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Smart Bread “Robot” Taps Hottest Food Trend

October 6, 2010

An estimated one in 15 people cannot tolerate gluten, a statistic that translates into a gluten-free industry that has increased 75 percent since 2004 and is expected to hit $2.6 million in sales by 2012.

Bready North America has designed an innovative product specifically for this group of people – and those who prepare foods for them.

For people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, Bready is reason to cheer.  It is the first bread machine to address the challenges of making great-tasting, soft, evenly textured, contamination-free breads or cakes—without guesswork, mess or a scavenger hunt for hard-to-find ingredients.

Unlike traditional bread machines, Bready is a fully automatic system combining a countertop “robot” and a “mix bag.”  Each mix bag has an RFID “smart tag.”  The perfect kneading, rising and baking parameters are entered instantly when the bag is presented to the control panel. Then the bag is attached inside the oven, liquid and yeast added, and a button pressed. The result is a fresh, bakery-quality loaf free of gluten with no gaping hole in the bottom (there is no paddle).  Plus there’s nothing to clean up: the empty mix bag wraps around a roller and can be thrown away.

For burger buns, pizza or muffins, Bready features a unique, squeezable dough feature programmed into the smart tag. After 40 minutes of kneading, the mix transforms into a pastry bag by simply snipping the corner. The dough can be squeezed directly into a pan for baking in a conventional oven.

The food science behind Bready is its patented vertical kneading action, achieved through a marriage of software and mechanics.  This motion emulates the kneading that a professional baker–with moisture from the liquids deeply penetrating the flour, resulting in evenly textured bread that won’t crumble under a knife like typical gluten-free baked items.

Holly Smith-Berry, president/CEO of Bready North America, has championed kitchen appliances—including bread machines—in her former role at VP Product Development at Salton.  “Bready’s patented scan technology and advanced kneading provide a quantum leap ahead of existing bread machines. But at the end of the day, the consumer wants baked goods they can prepare at home and that looks and tastes like something they’d find at a great bakery,” said Smith-Berry.

Bready carries the Celiac Sprue Association’s (CSA) Recognition Seal — making it the only bread machine with a gluten-free guarantee. Having the seal means the manufacturer has agreed to adhere to CSA’s standards that the product is free of wheat, barley, rye and oats, their derivatives and crosses in product, processing or packaging.

The company will present the product to specialty retailers, grocery and online sites this fall and will expand their mix assortment to broaden its appeal for gluten eaters while maintaining a contamination-free solution for the sans gluten set.

Since May, the Bready Baking System has been selling direct to consumers through the company’s e-commerce website, at $324.99.  The product includes the robot and four-mix sampler.

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