In­no­va­tion: The best thing since fresh bread

Bloomberg Businessweek (Asia) - - CONTENTS -

Form and func­tion The Bal­muda toaster oven uses steam and care­fully cal­i­brated heat cy­cles to turn store-bought bread into some­thing that smells, feels, and tastes like it’s just popped out of a baker’s oven. In­no­va­tor Gen Terao Age 42 Founder and pres­i­dent of Tokyo-area ap­pli­ance maker Bal­muda, which has 50 em­ploy­ees

Back­ground Terao, a high school dropout who spent a decade fronting Ja­panese rock band the Beach Fight­ers, started Bal­muda in 2003, build­ing alu­minum lap­top stands.

Price The toaster costs 24,000 yen ($230) and is avail­able in Ja­pan in stores and on­line. 2.

Cy­cles Un­like con­ven­tional ovens, Bal­muda’s toaster uses ther­mostats to main­tain pre­cise, scorch­free warm­ing cy­cles, which users can cus­tom­ize based on the type of bread.

Ori­gin In 2014, Bal­muda be­gan work on a toaster af­ter a rainy-day bar­be­cue taught Terao that hu­mid­ity could help keep toasted bread moist.


Steam With an in­cluded cup, users pour 5 cu­bic cen­time­ters of wa­ter in an open­ing at the top of the 14-by-13-by-8-inch toaster. A tiny amount of steam traps mois­ture in bread as it’s grad­u­ally warmed, be­fore the toaster fin­ishes it off with a dose of high heat.

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