Bread Manufacturing was changed for ever with Chorleywood process , This process allowed bakers to produce bread loaves in shortest ever time with continuous process without the conventional method of allowing bread to ferment for long hours . Most of automated Bread Manufacturing plants across the globe follow Chorleywood process .
Even the fresh crusty bread baked at your local supermarket is probably made the Chorleywood way.
The work of the scientists at the Chorleywood Flour Milling and Bakery Research Association laboratories in 1961 led to a new way of producing bread, making the average loaf in Britain 40% softer, reducing its cost and more than doubling its life.
25th November 1965: A line of baked loaves ready to be packed at the Wonderloaf Bakery, Tottenham, north London. The move was good for British farmers growing low-protein wheat
What is more, each slice was uniform.
For its supporters, it was the innovation that pushed bread into the modern era.
"It is a process we invented and we should be very proud of it," says Gordon Polson, of the British Federation of Bakers. "UK bread is around the cheapest in the world."
The bread scientist, Stan Cauvain, who worked with the original inventors and has written the definitive work on the Chorleywood Process says they knew from the beginning they had changed baking forever.
"The inventors knew they were on to something special and it would have far reaching consequences."
Its origins lay in the late 1950s and the need to try to find a way for small bakers to compete with new industrial bakeries. The light brown "national loaf" during the long years of rationing had, for many consumers, outstayed its welcome. Soft, springy, white bread - that did not go stale quickly - was what the public wanted.
"Already, thanks to the Chorleywood process, nearly half the wheat in our bread is British. The industry's current development programme could bring about a situation where British bread is made from an even higher proportion of British wheat - thus making the British loaf even better value for money in relation to world bread prices."
The research bakers at Chorleywood discovered that by adding hard fats, extra yeast and a number of chemicals and then mixing at high speed you got a dough that was ready to bake in a fraction of the time it normally took.
It allowed bread to be made easily and economically with low protein British wheat.
Important Timelines for Modern Bread Manufacturing in UK
1928: First bread slicing machine, invented by Otto Rohwedder, exhibited at a bakery trade fair in the US
- 1930: Large UK bakeries take commercial slicers and sliced bread first appears in shops
- 1933: Around 80% of US bread is pre-sliced and wrapped. The phrase "the best thing since sliced bread" coined
- 1941: Calcium added to UK flour to prevent rickets
- 1942: The national loaf - much like today's brown loaf - introduced to combat shortage of white flour
- 1954: Conditions in bakeries regulated by the Night Baking Act
- 1956: National loaf abolished
- 1961: The Chorleywood Bread Process introduced