Episode 8: Kneading the Future: Unveiling Innovations in the Bread and Pastry Industry

By 6 June 2023June 8th, 2023Quality Leaders Podcast

This episode explores the realm of food technology with James Slater, R&D Director UK at Puratos. Slater reveals how innovations are reshaping the industry, from AI projects in powder mixing to the integration of machine learning in product design. Discover how AI enhances process parameters, improving product quality while uncovering procedural issues.


The rate of advancement with AI is breathtaking

According to James Slater, Puratos has seen remarkable enhancements in their production process since they started implementing AI. Notably, it’s brought about significant reductions in process times and added a level of precision previously unachievable. This application of AI unearthed deep-rooted challenges in their procedures and understanding of ingredients, allowing the team to address them more effectively.

Collaboration is a key component in the quest for innovation

For research and innovations, Puratos likes to team up with external companies such as startups, or with local universities. Slater gives an example of a successful collaboration with a Canadian partner for a project that focuses on machine learning for mixing powders in their UK factory. Despite the initial setbacks and challenges, like the lack of data to get the whole project started, the partnership evolved into a comprehensive exploration of powder blending, delivering valuable insights into the potential of AI in food production.

The food industry is going to use more and more machine learning in the future

Forecasting the trajectory of tech advancements can be tricky, yet exciting. Slater envisions a future for Puratos where machine learning and deep learning play integral roles. He predicts potential applications in process automation and supply chain logistics, areas already rich with data at Puratos. Long-term strategies include creating centralised data lakes and incorporating real-time operator feedback for optimising AI models, a vision that represents a dynamic future for food technology.