A bakery ingredients business in Bicester has won an innovation award for its use of infrared technology.

British Bakels, based in Granville Way, received the award at the Oxfordshire Business Awards (OXBA) for its adoption and use of Near Infrared (NIR) technology at its manufacturing site.

The ingredient supplier first installed the technology in 2012 in its Bicester quality control lab, using NIR light to monitor raw material and the quality of its finished products.

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The Oxfordshire Business Innovation Award honours this journey, in particular the use of NIR during ‘wet’ production to track what is happening to ingredients while they are being made.

British Bakels’ marketing manager Michael Schofield said: “We are delighted to win the Innovation Award at this year’s Oxfordshire Business Awards.

“The award recognises not only our most recent implementation of NIR technology in wet manufacturing, but also the journey we have been on to get here.

“Near Infrared spectroscopy is crucial in guaranteeing the quality of our products such as our industry-leading caramels and paste concentrates, during production, as it enables us to stop heating and start the cooling process.

“Adopting this technology, which isn’t widely used elsewhere in the food industry, in our ‘wet’ plant helps us not only to ensure our product quality by reducing substandard and waste products but also increases our process and staff efficiency, optimises our manufacturing capacity, and minimises unnecessary use of energy.

“Everyone wins – us, our customers, and the planet.”


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1