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Title:
FORMING DEVICE FOR THE PRODUCTION OF PASTA OF ELONGATED TYPE AND RELATED METHOD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/198293
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A forming device (1) of a food dough (100) for the production of pasta of elongated type comprises a containment tank (10) for the food dough having a loading hopper (11) and a bottom opening (12), means for homogenizing (30) in communication with the bottom opening (12), and means for extrusion (20) arranged downstream of the means for homogenisation (30) and in communication therewith. The means for extrusion (20) comprise at least one extrusion port (22) such as to form at least a semi-finished product in sheet form (110). The forming device (1) further comprises movement means (40) for the semi-finished product in sheet form (110) along a direction of production ("MD") of the forming device (1) itself, comprising at least one principal conveyor belt (42) extending and active along the production direction ("MD") and an supplementary conveyor belt (43) configured to be at least partly overlapped without contact and facing from above onto the principal conveyor belt (42). The forming device (1) comprises a cutting member (50) for the semi-finished product in sheet form (110) configured to divide the dough sheet (110) along cut lines transverse to the production direction ("MD"), to obtain elongated portions (120). The elongated portions (120) are arranged on the belt (42) in a direction transverse to the production direction ("MD") of the forming device (1).

Inventors:
ANNICHIARICO, Claudio (Via Giuseppe Dozza, 110, Pianoro, I-40065, IT)
Application Number:
IB2015/054871
Publication Date:
December 30, 2015
Filing Date:
June 29, 2015
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
TECH-PRO FOOD MACHINERY S.R.L. SOCIETA' UNIPERSONALE (Via Molise, 9Fraz. Osteria Grande, Castel San Pietro Terme, I-40060, IT)
ANNICHIARICO, Claudio (Via Giuseppe Dozza, 110, Pianoro, I-40065, IT)
International Classes:
A21C11/10; A21C11/16; A21C11/22
Domestic Patent References:
WO1993002561A11993-02-18
Foreign References:
DE19549762B42007-07-12
DE3128109A11983-02-03
ITBO20110610A12013-04-29
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TANSINI, Elio Fabrizio (Viale Lancetti 17, Milano, I-20158, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . A forming device (1 ) for a food dough (100) for the production of fresh pasta of elongated type from a semi-finished product in sheet form (1 10), comprising:

- a containment tank (10) for said food dough having a loading hopper (1 1 ) and a bottom opening (12);

- means for homogenizing (30) in communication with said bottom opening (12) of said containment tank (10);

- means for extrusion (20) arranged downstream of said means for homogenizing (30) and in communication therewith, said means for extrusion (20) comprising at least one extrusion chamber (21 ) for processing a portion of said food dough (100) and at least one extrusion port (22) such as to form at least one semi-finished product in sheet form (1 10);

- movement means (40) for said semi-finished product in sheet form (1 10) along a direction of production ("MD") of said forming device (1 ), said movement means (40) comprising at least one principal conveyor belt (42) extending and active along said direction of production ("MD");

characterized by comprising a cutting member (50), interposed between said means for extrusion (20) and said movement means (40), configured for dividing said semi-finished product in sheet form (1 10) with cutting lines arranged transversely to said direction of production ("MD"), to obtain elongated portions (120) preferably extending for the entire width of the semi-finished product in sheet form (1 10); said elongated portions (120) being arranged over said movement means (40) in a direction transverse to said direction of production ("MD") of said forming device (1 ); said movement means (40) comprising a supplementary conveyor belt (43) configured for being at least partially overlapped without contact and facing from above onto said principal conveyor belt (42).

2. The forming device (1 ) according to claim 1 , wherein said principal conveyor belt (42) and said supplementary conveyor belt (43) have the same direction of advancement matching said direction of production ("MD") of said forming device (1 ). 3. The forming device (1 ) according to claim 2, wherein said principal conveyor belt (42) and said supplementary conveyor belt (43) have different speeds of advancement; preferably said supplementary conveyor belt (43) has a slower speed of advancement than the speed of advancement of said principal conveyor belt (42).

4. The forming device (1 ) according to one of the preceding claims, comprising guide means (41 ) configured at least for stretching said semifinished product in sheet form (1 10), said guide means (41 ) being interposed between said means for extrusion (20) and said cutting member (50).

