since 2011. She is responsible for the daily management of the association, including the information management for members, organising of events and together with the president the spokesperson of the association.

AIBI has 16 full member organisations in Europe including Russia, Ukraine and Norway. Via the national large bakery associations AIBI is representing over 2100 large bakery companies. AIBI is active in numerous legislative and non-legislative fields on European level. This included the new food information to consumers’ legislation, country of origin labelling, salt reduction actions, enzymes, acrylamide monitoring and stevia. Now AIBI is also active on the research area with FLOURplus– a relative new field for a trade association.

In 2012 AIBI was contacted by ttz/Bremerhaven to be included in the consortium for FLOURplus. This project was elected out of more than 1200 proposals in the last call of FP7 Research projects for SMEs. Since May 2013 the negotiations with the Commission started and the project could finally be up and running since February 2014.

The consortium partners in total are nine and there are four bakery associations (Germany, France, Spain and the umbrella association AIBI), two small and medium enterprises from the bakery sector and three research institutes (ttz Bremerhaven, University of Bremen and University of Cork). AIBI is the coordinator of this project.

Being the coordinator of the project means to help and supervise that the next three years the project work packages with their deliverables are timely done and implemented. Further the coordinator leads together with the other partners in the FLOURplus management board the direction and good outcome of the project. It includes the good cooperation and contact with the European Commission and the financial control of the budget.

During the first month of the project it was carried out a stakeholder-survey and Susanne tells about the results. The expectations on the outcome of FLOURplus are quite optimistic and AIBI sees through that project a lot of positive synergies for its members and the whole bakery sector. To bring knowledge of bakery and research together can have a very positive effect and boost further innovative steps of the highly technological food production.


Virginia Fernandez (ASEMAC)

Virginia Fernandez is the responsible person for managing research in ASEMAC and have already participated with ASEMAC in a series of national and European research projects.

ASEMAC was founded on 27th June 1990 as "Spanish Association of Frozen Dough" and expanded its scope to related sectors of the bakery, pastry and confectionery.  In March 2012 it was renamed to the "Spanish Association of Bakery Industry, Cookies and Pastries" but it preserved its first initials.

It is a professional organisation in the national sphere that is present in all the Spanish regions with majority representativeness in the sector. Since its creation, ASEMAC has been increasing year by year the number of associated companies, improving their representation at all levels. In 1994 it had 10 associated companies representing approximately 28% of industry sales in Spain. Currently, ASEMAC meets more than 20 companies representing 80% of the sector and about 90% of industry sales of frozen dough in Spain, with an increasing perspective.

ASEMAC affiliated companies have a great capacity to generate quality jobs with about 5,000 people employed directly. The products made by ASEMAC companies are efficiently in line with consumer demands and demands of a new lifestyle. Therefore ASEMAC provides an excellent source to tap in for the FLOURplus project.

Among the multiple activities of ASEMAC you can find the Working Commission Groups, formed by qualified staff of factories that provide their knowledge and dedication to the collective effort. ASEMAC has among its main objectives to improve the creation and dissemination of knowledge in the field of industrial manufacturing bakery and pastry. To do this, the Association has a technical department that develops and investigates the major themes of quality and safety throughout the food chain. In addition, ASEMAC carries out other activities such as organizing events, reporting news bulletins, publications, guidelines, etc.

Like VDG and FEB, ASEMAC represents the national bakery industrial branch of a country that is renowned for extensive bread consumption. ASEMAC has vast experience in linking European and national funded research to the end-user and stakeholder interests within its organization and has thus taken on board the opportunity to identify necessary industrial requirements and to provide pro-active guidance and advice to the FLOURplus research and solution development. ASEMAC will specifically lead the dissemination strategy and training measures due to their substantial experience in European projects and will support a Spanish roll-out of the project results.

Historically, bread consumption in Spain has decreased considerably since the 60s due to diet changes, while the trend in consumption of pastries, cakes and biscuits industry is clearly increasing as it does the demand by the hand of ongoing developments and products.

The bread market in Spain grew 1.2% during 2012, breaking the downward trend that had occurred in recent years. During the last 5 years the consumption of bread had fallen 8.8 kg per person. Bakery products account for 6.5% of the basket of food purchase. At present, the industrial sector of bakery is a growing market with a strong investment in Research and Development. Cool technology has allowed the bread and pastry industry get used to new times and new consumer demands. The baked bread, frozen dough and refrigerated ones, provided benefits for every link in the chain.

Today the sector is characterized by the great diversity in supply. In Spain there are 300 different kinds of bread to choose between artisanal products or industrial ones. The Market for industrial bread (or packed) shows a clear trend of growth since the 80s, though the level of consumption is still far from the fresh or artisan bread of other European countries. Fresh and frozen breads account for 84.4% of total volume and 82.5% in value. Among them is the traditioal loaf of bread or so-called `pistola‘, followed by the baguette. As for pastries, by category, cupcakes continue to be the most demanded product, with 26.4% by volume. Then fried pastries and croissants appear.

 During the development and manufacture of our products there are many parameters that affect the quality of bread, so every outcome that means finding them in a quick and reliable way will be more than welcome. Currently there are no objective data to measure quality, only approximate, so we find very helpful implementing easy-to-use correlation models that will allow bakers to react to natural quality variations of flour.