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Title:
HEATING AND/OR COOKING FOOD PROCESSING SYSTEM AND ASSOCIATED METHOD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/011096
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention refers to a food processing system (100) able to deposit and/or deliver food under a certain pattern and to heat and/or cook it, deposition being done onto a deposition surface (103) by at least a deposition head (102), such that the deposition surface (103) and the deposition head (102) are moveable relative to each other; the deposition head (102) comprising at least an electromagnetic waves generator attached thereto, adapted to heat the food deposited to its cooking temperature, such as an infrared lamp (110) and/or a laser beam (120) and/or a focalized microwave antenna (130), able to cook at least a food fraction of the food pattern deposited either simultaneously to the deposition or successively to the deposition. The invention further relates to a method for preparing a foodstuff by using a food processing system (100) as the one described.

Inventors:
FLICK, Jean-Marc (3 Rue de la Poste, 1405 POMY, 1405 POMY, 1405, CH)
AIT BOUZIAD, Youcef (Chemin de l'Eglise 1 bis, 1026 Echandens, 1026, CH)
PERRIN, Alexa (Route de l'Ancienne Poste 1, 1073 Savigny, 1073, CH)
AGON, Fabien Ludovic (Rue de la Marmalaz 5, 1358 Valeyres-Sous-Rances, 1358, CH)
Application Number:
EP2017/067184
Publication Date:
January 18, 2018
Filing Date:
July 10, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
NESTEC SA (Avenue Nestlé 55, 1800 Vevey, 1800, CH)
International Classes:
A23P20/20
Domestic Patent References:
WO2012103005A22012-08-02
WO2016177628A12016-11-10
WO2014190217A12014-11-27
WO2006020685A22006-02-23
Foreign References:
EP15166200A2015-05-04
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NAVARRO FERNANDEZ, Maria Isabel (NESTEC SA / Centre de Recherche Nestlé, Case postale 44 Vers-chez-les-Blanc, 1000 Lausanne 26, 1000, CH)
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Claims:
Food processing system (100) able to deposit and/or deliver food under a certain pattern and to heat and/or cook it,

wherein deposition is done onto a deposition surface (103) by at least a deposition head (102), such that the deposition surface (103) and the deposition head (102) are moveable relative to each other;

wherein the deposition head (102) comprises at least an electromagnetic waves generator attached thereto, adapted to heat the food deposited to its cooking temperature, such as an infrared lamp (1 10) and/or a laser beam (120) and/or a focalized microwave antenna (130), able to cook at least a food fraction of the food pattern deposited either simultaneously to the deposition or successively to the deposition.

Food processing system (100) according to claim 1 , wherein the deposition head (102) and the electromagnetics wave generator are arranged substantially parallel with respect to each other and substantially perpendicular with respect to the deposition surface (103).

Food processing system (100) according to claim 1 , wherein the electromagnetics wave generator can be tilted a certain angle (a°) with respect to the deposition head (102) in order to focus the heating energy emitted to the deposited food pattern.

Food processing system (100) according to any of the previous claims, wherein the distance of the electromagnetics wave generator to the deposited food pattern is stablished as a function of the thickness and/or the cooking level and/or the nature of the deposited food.

Food processing system (100) according to any of the previous claims, wherein the electromagnetics wave generator is made rotatable around the axis of the deposition head (102).

Food processing system (100) according to any of the previous claims, further comprising cavity heating means (30) adapted to heat the food deposited to a temperature below its cooking temperature. Food processing system (100) according to claim 6, wherein the cavity heating means (30) comprise non-contact heating means, such as convection means, conduction means or electromagnetic radiation means, such as infrared radiation emitters or microwave radiation emitters.

Food processing system (100) according to any of the previous claims, further comprising base heating means (40) adapted to heat the deposition surface (103) to a temperature below the cooking temperature of the food deposited.