5. The forming device (1 ) according to one of the preceding claims, wherein said cutting member (50) comprises a pair of blades (51 ) movable along a plane ("T"), said blades being arranged transversely with respect to said direction of production ("MD") of said forming device (1 ), and configured for effecting a movement towards each other in a configuration for cutting and dividing said semi-finished product in sheet form (1 10) into a plurality of elongated portions (120), and a movement away from each other in a configuration for releasing and passing said plurality of elongated portions (120) to said movement means (40); said movement plane ("T") of said pair of blades (51 ) being arranged preferably horizontally.

6. The forming device (1 ) according to one of the preceding claims, comprising smoothing means (60) having at least one smoothing surface

(61 ) facing a portion of said principal conveyor belt (42) extending in a direction transverse to the direction of production ("MD") of said forming device (1 ).

7. The forming device (1 ) according to the preceding claim, wherein said smoothing surface (61 ) has a different superficial roughness between a central zone (61 a) and at least two lateral zones (61 b), preferably the roughness of said central zone (61 a) is greater than the roughness of said at least two lateral zones (61 b). 8. The forming device (1 ) according to claim 6 or 7, wherein said smoothing surface (61 ) has a greater thickness in a central zone (61 a) than in at least two lateral zones (61 b).

9. The forming device according to one or more of claims 6-8, wherein said smoothing means (60) comprise at least three slab-like elements comprising a central panel (62) and two lateral panels (63), flexible, distinct and positioned alongside each other to form said smoothing surface (61 ) facing said principal conveyor belt (42) and arranged at an adjustable distance from said principal conveyor belt (42); said central panel (62) being at said central zone and said lateral panels (63) being at said lateral zones (61 b).

10. The forming device according to one or more of the preceding claims 6-9, wherein said smoothing means (60) are arranged downstream of said supplementary conveyor belt (43).

1 1 . The forming device (1 ) according to one or more of the preceding claims, comprising an elongated element (70) arranged at said principal conveyor belt (42) and having at least one corner (71 ) turned towards said principal conveyor belt (42), said elongated element (70) being arranged obliquely between a lateral edge (42b) and an opposite lateral edge (42b) of said principal conveyor belt (42).

12. The forming device (1 ) according to the preceding claim, comprising an auxiliary elongated element (72) arranged at said principal conveyor belt (42) and having at least one flat lateral (72a) facing towards said principal conveyor belt (42); said auxiliary elongated element (72) being arranged transversely between the lateral edge (42b) and the opposite lateral edge (42b) of said principal conveyor belt (42), said auxiliary elongated element (72) preferably being inclined with respect to the direction of production ("MD") of said forming device (1 ).

13. A method for producing fresh pasta of elongated type comprising the steps of:

- preparing in a containment tank (10) of a forming device (1 ) the ingredients for making a food dough (100);

- extruding and stretching said food dough (100) respectively using the means for extrusion (20) and the guide means (41 ) until a semi-finished product in sheet form (1 10) is formed;

characterised by comprising the stage of

- executing a plurality of cutting lines arranged transversely to said direction of production ("MD") to divide into a plurality of elongated portions (120) said semi-finished product in sheet form (1 10) by means of a cutting member (50) in such a way that they are arranged in a direction transverse to the direction of production ("MD") of said forming device (1 ); - rolling said plurality of elongated portions (120) by passing them through a principal conveyor belt (42) and an overlapped supplementary conveyor belt (43) along said direction of production ("MD") of said forming device

(1 )- 14. A method for producing fresh pasta of elongated type according to claim 13, comprising the stage of smoothing said plurality of elongated portions (120) by passing them through smoothing means (60) having at least one smoothing surface (61 ) facing a portion of said principal conveyor belt (42). 15. A method for producing fresh pasta of elongated type according to claim 13, comprising the stage of twisting said plurality of elongated portions (120) by passing them between said principal conveyor belt (42) and an elongated element (70) arranged at said principal conveyor belt (42) having at least one corner (71 ) turned towards said principal conveyor belt (42), said elongated element (70) being arranged obliquely between a lateral edge (42b) and an opposite lateral edge (42b) of said principal conveyor belt (42).

16. A method for producing fresh pasta of elongated type according to claim 15, comprising the stage of irregularly smoothing said plurality of elongated portions (120) by passing them between said principal conveyor belt (42) and an auxiliary elongated element (72) arranged at said principal conveyor belt (42) having at least one flat side (72a) turned towards said principal conveyor belt (42) and such as to compress said plurality of elongated portions (120) against a portion of said principal conveyor belt (42).

