Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
KNEADING TOOL FOR A FOOD PROCESSOR
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/091947
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to a kneading tool (1) for a food processor comprising a kneading body (2) to be rotated within the food processor around a rotation axis so as to knead food in the food processor. Agitating means are provided comprising a first blade (11) and a second blade (12) extending from the kneading body (2). The second blade (12) is extending to a lesser degree from the kneading body (2) than the first blade (11). The invention also relates to a food processor implementing this kneading tool. By using these blades as agitating means, a proper mixing is achieved in the mixing phase while in the kneading phase the dough is agitated by the blade without creating too much resistance for a driving unit of the food processor.

Inventors:
IVARSSON, Bengt Ivar Anders (AE Eindhoven, NL-5656, NL)
Application Number:
EP2014/078738
Publication Date:
June 25, 2015
Filing Date:
December 19, 2014
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
KONINKLIJKE PHILIPS N.V. (High Tech Campus 5, AE Eindhoven, NL-5656, NL)
International Classes:
A47J43/07; A47J43/046
Domestic Patent References:
WO2010150263A22010-12-29
WO2009150603A12009-12-17
Foreign References:
FR1382836A1964-12-18
USD421546S
US20020027175A12002-03-07
EP0043773A11982-01-13
EP1329182A12003-07-23
AU406697B21970-10-07
DE19646329A11998-05-14
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
COOPS, