Senior Manager in Product Development at Fazer Mills, Jarmo ”Jami” Laine, is the mastermind behind many of Fazer Mills’ bread improvers and tuners. His prior experience as a baker helps him understand the needs of bakeries large and small.

“Before getting my engineer’s degree in Food Technology, I worked as a baker for close to 14 years – in small artisan bakeries, sizeable industrial bakeries, and everything in between,” Jami says.

“My background is a huge asset in my current job. I spend quite a lot of time on the field, helping our customers make the most of our bread improvers,” Jami explains.

Laser measurements and taste tests

Every great bread improver starts with a great idea. It can arise from customer needs, an enzyme manufacturer’s newest invention, or Jami’s own experimental work at Fazer Mills.

“The best part of my job is the versatility and freedom. Once we have a great idea for a bread improver, we start test baking. We might whip up 12 to 14 individual batches of dough, with different quantities of the new improver. After baking, we run tests spanning several days,” Jami remarks.

If an improver is designed to enhance volume, for example, the tests will include precise laser measurements conducted many days in a row.

“We have specialized tests for all kinds of desired outcomes, be it fresh feel, bite appeal, shelf life or something else. And although the tests can sound high-tech, we also do a lot of testing the old fashioned way, by tasting,” he says with a laugh.

Tailor-made improvers to match individual needs

Fazer Mills makes a lot of tailored improvers and tuners to match the individual needs of bakeries.

“Bakery trends vary from one region to the next, let alone from country to country. Our tailor-made improvers ensure that we are able to help bakeries get exactly the kind of end products their customers want, for a cost-efficient price,” Jami describes.

He often visits bakeries and helps test new bread improvers in action.

“One of the great perks of my job is learning directly from bakers. It gives me fresh perspective to trends in the bread business. Of course, we visit trade shows and keep atop bakery trends otherwise as well, but often times the most exciting ideas come directly from these one-to-one encounters in bakeries,” he affirms.

“We are here for our customers, from start to finish in the art of making great bread. The greatest reward in my work is seeing a baker thoroughly happy with their newest bread or sweet baked good,” Jami concludes.