Description:
FORMING DEVICE FOR THE PRODUCTION OF PASTA OF ELONGATED TYPE AND RELATED METHOD

The present invention relates to a forming device for the production of pasta of elongated type from a semi-finished product in sheet form, and at least a production method thereof.

In particular, the present invention relates to a forming device for the industrial production of fresh pasta of elongated type, and treated so as to assume different shape and size such as, for example, pasta fo the cylindrical rolled spaghetti and vermicelli, and irregular, rolled and smoothed spaghetti and vermicelli types, all varieties of pasta obtained from a predetermined food dough. The present invention also relates to a method for producing pasta at industrial level in the respective aforementioned varieties using the forming device according to the invention.

State-of-art devices for pasta production at industrial level comprise a containment tank of the ingredients introduced for processing the food dough, a system for mixing and kneading the ingredients introduced into the tank, an extrusion chamber equipped with a shaft extruder or a hopper for compressing the material and force it through the orifices in a metal die plate to obtain, for example, a sheet of extruded material or directly the pasta of the desired shape and size.

The direction of production or the direction of advancement of the pasta along the forming device is also called "machine direction", for convenience abbreviated in the following description as "MD".

Therefore, a plurality of extruded elements of pasta come out from the metal die plate in the desired shape and all equal to each other, which are cut by a blade which runs flush with the surface of the metal die plate. In the known forming devices, the semi-finished product in sheet form obtained by extrusion is subjected to a further cutting and machining processing along the direction of production "MD" through the insertion along the production line of a cutting machine for fresh pasta. It is well known that for the production of pasta as: pappardelle, fettuccine, tagliatelle, caserecce and similar products, the cutting machine is placed after the extruder in order to reduce in equal portions the sheet with a plurality of longitudinal cutting lines, i.e. parallel to the "MD" direction, and at least a cut transverse to the "MD" direction. In other words, in order to reduce in portions of predetermined length the semi-finished product already cut longitudinally into many strips or portions equal to each other, the cutting means cut the dough sheet along a direction perpendicular to the direction of production "MD" of the machine so as to define from time to time the length of the food product.

The forming device is completed by processing and/or movement means for the semi-finished product and/or the finished product to take it to different machines and responsible for further processing steps, such as for example: rolling, smoothing, drying, bagging and final packaging.

Along the direction of production "MD" of the device movement means are interposed that, by way of example, may comprise conveyor belts and the like.

State-of-art devices and methods for industrial production known so far require the management of at least two cuts of the sheet (longitudinal cut and transverse cut) that generates structural and operation complications of the machine itself. Furthermore, the devices and method of industrial production known so far allow producing pasta products, which however possess only in part the characteristics of shape, size and roughness typical of pasta made by hand, which are sought in homemade pasta to improve the final delicacy.

Moreover, the devices and methods of industrial production of pasta products, especially of elongated shape, provide pasta where a piece is identical to another.

In fact, the known forming devices extrude the dough through the orifices, all identical to each other, of a metal (usually bronze) die plate, already preformed according to the shape that the pasta should have.

The cutting is performed directly at the exit of the die plate by means of a blade that passes flush with the surface of the die, at a predetermined frequency, determining the length of the pasta.

The simultaneous production of more units of pasta through a die plate comprising a plurality of orifices identical to each other, results in the complete absence of the irregular characteristics of shape, size and roughness, typical of homemade pasta.

Moreover, the production devices and the methods used by the pasta food industry do not allow significant room for improvement as regards the organoleptic and nutritional properties of the pasta, since times and methods are rigidly fixed in order to optimize the production and the quality of the same at the lowest cost for managing the industrial plant.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a forming device for the production of preferably fresh pasta of elongated type, which has characteristics resulting from the traditional manufacture, i.e., the production and processing of hand-made pasta with the advantage of having, however, a high hourly production comparable to the known values in the traditional industrial production.

It is also object of the invention to provide a forming device, which allows producing pasta with industrial quantities and with the feature and the variability of shape and thickness and geometry typical of handicraft production.

Moreover, further object of the present invention is to provide a forming device for the production of pasta of the elongated type that allows producing a food of better quality in terms of organoleptic characteristics as it has surface roughness, size and shape more adapted to retain superficially a food seasoning.

Furthermore, the present invention provides a forming device for the production of pasta such as to have optimum surfaces and thicknesses for a more even cooking compared to a real product of pasta made by hand, which tend to not bake evenly due to the intrinsic shape and thickness irregularities of the product.

These and other objects are substantially achieved by a processing and packaging system and by processing and packaging machine as described in one or more of the appended claims.

Further characteristics and advantages will become clearer from the detailed description of preferred but not limitative embodiments of a forming device and of methods for producing pasta according to the present invention.

This description is provided with reference to the accompanying figures, also provided only by way of example and not limitation, in which:

- Figure 1 A is a side cross sectional schematic view of the forming device according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention;

- Figure 1 B is a schematic plan view of the forming device of Figure 1 A; - Figure 4 is a schematic front view of the forming device of Figure 1 A;

- Figure 1 D is a schematic perspective view in detail of a detail of the forming device of Figure 1 A, in an overturned configuration;

- Figure 1 E is a schematic perspective view in detail of a detail of the forming device of Figure 1 A, in an operative configuration;

- Figure 2A is a side cross sectional schematic view of the forming device according to a second preferred embodiment of the present invention;

- Figure 2B is a schematic plan view of the forming device of Figure 2A;

- Figure 3A is a side cross sectional schematic view of the forming device according to a third preferred embodiment of the present invention;

- Figure 3B is a schematic plan view of the forming device of Figure 3A.

In the appended figures, a forming device has been generally shown in accordance with the inventive concept of the present invention and according to the preferred, but not exclusive, embodiments.

In the appended figures, the forming device for the production of fresh pasta of elongated type is generally indicated with the reference number 1 , while the reference number 100 indicates a generic food dough for the production of elongated pasta, while its shape of semi-finished product in sheet form is indicated with the reference number 1 10.

The forming device 1 according to the present invention comprises a containment tank 10 for the food dough 100 having a loading hopper 1 1 for the ingredients, and a bottom opening 12 operatively in communication with the other parts of the device 1 .

The containment tank 10 has preferably a truncated conical shape or the shape of a truncated pyramid upside down and made of a material compatible with the food business, such as, for example, stainless steel. The containment tank 10 may comprise the mixing means 13 in the form of a rotating shaft provided with mixing fins.

Connected with the bottom opening 12 of the containment tank 10 are arranged means for extrusion 20 comprising at least one extrusion chamber 21 for processing a portion of the food dough 100 and at least one extrusion port 22 such as to form at least one semi-finished product in sheet form 1 10. The extrusion port 22 is equipped with a die, for example made of bronze, having openings shaped so as to impart to the outlet dough the desired shape, in particular the desired thickness of the dough sheet 1 10.

The means for extrusion 20 include in addition to an extrusion chamber 21 also a shaft extruder 23 or a feed and movement screw for the dough in such a way that it is pressed with a predetermined pressure on the wall of a die 24 beyond which it must flow to get out.

Preferably, between the bottom opening of said containment tank 10 and the means for extrusion 20, means for homogenizing 30 are interposed in communication between the above-mentioned tank 10 and the means for extrusion 20. The means for homogenizing 30 are such as to effectively knead all the ingredients of the food dough. In this regard, in patent application N°BO201 1 A000610, means for homogenizing of the type mentioned above are illustrated and described. According to the present invention, the food product made with the forming device 1 is formed from a single, homogeneous, uniform in thickness sheet of dough. Therefore, the die 24 can be shaped, for example, with a single opening passage having a circular crown shape, interrupted at one point by an interruption septum.

The die 24 is not shown in the appended figures and is provided with technical solutions at least in part similar to what is already known in the state of the art, therefore, in the present description no further details are provided.

According to the present invention, the forming device 1 comprises movement means 40 for the semi-finished product in sheet form 1 10 along a direction of production "MD" of the forming device 1 .

In particular, the movement means 40, in a first part of the device 1 , that is, just after the means for extrusion 20, may comprise guide means 41 configured to stretch at least the semi-finished product in sheet form 1 10 and comprising, for example, a set of static and/or driven rollers such as to accompany, stabilize and stretch the food dough 100 just extruded and still in a partially wrapped state around the die 24, that is, not yet fully stretched in sheet form 1 10.

The movement means 40 also comprise at least a principal conveyor belt 42 such as to extend along the direction "MD" and active along such direction, namely that transports the semi-finished food product along that direction during the production process.

The principal conveyor belt 42 has a head portion 42a, placed near the guide means 41 , and lateral edges 42b arranged substantially along the direction of production "MD" of the forming device 1 .

According to the present invention, the forming device 1 comprises a cutting member 50 for the semi-finished product in sheet form 1 10 configured to divide it according a predetermined amount and size. Preferably, the cutting member 50 is interposed between the means for extrusion 20 and the movement means 40, in particular immediately downstream of the guide means 41 . Preferably, the passage of the semi-finished product in sheet form 1 10 through the set of rollers of the guide means 41 allows to stretch effectively the semi-finished product in sheet form 1 10 itself, prior to the cutting operation. Preferably, the semi-finished product in sheet form 1 10 is stretched along a substantially vertical direction so as to also exploit the force of gravity as an aid to the stretching of the same.

Advantageously, the cutting member 50 is such as to cut the semi-finished product in sheet form 1 10 into a plurality of sheet strips or elongated portions 120 along a plurality of cut lines transverse to the direction of production "MD". The elongated portions 120 preferably have a length at least equal to 150 mm, and are arranged in a direction transverse to the production direction "MD" of the forming device 1 . In other words, the cutting member 50 is such as to reduce the semi-finished product in sheet form 1 10 in elongated portions 120, all of which having the same width (in the direction of production "MD"), and preferably ranging between 3 mm and 10 mm depending on the type of dough that is to be achieved, and arranged in a direction transverse, preferably perpendicular, to the direction of production "MD" of the forming device 1 . In particular, the elongated portions 120 have a length (perpendicular to the direction of production "MD") equal to the width of the semi-finished product in sheet form 1 10 leaving the set of rollers of the guide means 41 .

Preferably, the cutting member 50 is of the guillotine type, comprising a pair of blades 51 movable along a preferably horizontal plane "T", and configured to perform a mutual approach, in a configuration for cutting the semi-finished product in sheet form 1 10 and subdividing the same in a plurality of elongated portions 120, and a mutual spacing, in a configuration for releasing the cut portions 120.

Preferably, the pair of blades 51 has a first 51 a and a second blade 51 b, which face each other, having an elongated shape and such as to be arranged transversely to the direction of production "MD" of the forming device 1 . In particular, during an operative configuration for cutting the semi-finished product in sheet form 1 10, the pair of blades 51 is movable with respect to the plane horizontal "T", while the semi-finished product in sheet form 1 10 is disposed in a vertical position and passes through an area between the first 51 a and the second blade 51 b. The pair of blades 51 is such as to have a longitudinal extension equal to the width of the principal conveyor belt 42, or at least equal to at least the predetermined width of the extruded and stretched semi-finished product in sheet form 1 10. Preferably, following the cutting procedure, the plurality of strips of sheet dough or elongated portions 120 is released and arranged starting from the head portion 42a of the principal conveyor belt 42. This passage from the cutting zone to the movement means 40 can take place by the controlled fall of the elongated portions 120, thus, for example, again under the action of the force of gravity.

Preferably, the movement means 40 of the forming device 1 includes the principal conveyor belt 42 and a supplementary conveyor belt 43 configured to be at least partly overlapped without contact and facing from above onto the principal conveyor belt 42.

In other words, the movement means 40 comprise a pair of conveyor belts 42 and 43, of which one is the principal conveyor belt 42 on which the plurality of elongated elements 120 are arranged, processed and treated from the cutting station until the achievement of the final product along the direction "MD", while the other is the supplementary conveyor belt 43 overlapped on, and facing, at least for a certain portion, the principal conveyor 42. Between the two conveyor belts 42 and 43 there is an adjustable opening passage, through which the elongated portions 120 pass in succession with the purpose of being rolled up and further elongated. Preferably, the principal conveyor belt 42 and the supplementary conveyor belt 43 have the same direction of advancement matching said direction of production "MD" of said forming device 1 .

Preferably, the supplementary conveyor belt 43 is arranged above and is facing the principal conveyor 42 at a predetermined adjustable distance, defining the passage opening set at each time, for example manually, by an operator, according to the type of food product to be obtained or to the prepared type of dough 100. The mechanical solution that allows the adjustment of the distance is not illustrated in the appended figures and may comprise threaded pawls or other similar means.

Advantageously, the speed of advancement along the direction of production "MD" of the principal conveyor belt 42 and of the supplementary conveyor 43 are different, preferably the speed of advancement along the direction "MD" of the supplementary conveyor belt 43 is less than the speed of advancement of the principal conveyor belt 42. In this way, due to the presence of a relative speed between the principal conveyor 42 and the supplementary conveyor 43, it is possible to roll up and/or smooth and/or even simultaneously lengthen the plurality of strips or elongated portions 120 originating from the cutting member 50. The strips of dough or elongated portions 120 leaving the two conveyors 42 and 43 have a slightly arched configuration.

In order to process each portion 120, it is necessary to straighten each strip of dough.

In a first embodiment in accordance with the present invention and illustrated in Figures 1 A-1 C, the forming device 1 comprises smoothing means 60 which allow to realign the strips of dough 120.

In particular, the smoothing means 60 comprise at least one smoothing surface 61 facing a portion of said principal conveyor belt 42 extending in a direction transverse "X" to the direction of production "MD" of the forming device 1 . Preferably, the transverse direction "X" is perpendicular to the direction of production "MD" of the forming device 1 .

Preferably, the smoothing means 60 are arranged downstream of the supplementary conveyor belt 43, along the direction of production "MD" of the forming device 1 .

Advantageously, the smoothing surface 61 allows processing the elongated portions 120 leaving the supplementary conveyor belt 43 and the underlying principal conveyor 42, to obtain an elongated food product having the features and the roughness typical of the handicraft production. In particular, by subjecting the passage of the elongated portions 120 first through the pair of belts 42 and 43 of the movement means 40 and subsequently through the smoothing surface 61 of the smoothing means 60, a fresh pasta of elongated and rolled type is obtained.

Preferably, the smoothing surface 61 is a kind of mat overlapped on the principal conveyor 42, under which the strips of sheet dough or elongated elements 120 pass in succession.

The smoothing surface 61 is slightly spaced from the principal conveyor 42 at the leading edge, i.e. the input edge of the strips of dough 120 to be processed, while it progressively rests on the principal conveyor 42 at the trailing edge.

The smoothing surface 61 is preferably divided into at least three separate and different sectors, which are arranged lateral by lateral along the "X" direction, parallel to the direction of production "MD" of the forming device

1 , divided into a central zone 61 a and two lateral zones 61 b at the periphery of the central area 61 a (see the detail shown in Figure 1 D).

Preferably, the smoothing surface 61 has a different surface roughness at least between the central zone 61 a and the two lateral regions 61 b, still more preferably the roughness of the central zone 61 a is greater than the roughness of the two lateral regions 61 b.

By way of example, the smoothing surface 61 can include at least three slab-like elements, namely a central panel 62 and two lateral panels 63, distinct and positioned alongside each other to form the smoothing surface 61 facing the principal conveyor belt 42 and arranged at a predetermined distance from the same. Preferably, the central panel 62 defines the central area 61 a of the smoothing surface 61 , while the lateral panels 63 define the lateral zones 61 b of the smoothing surface 61 .

Preferably, the three panels 62, 63 are made of a material suitable for contact with food substances and having an elaborated surface with a roughness as described above. The juxtaposition of the three panels and so of the respective elaborated areas allows defining completely the smoothing surface 61 .

The panels 62, 63 may be supported and constrained by means of a frame (not illustrated in the appended figures) or by another solution such as to allow the adjustment of the height of the passage between the smoothing surface 61 and the principal conveyor belt 42.

Preferably, the panels 62, 63 are realized by a thin layer of Teflon® or a similar material, still more preferably they have a flexibility due in part also to the thin thickness. These panels 62, 63 can also be made with any other material.

Preferably, the central area 61 a has, advantageously, a thickness different from the lateral regions 61 b, so that the mutual juxtaposition determines an irregular shape, i.e., a flat but non-uniform shape of the smoothing surface 61 .

In particular, preferably, the central panel 62 of the smoothing means 60 has a greater thickness than the lateral panels 63 so as to determine, in an operating configuration of the forming device 1 , a relief in the central area of the smoothing surface 61 , as shown in Figure 1 D, in which the smoothing means are illustrated upside down to view better the surfaces with different roughness otherwise hidden. In Figure 1 E, instead, the smoothing means are illustrated in an operative configuration.

