| Boiling Point No. 22 - August 1990 |
An improved, wood-fired baking oven has been developed by the BeIIerive Foundation for use in small scale bakeries in rural areas. Following a survey of small bakeries and of existing oven designs, Bellerive's technical team in Kenya, led by Harun Baiya, designed a new oven which has proved to be efficient and thermally balanced. With a capacity of 27 loaves, it bakes one batch of evenly browned loaves every 15 minutes.
The research and development has been done at the Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) Bakery Unit with two Dutch bakers, Messrs. Jan Bosch of KIST and Jan Teesterg of Nakuru Catholic Diocese, offering the benefit of their experience in using and testing the design. Subsequently, Mr Teesterg has set up a bakery unit with eight ovens, based on the model being tested at KIST, for women's groups in the Development Programme of the Catholic Church in Rift Valley. Two of the first prototypes there, in use for the last six months, are baking about 180 loaves of bread daily. Mr Bosch called the Bellerive design "the best I have seen". One feature which he noted as unique to the Bellerive oven and especially useful is the side proffer, or "rising ovens' for activating yeast In the uncooked loaves.
The survey had shown that many of the small scale rural bakers were struggling and a number had collapsed despite the increased popularity of bread in Kenya. With fuelwood cited as the most expensive input of their operation, they indicated that an oven using substantially less fuelwood would make their businesses more viable. The Bellerive oven offers new hope for them.
Contact: Barry Gilbert-Miguet, Chief, External Relations, Bellerive Foundation,
PO Box 6, CH-1211 Geneva 3, SWITZERLAND.