Food processing system (100) according to any of the previous claims, wherein the deposition head (102) is further provided with a heating block (50) able to heat the product flowing through it prior to its deposition. 10- Food processing system (100) as per any of the previous claims, wherein the deposited food pattern comprises one or a plurality of successively deposited layers (20).

1 1 - Food processing system (100) as per any of the previous claims, wherein steam and/or water is further provided in the proximity of the outlet of the deposition head (102) by a moisture generator, a humidifier and/or a sprayer.

12- Food processing system (100) as per claim 1 1 , wherein the steam and/or water further comprises micro and/or macro nutrients and/or salt and/or sugar.

13- Food processing system (100) as per any of the previous claims, further comprising a temperature sensor arranged on the deposition head (102) and directed to the heated fraction of the deposited food pattern, preferably a non- contact sensor such as a pyrometer.

14- Food processing system as per any of the previous claims, further comprising a moisture sensor to measure the moisture content in the deposited food.

15- Method for preparing a foodstuff by using a food processing system (100) according to any of the previous claims, wherein the electromagnetic waves generator is activated simultaneously to the food deposition to allow cooking at least a food fraction of the food pattern deposited. Method for preparing a foodstuff by using a food processing system (100) according to any of claims 1 -14, wherein the electromagnetic waves generator is activated after the food deposition to allow cooking at least partly the deposited food pattern, the electromagnetic waves generator following the same deposition path followed by the deposition head (102) for the deposition of the food pattern.

Method according to any of claims 15-16 wherein the amount of heating energy provided by the electromagnetic waves generator is made proportional to the moisture content and/or to the viscosity and/or to the nature of the deposited food.

Method according to any of claims 15-17 wherein cavity heating means (30) are activated before, and/or simultaneously and/or after deposition of the food pattern by the deposition head (102).

Method according to any of claims 15-18 wherein base heating means (40) are activated before, and/or simultaneously and/or after deposition of the food pattern by the deposition head (102).

Method according to any of claims 15-19 wherein a heating block (50) is activated simultaneously to deposition of the food pattern by the deposition head (102).

Description:
Heating and/or cooking food processing system and associated method

Field of the invention

The present invention is directed to a system for processing food and, in particular, to a system allowing heating and/or cooking of a foodstuff, and further to a method associated to such system.

Background of the invention At present, processed food is becoming more and more widely used in the pursit of saving time and efforts. However, the perception of processed food that many people have is that it is not sufficiently healthy and is not adequate for each person's needs. Therefore, present trends of processed foods require that it is made more healthy and adapted to each individual's needs, that it is more convenient and the least number of processing operations is required from the consumer and, even more, that the waste is minimised so only the quantity of food to be consumed is ideally prepared.

Currently, known processed foods are bought totally raw or partially cooked and need to be cooked at home by using traditional cooking devices, such as frying devices, microwaves, ovens or the like. The drawbacks of these standard solutions are that, on one side, the food bought is not adapted to the consumer's needs and, on the other side, the consumer has to still process and cook the food at home, so the complete process requires time, further devices and the result is not always satisfactory, which makes the whole process not convenient.

A possibility for preparing tailored food adapted to each individual's needs would be to directly configure, departing from raw ingredients, the food that will be further cooked into a ready-to-eat meal. A food processing system based on layer deposition and layer cooking by layers belonging to the applicant was already filed under EP 15166200.4. The aim of the present application is to disclose the heating and/or cooking means used in such a system in order to prepare the food product. As it will be further described in detail, the present invention will heat and/or cook each of the layers deposited, one by one, using specific cooking profiles, so that the preparation of each one of the layers and therefore of the whole food product is made optimal, which is not the case at present in the known prior art.

Object and summary of the invention

According to a first aspect, the invention relates to a food processing system able to deposit and/or deliver food under a certain pattern and to heat and/or cook it, deposition being done onto a deposition surface by at least a deposition head, such that the deposition surface and the deposition head are moveable relative to each other. The deposition head comprises at least an electromagnetic waves generator attached thereto, adapted to heat the food deposited to its cooking temperature, such as an infrared lamp and/or a laser beam and/or a focalized microwave antenna, able to cook at least a food fraction of the food pattern deposited either simultaneously to the deposition or successively to the deposition.

Typically, the deposition head and the electromagnetics wave generator are arranged substantially parallel with respect to each other and substantially perpendicular with respect to the deposition surface. The electromagnetics wave generator can be tilted a certain angle a° with respect to the deposition head in order to focus the heating energy emitted to the deposited food pattern.

Typically, the distance of the electromagnetics wave generator to the deposited food pattern is stablished as a function of the thickness and/or the cooking level and/or the nature of the deposited food.

According to one embodiment of the invention, the electromagnetics wave generator is made rotatable around the axis of the deposition head.

The food processing system of the invention typically further comprises cavity heating means adapted to heat the food deposited to a temperature below its cooking temperature. The cavity heating means typically comprise non-contact heating means, such as convection means, conduction means or electromagnetic radiation means, such as infrared radiation emitters or microwave radiation emitters.

The food processing system of the invention preferably further comprises base heating means adapted to heat the deposition surface to a temperature below the cooking temperature of the food deposited. Typically, the deposition head is further provided with a heating block able to heat the product flowing through it prior to its deposition.

Preferably, the deposited food pattern comprises one or a plurality of successively deposited layers.

According to the invention, steam and/or water is preferably further provided in the proximity of the outlet of the deposition head by a moisture generator, a humidifier and/or a sprayer. The steam and/or water can further comprises micro and/or macro nutrients and/or salt and/or sugar.

The food processing system of the invention typically further comprises a temperature sensor arranged on the deposition head and directed to the heated fraction of the deposited food pattern, preferably a non-contact sensor such as a pyrometer. The system of the invention preferably comprises also a moisture sensor to measure the moisture content in the deposited food.

According to a second aspect, the invention refers to a method for preparing a foodstuff by using a food processing system as the one described, wherein the electromagnetic waves generator is activated simultaneously to the food deposition to allow cooking at least a food fraction of the food pattern deposited.

Preferably, according to one embodiment, the electromagnetic waves generator is activated after the food deposition to allow cooking at least partly the deposited food pattern, the electromagnetic waves generator following the same deposition path followed by the deposition head for the deposition of the food pattern. Typically, the amount of heating energy provided by the electromagnetic waves generator is made proportional to the moisture content and/or to the viscosity and/or to the nature of the deposited food. Preferably, cavity heating means are activated before, and/or simultaneously and/or after deposition of the food pattern by the deposition head.

Also preferably, base heating means are activated before, and/or simultaneously and/or after deposition of the food pattern by the deposition head.

Further, a heating block can be activated simultaneously to deposition of the food pattern by the deposition head.

Brief description of the drawings

Further features, advantages and objects of the present invention will become apparent for a skilled person when reading the following detailed description of embodiments of the present invention, when taken in conjunction with the figures of the enclosed drawings.

Fig. 1 shows a general view of a heating and/or cooking device used in a food processing system according to a first embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 2a shows an exemplary embodiment of the heating means used in a heating and/or cooking device used in a food processing system according to a first embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 2b shows a graph representing the infrared lamp light spectrum (intensity vs. wavelength) in a heating and/or cooking device used in a food processing system according to a first embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 3 shows an arrangement of the heating means used in a heating and/or cooking device used in a food processing system according to a first embodiment of the present invention, allowing rotation of the said heating means.

Fig. 4 shows a graph representing the dependency of the surface energy with respect to the working distance, in a food processing system according to a first embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 5 shows a general view of a heating and/or cooking device used in a food processing system according to a second embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 6 shows the heating and/or cooking device used in a food processing system according to a second embodiment of the present invention, as represented in Figure 5, showing the tilting of the said heating means.

Fig. 7 shows a general view of a heating and/or cooking device used in a food processing system according to a first embodiment of the present invention. Fig. 8 shows the heating and/or cooking device used in a food processing system according to a first embodiment of the present invention, as represented in Figure 7, showing the tilting of the said heating means. shows a general view of a heating and/or cooking device used in a food processing system according to a third embodiment of the present invention.

Fig. 10 shows the heating and/or cooking device used in a food processing system according to a third embodiment of the present invention, as represented in Figure 9, showing the tilting of the said heating means.

Fig. 1 1 shows a heating and/or cooking device used in a food processing system according to a first embodiment of the present invention, particularly showing a thermoblock or heating block in the extruder, and its electrical connections. Fig. 12 shows a heating and/or cooking device used in a food processing system according to a first embodiment of the present invention, particularly showing a steam pipe adding water and/or steam in the proximity of the food layers deposited.

Fig. 13 shows a heating and/or cooking device used in a food processing system according to a first embodiment of the present invention, particularly showing a water pipe and a sprayer adding water and/or steam in the proximity of the food layers deposited.

Detailed description of exemplary embodiments According to a first aspect, the invention refers to a heating and/or cooking food processing system 100, which is able to deposit and/or deliver food under a certain pattern (typically by layers) and then cook or heat them according to a certain profile. Preferably, either at the same time or subsequently to deposition, each of the deposited layers 20 is heated or cooked, in a certain way, depending on the nature of the food deposited, and on the desired cooking of it.

The system 100 comprises a cooking chamber 101 inside of which the food is prepared. The food pattern, typically shaped as food layers 20, are deposited on a deposition surface 103, typically configured as a tray. The system of the invention effects deposition of the food or foodstuff by means of one or a plurality of deposition heads 102: typically, these deposition heads process a raw food product of depart, preferably in powder, hydrate and texturize it so that it is deposited as a dough or paste on the surface 103, in the shape of a layer 20: successive layers will typically be deposited over each other.

The system 100 of the invention further comprises heating means 10, typically, according to a first embodiment of the invention, an infrared lamp 1 10, as shown in Figure 1 and in more detail in Figure 2a (showing also the infrared lamp spot 102), attached to the deposition head 102: the infrared lamp 1 10 is adapted to heat the food product or foodstuff to its cooking temperature, and this would be done, according to the invention, layer by layer. Therefore, apated cooking will be done for each one of the layers deposited. As further shown in Figure 1 attached, the system comprises cavity heating means 30, typically arranged on the upper side of the cooking chamber 101 , for warming the food product to a temperature below its cooking temperature. Therefore, these cavity heating means 30 typically warm the inside of the chamber 101 so as to help the cooking of the food stuff deposited, preferably helping to reduce the total processing and cooking time, thus aiding in the cooking process, or bringing the food product to a serving temperature. Typically, these cavity heating means 30 are non- contact heating means, and they can be either convection means, conduction means or elementromagnetic radiation means, such as infrared radiation emitters (typically, an infrared heat lamp) or microwave radiation emitters. These cavity heating means 30, typically when configured as infrared radiation emitters, can also be used to provide a finish to the foodstuff product, typically a final browning of it. The cavity heating means 30 can either warm the cooking chamber 101 before the layers are deposited, so as to help in their cooking, or they can warm the food product at the same time as it is being deposited on the deposition surface 103; another possibility is that the cavity heating means 30 are activated after the food product has been deposited, in order to keep it warm for a certain time, until its consumption, or for example for a final browing of it.

Besides, the system 100 of the invention can comprise base heating means 40 arranged in such a way as to heat or warm the deposition surface 103. These base heating means 40 can be any type of contact or non-contact heating means, adapted to heat the food product deposited on the deposition surface 103 to a temperature below its cooking temperature, in order to help in the cooking process, typically allowing shorter cooking times or allowing to keep the food product prepared warm.

Even when not shown, the system 100 of the invention is further provided with processing means, comprising a processor for executing specific computer program instructions and a controller for controlling that the system effectively acts according to these specific instructions. These instructions include the deposition of each of the layers 20 onto the surface 103 and the heating or cooking of each of them, controlling activation, power, time, etc. of the heating means 10, of the cavity heating means 30 and of the base heating means 40. As schematically represented in Figure 1 , the deposition head 102 is typically provided with a heating block 50 heating the food stuff (typically as dough or pasta) before it is dispensed onto the deposition surface 103. This heating block is typically a thermoblock. By heating the external surface of the deposition head 102 before the product exits it, the deposition of such viscous product is aided through this device, so that it can flow better through it.

In the system 100 of the invention, as represented schematically in Figure 1 , deposition is done by at least a deposition head 102 which can be either fixed or can be moveable in any X, Y and/or Z direction. The head 102 can also be rotatable. The deposition surface 103 can also be fixed or moveable in any X, Y and/or Z direction, or it can also be made rotatable. According to the invention, the deposition head 102 and the deposition surface 103 are moveable with respect to each other, either being displaceable in any of X, Y and/or Z direction, or rotatable, any or both of them. The heating means 10 can either be simultaneously activated at the same time as deposition takes place, or successively, after the deposition, typically of each food layer 20.

By attaching the heating means 10 to the deposition head, it is possible to guaranty a constant delivery of the heat energy (W/cm 2 ) as it is directly dependent of the distance between the heating means 10 and the food layer to be heated.

The infrared lamp 1 10 used as heating means 10 according to a first embodiment, can be used for the browning of the surface and/or the cooking of the entire layer depending of the overall height of this one. The infrared lamp 1 10 typically comprises a halogen type lamp that can have, for example, an infrared radiation peak of about 1200 nm but with a broad light spectrum. The spot size 1 1 1 of the emitted light is generally broad (typically minimum of 10 mm diameter) and typically requires to be in the proximity of the food to be cooked (maximum of 50 mm or similar).

The infrared lamp 1 10 will be typically placed orthogonally to the surface to be cooked, i.e. to the deposition surface 103. This implies to move the lamp on the top of the deposited layer or to move the deposition surface on which the food has been deposited. The advantage of such technique is the simplicity of integration which does not require additional cooling element and the lamp can be activated on demand without stabilization time. As represented in the graph of Figure 2b, the penetration rate in the food product is largely influenced by the wavelength. When the wavelength of the radiative energy is relatively small, the penetration of this radiative energy into the food layer is deep. By generating a large wavelength spectrum, the radiative energy provided by the infrared lamp 1 10 does not penetrate homogeneously in the food layer.

The IR heating technology is convenient for a food processing machine depositing food layers with height typically not exceeding 2 to 3 mm. It has to be associated with a movable tray (movable deposition surface 103) in order to guaranty a constant spot size and a constant distance in order to avoid a lack of heating power (heating power decreasing with the distance). Therefore, to guaranty those conditions and to avoid a complex mechanical setup like a lamp displacement or a tray displacement, the IR lamp can be directly attached to the deposition head 102. Thus, the food layer delivered by the deposition head 102 is directly cooked at the output. With this configuration, the deposition surface 103 or the deposition head 102 with the heating lamp or both can be movable; according to the invention, they are moveable with respect to each other. With this configuration, the lamp power can be adjusted by varying the electrical current supplied to the lamp.

As represented in Figure 12, the deposition head 102 typically further comprises a moisture generator 60, adding steam and/or water to the proximity of the outlet of the deposition head, alternatively or simultaneously to the cooking. This aids moisturizing the food product so that it does not dry excessively, and its moisture level can be controllable, so that it is avoided that any thin skin is formed on the top of the food product and may act as a thermal barrier thus preventing the food volume below the formed skin to be cooked. The desired texture of the food product can be controlled by varying the amount of steam, or the power level of the infrared lamp. Another possibility for doing this moisturizing of the food is shown in Figure 13, where a water pipe 61 is connected at the end to a sprayer 62, and spraying fine water droplets onto the deposited food.

As another possibility of the invention, not only water and/or steam but also micro and/or macro nutrients can be added, and further salt and/or sugar, so they are delivered together with the steam and/or water at certain parts of the food pattern deposited, so it can be deposited in a focalized manner.

Figure 3 shows an adjusting device 140 attached to the deposition head 102, operated by a motor (not shown), and which will be responsible for adapting the distance between the food delivered by the head 102 and the heating lamp 1 10. Preferably, the configuration of the invention works with a certain distance (not varied) of the exit of the deposition head 102 with respect to the deposition surface 103. However, thanks to the device 140, the distance of the heating lamp 1 10 with respect to the deposition surface 103 can be adjusted depending on the desired heating or cooking level. Moreover, the device 140 also acts rotating the heating lamp 1 10 around the deposition head 102, so that the lamp can adopt different circumferential locations with respect to the deposition head, further adopting different heights with respect to the deposition surface 103. The rotation movement allows the heating source to follow the deposition head and to cook the deposited food when the deposition head changes the direction of its displacement.

Another parameters that will contribute to the cooking is the displacement velocity of the heating lamp 1 10 on top of the surface. If a soft cooking is required without the browning of the food surface then a relative high velocity of the head displacement will be required. Thus two cooking strategies can be applied to the displacement of the head. The first one being to cook directly the deposited food at the same velocity of the displacement of the deposition head or the second one being to wait the deposition head to form the complete food in one or a plurality of layers and then to pass on top of it with the heating lamp. With such technology and due to the fact that the heating means are attached to the deposition head, no additional and complex displacement mechanism is required to cook the deposited layer. The focalisation of the heat energy by unit of surface (W/cm 2 ) can be controlled by adjusting the spot size 1 1 1 heating lamp 1 10 and by adjusting the distance between the spot 1 1 1 and the surface of the deposited food. This is represented in the graph in Figure 4. Each configuration can be controlled via a temperature and or a moisture sensor or a combination of both, to measure the moisture content and/or the temperature in the food deposited and to regulate correctly these parameters.

The temperature sensor can be a NTC, a thermocouple or a PT type probe sensor. The temperature of the food can be measured or monitored via a pyrometer which can be placed orthogonal to the food surface. The pyrometer can also be attached to the deposition head measuring the temperature of the food surface just after the cooking or heating of it. In addition, the pyrometer can be used in combination with the IR lamp and pointing the spot of the lamp on the food product surface. In the graph shown in Figure 4, it is shown that the heating energy delivered to the substrate is highly dependent of the distance between the heating source and the substrate to be heated.

Therefore it is important to understand that depending of the heating technology used different food textures will be achieved by focusing or not the heating energy.

The curves in the graph show the characteristic of the IR lamp and the energy delivered in dependency of the working distance. The same behavior can be attributed to other heating techniques, as will be mentioned later.

A possible alternate solution is that shown in Figure 5, where a laser source 120 is attached to the food deposition head 102 which will be able to cook directly the deposited food fraction. The laser source position can be controlled via a motorization and a mechanical setup, as an adjusting device 140. It will allow to place the laser in vertical position directly above the deposited food fraction or will allow to tilt the laser source a certain angle in order to focus the laser beam directly to the outlet of the food deposition head. Figure 5 shows the setup with the laser source attached to the deposition head and placed in vertical position. Figure 6 shows the same set up in Figure 5 but with a tilt angle which focus the laser beam to the outlet of the food deposition head.

Turning now to Figures 7 and 8, the laser source 120 has been replaced by the IR lamp 1 10. The spot size will be in this case larger than the one form the laser source. Figure 8 shows the same configuration but with a tilt angle of the IR lamp 1 10.