Advantageously, the different roughness of the central panel 62 with respect to the lateral panels 63 produces a different friction on the strips of dough or elongated portions 120.

Advantageously, the different thickness of the central panel 62 with respect to the lateral panels 63 allows to roll the elongated portions 120 mainly at the central portion than at the ends, so as to give an appearance of a hand-worked craft product where, for example, the effect of rolling and elongation performed with bare hands occurs mainly at the central area of the spaghetto/vermicello compared to the ends of the same. In addition, the strip of dough 120 to be processed, leaving the two mutually facing mats 42 and 43, is generally thicker in the center, where it must then be further processed to distribute the dough towards the ends, evenly along the whole extension the elongated portion 120.

Advantageously, moreover, the different roughness and the different thickness of the central panel 62 with respect to the lateral panels 63, allows to partly compensate for the pliability that the principal conveyor belt 42 may have in the central part with respect to the lateral edges during an operative configuration of the forming device 1 .

The present embodiment provides the shaping of the elongated dough by giving it a particular shape in the variant forms of, by way of example, cylindrical rolled spaghetti or vermicelli.

In a second embodiment in accordance with the present invention and illustrated in the appended Figures 2A-2B, the forming device 1 comprises alternatively and/or in addition to the elements illustrated in the first embodiment described above, an elongated element 70 arranged near the principal conveyor belt having at least one forming corner 71 turned towards the principal conveyor belt 42. Preferably, the elongated member 70 is a tubular element of metal or other material arranged obliquely between a lateral edge 42b and an opposite lateral edge 42b of the principal conveyor belt 42. Preferably, the elongated element 70 has a length greater than the width of the principal conveyor belt 42 from edge 42b to edge 42b.

In other words, the forming device 1 comprises an elongated element 70 having at least one edge 71 forming a portion facing and turned towards the principal conveyor belt 42, and extending in a direction transverse to the direction of production "MD" of the forming device 1 , preferably in a direction angled to the direction of production "MD".

Preferably, the elongated element 70 is arranged downstream of the supplementary conveyor belt 43 in the direction of production "MD" of the forming device 1 . In this configuration, the smoothing means 60 can also be absent.

Advantageously, the oblique arrangement of the elongated member 70 along with the advancement in the direction of production "MD" and the previous smoothing and rolling performed by the pair of principal 42 and supplementary conveyor belt 43, allow a progressive rolling/twisting of the elongated portions 120 starting from one end to the opposite end of the same.

Advantageously, the imposition of the forming corner 71 portion of the elongated element 70 on each single strip or elongated portion 120, allows to impart to the same a compression and a punctual slowdown, which is contrasted by the underlying principal conveyor belt 42, which in the meantime advances dragging with it the strip 120.

The combined action of the belt 42 and the elongated element 70 causes a twisting of each individual strip of dough 120 while it flows progressively below the corner 71 , so as to accentuate the rolling and shaping effect of the final dough.

Advantageously, the features imprinted to the plurality of elongated portions 120 are identical to those provided by the handicraft process, with a production that is much higher as compared to the handicraft production of the hand-made pasta.

The present embodiment provides the shaping of the elongated dough by giving it a particular shape in the variant forms of, by way of example, twisted or wavy spaghetti or vermicelli, or also long strigoli.

In a third embodiment in accordance with the present invention and illustrated in the appended Figure 3A-3B, the forming device 1 comprises one or more of the elements illustrated in the second embodiment described above, and in addition an auxiliary elongated element 72 arranged near the principal conveyor belt 42 having at least one flat side 72a turned and facing towards the principal conveyor belt 42. The auxiliary elongated element 72 is arranged downstream of the above mentioned elongated element 70. Preferably, the auxiliary elongated element 72 has a length greater than the width of the principal conveyor belt 42.

Preferably, the auxiliary elongated element 72 is arranged transversely between the lateral edge 42b and the opposite lateral edge 42b to the first of the principal conveyor belt 42, still more preferably the auxiliary elongated element 42 is inclined with respect to the direction of production "MD" of the forming device 1 , and then to the direction of movement of the principal conveyor belt 42.

The auxiliary elongated element 72 is advantageously placed downstream of the elongated element 70, immediately behind or spaced from it.

Advantageously, the auxiliary elongated element 72 allows to impart to the semi-finished product 120, obtained by an initial passage between the principal 42 and the supplementary conveyor belt 43, if present, and a subsequent crossing of the elongated element 70, an additional irregular crushing that allows to shape the elongated portion 120, already processed but not complete, in a semi-cylindrical shape with a non-uniform diameter.

