The Kulmbach master baker and brewer Johann Peter Ruckdeschel laid the foundation stone for the IREKS company in 1856 by establishing a brewing and malting business. A lot has changed since, the pioneering spirit of the company founder, however, has been preserved and continued. Even today, the name of the company, which is still 100% family-owned, is inextricably linked with its founder:
IREKS = Johann Ruckdeschel et Söhne, Kulmbach
IREKS has always been looking for new ideas to support the bakery and brewery trade. With the invention of “Ruckdeschel’s Milliose” in 1900, the son of the company founder, Johann Andreas Ruckdeschel, created the basis for the development of the baking ingredients division. The first malt-based diastatic improver in flour form became a milestone in the bakery trade.
Another milestone was the foundation of the “IREKS-Institut für Bäckereiwissenschaften”, which addressed the challenges faced by bakeries and developed new ideas to optimise work processes. In parallel, IREKS established a comprehensive customer service. One part was the trade journal “Des Bäckers kleiner Ratgeber”, which first came out in 1927.
With the invention of FERTIGSAUER, IREKS revolutionized the bread dough process. The previously common dough method of sourdoughs in bakeries under changing conditions led to strong fluctuations in the quality of baked goods. The new IREKS product, on the other hand, ensured consistently high quality from now on, thanks to carefully selected, highly fermentative sourdough bacteria and their reproduction under ideal conditions. The advantages of the product were communicated already then in the form of an impressive film with its own screenings.
The 1950s at IREKS were marked by expansion and modernisation. In 1954, for example, a bakery was built to provide technical training and advice to customers and the Field Service Staff, and investments were made in state-of-the-art production facilities and in the expansion of the malting plants.
By 1970, IREKS was already supplying more than 20 foreign markets. With the foundation of subsidiaries in Italy and France, the international network was significantly strengthened. In the following years, the importance of foreign business continued to grow and new international locations were established.
In 1971, IREKS developed the MELLA series for confectionery baked goods – an umbrella brand which, especially in Germany, still forms the bracket around our constantly growing range of confectionery baked goods.
Around ten years later, IREKS marketed the first mix: SOJA-MIX. It enabled bakeries to produce a variety of individual baked goods from a single raw material composition.
The 1990s were characterized by the further development of our Eastern European business! With the foundation of OOO IREKS in Russia in 1998, IREKS consolidated its market position in Eastern Europe. With further locations in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Croatia and Serbia, the countries of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe are among the most important markets of the Company Group.
In 1998, the new baking ingredients production facility at the headquarters in Kulmbach went into operation. The self-contained, fully-automatic batch mixing system combines the latest technologies with the highest safety and quality standards. Using this technology, IREKS is ideally equipped to meet the ever-increasing demands in respect of allergen management, traceability and individualisation.
In the early 2000s, IREKS reinforced its activities in the South American region and opened a subsidiary in Brazil together with the agricultural cooperative COOPERATIVA AGRÁRIA. In 2011, IREKS further expanded its market position in Russia with the acquisition of the TRIER Group. In the following years, subsidiaries were launched in China, Canada and Malaysia. In this way, the international presence of the Company Group continued to develop in a steady manner.
Flexible, automated, resource-saving – in 2019, the new brewhouse at the headquarters in Kulmbach went into operation. There, we produce malt extracts and liquid sourdoughs, which not only impress with valuable technological properties, but also contribute to a unique baked goods quality by means of their diverse flavourings.
With the construction of the Baking Academy and the Technical Centre at the headquarters in Kulmbach, IREKS is creating a new meeting place for the sector. However, the IREKS Campus not only facilitates knowledge transfer, exchange and networking on site, but also online! As a digital information and seminar platform, the IREKS eCampus offers a wealth of new services.