Figures 9 and 10 show similar Figures as the ones just described for the laser beam and the IR lamp, but using this time a microwave antenna 130. In order to adjust the placement of the heating means with respect to the deposition surface 103, an adjusting device 140 similar as for the other embodiments is also used, able to adjust in height the heating means and eventually able to rotate them around the deposition head 102. By adjusting in height the heating means by using an adjusting device 140, particularly configured as a Z-stage device, can be used in order to change the dimensions of the spot size and the delivered surface energy for the laser, the IR lamp and the micro wave antenna, depending on the type of heating means used.

Figure 1 1 illustrates the setup with the IR lamp 1 10 and a thermoblock 50 (with its electrical connections 51 ) located on the last portion of the deposition head 102 in order to preheat the deposited food at a defined temperature. Thus the cooking means attached to the deposition head require only the required heat energy to finalize the cooking. The heat energy is dependent of the nature of the food, the food fraction deposited (volume) and the surface energy delivered which is also proportional to the distance between the food fraction and the heat energy emitter. Figure 12 shows the same setup as in Figure 1 1 with a steam pipe 60 from which the steam is delivered on the top of the food fraction. The steam is used to cook the food but without drying thanks to the moisture level delivered by the steam.

Figure 13 illustrates the same setup as in Figure 1 1 with the addition of the water spray apparatus (water pipe 61 and sprayer 62) from which the desired level of moisture is adjusted. In addition, water can be used as a carrier to increase the level of salt, sugar as requested by the user through the machine interface. The water can also be used as a carrier for the dosing of micro and macro nutrients which can be added at the desired location on the food tray. Thus for the same prepared dish one part of it can be more dosed in micro or macro nutrients for the user who has requested it through the machine interface.

According to a second aspect, the invention further relates to a method for preparing a foodstuff by using a food processing system 100 as the one previously described. The heating means 10 can be activated either simultaneously to the food deposition to allow cooking at least a food fraction of the food pattern deposited or the heating means 10 can be activated after the food deposition to allow cooking at least partly the deposited food pattern. Typically, as the heating means 10 are attached to the deposition head 102, they follow the same deposition path followed by the deposition head 102 for the deposition of the food pattern. In the method of the invention, the amount of heating energy provided by the heating means is made proportional to the moisture content and/or to the viscosity and/or to the nature of the deposited food. According to the invention, different heating means can be used either successively or simultaneously to cook at least partly the deposited food pattern. The cavity heating means 30 and the base heating means 40 can also be operated before, at the same time and/or after the deposition of the food product on the deposition surface 103.

Typically, the method of the invention comprises different steps, such as those described herewith:

the deposition head 102 deposits a first layer 20 of foodstuff onto the deposition surface 103;

- the heating means 10 can be simultaneously activated and follow the deposition of the foodstuff at the same time the deposition head 102 is acting, or they can be activated after the deposition head has deposited the layer 20, typically following the same path, being possible that they are continuously activated, so they can heat or cook all the layer deposited, or they can be intermittently activated, therefore cooking only certain parts of it, being also possible that the path followed is not the same, so different parts of the layer deposited are cooked or a certain pattern out of it;

the cavity heating means 30 and/or the base heating means 40 can also be activated at the same time the deposition is being done, so as to aid the cooking;

during deposition, the heating block 50 of the deposition head 102 can also be activated in order to help deposition of the food stuff;

- the same procedure as explained above can be repeated a plurality of times, for different successive layers to be deposited, one over the other; - it is also possible to activate the cavity heating means 30 at the end of the process in order to obtain, for example, a final browning of the last layer deposited.

Although the present invention has been described with reference to preferred embodiments thereof, many modifications and alternations may be made by a person having ordinary skill in the art without departing from the scope of this invention which is defined by the appended claims.