Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
AN IMPROVED CONTINUOUS PROCESS AND APPARATUS FOR MAKING A PITA CHIP
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/126843
Kind Code:
A4
Abstract:
A method and apparatus for processing dough, for example, curing dough to make a pita chip. In a first aspect, the method comprises providing a first portion of dough on a first conveyor, conveying the first portion into an oven, directing a heating medium at the first portion using a first discharge array, and conveying the first portion out of the oven. In a second aspect, the apparatus comprises an oven, a first conveyor for conveying a first portion of dough, and a first discharge array. The oven comprises an oven housing, a first entrance of the oven housing for the first portion of dough, and a first exit of the oven housing for the first portion of dough. The first discharge array is positioned and oriented to direct a heating medium at the first portion of dough when the first portion of dough is positioned for conveyance by the first conveyor.

Inventors:
BARNETT, Michelle, Latrese (4313 Stargazer Drive, Plano, TX, 75024, US)
JOSEPH, Ponnattu, Kurian (701 Rosita Street, Irving, TX, 75062, US)
MILLER, Cindy, Elice (4308 Aston Lane, Mansfield, TX 7606, 7606, US)
Application Number:
US2016/016403
Publication Date:
August 11, 2016
Filing Date:
February 03, 2016
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
FRITO-LAY NORTH AMERICA, INC. (7701 Legacy Drive, Plano, TX, 75024, US)
International Classes:
A21B1/24; A21B1/26; A21B1/42
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CAHOON, Colin, P. (Carstens & Cahoon, LLPP.O. Box 80233, Dallas TX, 75380, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
AMENDED CLAIMS

received by the International Bureau on 15 August 2016.

What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for curing dough, said apparatus comprising:

an oven;

a first conveyor for conveying a first portion of dough;

a first discharge array;

wherein the oven comprises:

an oven housing;

a first entrance of the oven housing for the first portion of dough; and a first exit of the oven housing for the first portion of dough;

wherein the first portion of dough comprises a first wetter surface of dough and a first drier surface of dough;

wherein the first discharge array is positioned and oriented to direct a heating medium at the first wetter surface of dough when the first portion of dough is positioned for conveyance by the first conveyor.

2. The apparatus of claim 1,

wherein the first discharge array is positioned to provide a direct path for the heating medium from the first discharge array to the first portion of dough when the first portion of dough is positioned for conveyance by the first conveyor.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first conveyor conveys the first portion of dough from the first entrance of the oven housing to the first exit of the oven housing.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first conveyor comprises: a first conveying surface for the first portion of dough; and

a first returning surface;

wherein the first conveying surface is proximate the first portion of dough; and wherein the first returning surface is arranged outside a discharge path from the first discharge array to the first portion of dough.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first conveyor comprises:

a first conveying surface for the first portion of dough; and

a first returning surface;

wherein the first discharge array is positioned so that the first conveying surface is arranged between the first portion of dough and the first discharge array.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first discharge array is positioned so that the first portion of dough is arranged between the first discharge array and the first conveyor.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:

a second conveyor for conveying a second portion of dough;

a second discharge array;

wherein the oven further comprises:

a second entrance of the oven housing for the second portion of dough; and a second exit of the oven housing for the second portion of dough;

wherein the second portion of dough comprises a second wetter surface of dough and a second drier surface of dough;

144 wherein the second discharge array is positioned and oriented to direct a heating medium at the second wetter surface of dough when the second portion of dough is positioned for conveyance by the second conveyor.

8. The apparatus of claim 7,

wherein the second discharge array is positioned to provide a direct path for the heating medium from the second discharge array to the second portion of dough when the second portion of dough is positioned for conveyance by the second conveyor.

9. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the second conveyor conveys the second portion of dough from a second entrance of the oven housing to a second exit of the oven housing.

10. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the second discharge array is positioned so that the second portion of dough is arranged between the second discharge array and the second conveyor.

11. The method of claim 1, wherein the oven is a two-tiered oven.

12. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:

a circulation device;

wherein the circulation device receives a circulating stream from the oven housing; and

wherein the circulation device supplies the circulating stream to the oven housing.

13. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising: a line of fluid communication between the oven housing and a source for a makeup stream of fluid.

14. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:

a line of fluid communication between the oven housing and an exhaust sink for receiving exhaust from the oven housing.

15. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:

a first support for the first discharge array;

wherein the first support is fixed in relation to the oven housing;

wherein the first support is generally parallel to a first conveying surface of the first conveyor.

