Release Agents: Hidden Treasures for Sustainability
Energy efficiency is not only good for the planet, but it also can save companies a significant amount of money. In order to promote sustainability at a higher level, the EPA’s Energy Star program developed the Energy Treasure Hunt Campaign to “uncover the untapped potential for energy savings in America’s commercial and industrial facilities.”
An Energy Treasure Hunt consists of a team evaluating a facility and identifying unique ways to save energy. These “hidden treasures” were proven to reduce a facility’s energy usage by as much as 15%. The most recent results of the Energy Treasure Hunt Campaign showed that 168 teams — including some from the baking sector — uncovered $38 million in savings.
Some of the reported hidden treasures included:
- Testing & setting lower set points for compressed-air equipment
- Staging equipment to run in tandem for longevity
- Upgrading to LED lighting
- Installing motion sensors on lighting and motors
In our article Creating Energy Efficiencies in Your Bakery, we also provided these tips specific to the baking industry:
- Inspecting ovens for heat loss
- Maintaining compressors & motors
- Investing in more energy-efficient ovens
How Release Agents Can Be Hidden Treasures for Your Bakery
If you’re hunting for sustainability, release agent selection probably isn’t the first method that comes to mind. However, as we detailed in our article Dealing with & Reducing Bakery Wastewater, release agents that are formulated to be easily cleaned can enable wastewater reductions.
Release agents are a creative means of reducing wastewater during pan washing. For example, if you have the right processing aid for the job, you won’t be required to use copious amounts of release agents to get your finished product to release from the pan. The combination of minimal release agent usage and optimal product release means less water will be required to get pans clean.
Water-based release agents, when appropriate for use, produce less FOG than oil-based alternatives and thus require less water for pan cleaning. In addition, some release agent formulations allow baking at higher temperatures, which in turn enables products to be cycled faster and reduces energy use.
As a baker, you should not only be looking for the best possible release agent but also a means of precise application. Fine-tuning both the release agent chemistry and the application technology factor into your ability to get maximum result from minimal energy output. Overspray and misting should be avoided because they cause buildup on equipment that increases the frequency of pan cleanings and the amount of wastewater that will be generated as a result. For example, Spraying Systems Co. performed a case study that found implementation of their applicator solution decreased release agent use by 18% and energy use by 73%.
At Avatar Corporation, we work with bakers to identify the release agents that will help them achieve their sustainability goals. We apply chemistry to produce optimal results and are committed to quality, demonstrating the highest level of certifications in the industry. To get pricing, order a sample, connect with a territory manager or for other inquiries, contact us.