In other words, advantageously, the auxiliary elongated element 72 imparts to the elongated portion 120 a further instantaneous and discrete crushing along all its length, giving it an irregular cylindrical shape, having a diameter that is different along its extension, and typical of a handcrafted long pasta type.

In accordance with the inventive concept of the present invention, methods are comprised that produce fresh pasta of elongated type described below by way of example and not of limitation, according to a sequence of operations. Possible variations and modifications of one or more transactions are to be considered included in the inventive concept of the present invention.

In use, after having prepared the necessary ingredients to obtain a food dough 100 in a containment tank 10 of a forming device 1 of the type described, the food dough 100, made homogeneous by suitable mixing means 13, is extruded through means for extrusion 20 and subsequently smoothed through guide means 41 that open it, giving it the shape of a semi-finished product in sheet form 1 10.

Subsequently, the semi-finished product in sheet form 1 10 is divided into a plurality of strips of dough or elongated portions 120 having a length preferably at least equal to 150 mm and a thickness of between 3 mm and 10 mm.

The strips of dough or elongated portions 120 thus obtained are arranged singly and in succession on the principal conveyor belt 42, in such a way that they are arranged in a direction transverse to a direction of production "MD" of the forming device 1 , and then transversely, preferably orthogonally to the direction of advancement "MD" of the conveyor belt 42. Once the individual strips of dough 120 are arranged on the principal conveyor 42, they are individually rolled by a passage through a passage opening between the principal conveyor belt 42 and the supplementary conveyor belt 43, overlapped on the first, along the direction of production "MD" of the forming device 1 .

Each elongated portion 120 undergoes to, at the outlet of the two conveyor belts 42 and 43, a rolling and/or stretching action resulting in a lengthening of their longitudinal size at least equal to 30% - 50% compared to their original size.

At the outlet of the two conveyor belts 42 and 43, the plurality of elongated portions 120 are no longer straight and transverse to the feed direction "MD" of the conveyor belt 42 but assume an arched shape, with the concavity turned towards the direction of advancement "MD". The smoothing means 60 placed downstream of the two conveyor belts 42 and 43 allow the straightening, and at the same time the smoothing of the individual portions 120, by means of their passage to below a smoothing surface 61 facing a portion of a principal conveyor belt 42. This is achieved thanks to the different friction and thickness of the various zones 61 a and

61 b of the smoothing surface 61 . The method described here allows to produce the elongated pasta that has a peculiar shape in the variant forms of, by way of example, cylindrical rolled spaghetti or vermicelli.

A variant to the aforementioned method, provides operations on the elongated portions 120 similar to those listed in the method described above, with the difference that the individual elongated portions 120, leaving the two conveyor belts 42 and 43, do not pass through the smoothing means 60 but are processed and twisted around their longitudinal axis by means of the passage below an elongated element 70, arranged above the principal conveyor belt 42, having at least one corner 71 facing the principal conveyor belt 42. The element 70, and particularly its corner 71 , exerts a slight pressure and a punctual slowdown action on the strip of dough 120 passing below.

The method described herein further allows producing the elongated pasta that has a peculiar and different shape as regard to the twisted or wavy spaghetti or vermicelli or long strigoli variants.

Finally, a further and different method to produce fresh pasta of elongated type provides operations on the elongated portions 120 similar to those listed in the above method, and also includes, following the operation of twisting the plurality of elongated portions 120, the further step of smoothing each strip 120 through the passage below an elongated auxiliary 72, overlapped on the principal conveyor belt 42 and having at least one flat side 72a turned towards the latter.

The action of the auxiliary element 72 is to crush slightly, in a discrete and irregular manner along the entire longitudinal extension, the individual elongated portions 120 of dough, to give it the further irregular appearance typical of the hand-made pasta.

The additional and different method here described allows producing the elongated pasta that has a peculiar shape of elongated pasta, by way of example irregular, rolled and smoothed spaghetti or vermicelli.

Advantageously, with the methods described above and the embodiments illustrated above, the object of the present invention has been achieved, namely the producing of fresh pasta of elongated type from a semifinished product in sheet form having the features of size, geometry and roughness typical and in some cases specific of the handmade craftsmanship production.