16. The apparatus of claim 7, further comprising:

a second support for the second discharge array;

wherein the second support is fixed in relation to the oven housing;

wherein the second support is generally parallel to a second conveying surface of the second conveyor.

17. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first discharge array comprises at least one infrared panel.

18. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:

at least one baffle positioned between a supply stream inlet and a return stream outlet of the oven housing.

19. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein at least one baffle is positioned approximately midway between the first entrance of the oven housing and the first exit of the oven housing.

20. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a third plenum for providing a more uniform stream of fluid in the oven housing.

21. The apparatus of claim 17, wherein at least one infrared panel comprises a tiltable panel; wherein the tiltable panel is oriented to provide an angle of tilt between a first line and a second line;

wherein the first line originates on and is normal to the tiltable panel;

wherein the first line intersects the first portion of dough at a point of intersection, wherein the second line originates at the point of intersection and is normal to the first portion of dough.

22. The apparatus of claim 21, wherein the panel is tilted opposite a direction of conveyance of the dough at the point of intersection.

23. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first discharge array comprises at least one nozzle for directing impingement of a circulating stream against the first portion of dough.

24. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:

a first plenum;

wherein the first plenum is in fluid communication with a circulation device.

25. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising:

147 a heat source;

wherein the heat source heats a circulating stream.

26. An apparatus for curing dough, said apparatus comprising:

an oven;

a first conveyor for conveying a first portion of dough;

a first discharge array;

wherein the oven comprises:

an oven housing;

a first entrance of the oven housing for the first portion of dough;

a first exit of the oven housing for the first portion of dough;

wherein the first portion of dough is continuous from a source of the first portion of dough, through the apparatus, and after leaving the apparatus until the first portion of dough is trimmed into discrete pieces; and

wherein the first discharge array is positioned and oriented to direct a heating medium at a surface of the first portion of dough when the first portion of dough is positioned for conveyance by the first conveyor.

27. An apparatus for curing dough, said apparatus comprising:

an oven;

a first conveyor for conveying a first portion of dough;

a first discharge array;

a second conveyor for conveying a second portion of dough;

a second discharge array;

wherein the oven comprises:

148 an oven housing;

a first entrance of the oven housing for the first portion of dough;

a first exit of the oven housing for the first portion of dough;

a second entrance of the oven housing for the second portion of dough; a second exit of the oven housing for the second portion of dough; and wherein the first discharge array is positioned and oriented to direct a heating medium at a surface of the first portion of dough when the first portion of dough is positioned for conveyance by the first conveyor; and

wherein the second discharge array is positioned and oriented to direct a heating medium at a surface of the second portion of dough when the second portion of dough is on the second conveyor.

28. The apparatus of claim 27,

wherein the first discharge array is above the second discharge array;

wherein the first discharge array is positioned and oriented to direct the heating medium up at the first portion of dough; and

wherein the second discharge array is positioned and oriented to direct the heating medium down at the second portion of dough.

29. The apparatus of claim 17,

wherein the infrared panel produces infrared energy using a catalytic gas infrared panel.

30. The apparatus of claim 29,

149 wherein the infrared panel provides a heat source for the dough at a temperature of about 400 °F to about 1000 °F.

31. A method for curing dough, said method comprising the steps:

providing a first portion of dough on a first conveyor, wherein the first portion of dough comprises a first wetter surface of dough and a first drier surface of dough;

conveying the first portion of dough into an oven;

directing a heating medium at the first wetter surface of dough using a first discharge array;

conveying the first portion of dough out of the oven.

32. The method of claim 31, further comprising

directing the heating medium in a straight discharge path from the first discharge array to the first portion of dough.

33. The method of claim 31 : wherein the first conveyor comprises a first conveying surface and a first returning surface;

wherein the heating medium is directed in a straight discharge path from the first discharge array to the first portion of dough; and

wherein the straight discharge path avoids the first returning surface.

34. The method of claim 31 :

wherein the first conveyor comprises a first conveying surface and a first returning surface;

150 wherein the heating medium is directed in a straight discharge path from the first discharge array to the first portion of dough; and

wherein the straight discharge path passes through the first conveying surface.

35. The method of claim 31, further comprising

directing the heating medium in a straight discharge path from the first discharge array to the first portion of dough, wherein the straight discharge path avoids the first conveyor.

