GEA completes entry into bakery market

GEA has completed its entry into the bakery market by closing its acquisition of Imaforni, an Italian supplier of advanced lines for crackers, soft and hard biscuits.

GEA, which supplies process technology for the food industry, says the deal complements its takeover of Italian bakery equipment provider Comas last year.

The acquisitions complete GEA’s entry into the bakery market, allowing it to provide turnkey systems for a range of products, from mixing to packaging by using proprietary technology and full line integration.

GEA says the companies will benefit from global routes to market and representation, while customers will have access to the technology and expertise of the two businesses, from a single source.

Imaforni and Comas together provide a total scope of supply for the bakery market. However, as part of GEA, the offering will be expanded to all areas of food processing, including product reception, bulk handling, liquid and powder processing, process control and a range of packaging services from a single source.

Pierluigi Castello, manager of the Imaforni business in Verona, says under GEA, it will be stronger in terms of market reach, customer proximity and the opportunity to co develop innovative products and high performing solutions.

GEA’s bakery experience centre allows the company’s food technologists to work with customers to develop new recipes, improve existing ones and perfect production processes to provide new, innovative products and bring them to market quickly and effectively.

This extends to developing process lines for gluten or allergen free products that can be difficult to handle. GEA also has extensive experience in CIP technology for food processing that it says enables fast, efficient cleaning of equipment for quick product changeover, simple maintenance and maximum productivity.

“Now we can be physically much closer to our customers, providing trained service technicians who fulfil planned service schedules and provide a fast response to minimise downtime in the event of a critical event,” explains Marco Gandini, head of bakery for the GEA application centre for food.

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