36. The method of claim 31, further comprising

providing a second portion of dough on a second curing conveyor, wherein the second portion of dough comprises a second wetter surface of dough and a second drier surface of dough;

conveying the second portion of dough into the oven;

directing a heating medium at the second wetter surface of dough using a second discharge array;

conveying the second portion of dough out of the oven.

37. The method of claim 36, further comprising:

directing the heating medium in a straight discharge path from the second discharge array to the second portion of dough, wherein the straight discharge path avoids the second conveyor.

38. The method of claim 31, further comprising:

circulating a fluid in the oven.

151

39. The method of claim 31, further comprising:

circulating a fluid in the oven;

wherein the oven comprises an oven housing;

wherein a supply stream of the fluid is supplied to the oven housing by a circulation device;

wherein a return stream of the fluid is returned to the circulation device from the oven housing.

40. The method of claim 39, further comprising:

providing a makeup stream of the fluid to the oven housing.

41. The method of claim 39, further comprising:

removing an exhaust stream of the fluid from the oven housing.

42. The method of claim 31, wherein the heating medium comprises infrared energy.

43. The method of claim 31, further comprising:

directing infrared energy against the first portion of dough.

44. The method of claim 38, further comprising:

directing the fluid using at least one baffle.

45. The method of claim 38, further comprising:

directing a supply stream of the fluid past a first part of the first portion of dough;

152 wherein the first part of the first portion of dough is located between a first entrance to the oven and at least one baffle.

46. The method of claim 38, further comprising:

directing a supply stream of the fluid past a first part of the second portion of dough; wherein the first part of the second portion of dough is located between a second entrance to the oven and at least one baffle.

47. The method of claim 38, further comprising:

directing a supply stream of the fluid past a second part of the first portion of dough; wherein the second part of the first portion of dough is located between at least one baffle and a first exit of the oven.

48. The method of claim 38, further comprising:

directing a supply stream of the fluid past a second part of the second portion of dough;

wherein the second part of the second portion of dough is located between at least one baffle and a second exit of the oven.

49. The method of claim 39, further comprising:

heating the circulating stream of the fluid using a heat source.

50. The method of claim 39, further comprising:

heating the return stream of fluid.

153

51. The method of claim 38, further comprising:

directing the fluid from a circulation device, through a first plenum, and out a first discharge array comprising at least one nozzle.

52. The method of claim 31 , wherein a circulating stream of fluid passes through a third plenum as the circulating stream of fluid exits a circulation device and enters the circulation device;

wherein the circulating stream of fluid passes through the third plenum as the circulating stream of fluid is supplied to an oven housing; and

wherein the circulating stream of fluid passes through the third plenum as the circulating stream of fluid is exhausted from the oven housing.

53. The method of claim 31, further comprising:

directing the heating medium to approach the first portion of dough along a discharge path that is not perpendicular to the surface of the first portion of dough.

54. The method of claim 31, further comprising:

directing a fluid against the first portion of dough.

55. The method of claim 39, further comprising:

directing a fluid from the circulation device to a first plenum;

directing the fluid from the first plenum to the first discharge array.

56. The method of claim 39, further comprising:

directing a fluid from the circulation device to a second plenum;

154 directing the fluid from the second plenum to the second discharge array.

57. The method of claim 31, wherein the heating medium comprises hot air.

58. The method of claim 31, wherein the first portion of dough is a continuous mass of dough.

59. A method for curing dough, said method comprising the steps:

providing a first portion of dough on a first conveyor;

conveying the first portion of dough into an oven;

directing a heating medium at the first portion of dough using a first discharge array; conveying the first portion of dough out of the oven;

wherein the first portion of dough is continuous from a source of the first portion of dough, through the oven, and after leaving the oven until the first portion of dough is trimmed into discrete pieces.

60. A method for curing dough, said method comprising the steps:

providing a first portion of dough on a first conveyor;

conveying the first portion of dough into an oven;

directing a heating medium at the first portion of dough using a first discharge array; conveying the first portion of dough out of the oven;

providing a second portion of dough on a second conveyor;

conveying the second portion of dough into the oven;

directing the heating medium at the second portion of dough using a second discharge array;

155 conveying the second portion of dough out of the oven.

61. The method of claim 60, further comprising the steps:

directing the heating medium up at the first portion of dough; and

directing the heating medium down at the second portion of dough;

wherein the first discharge array is positioned above the second discharge array.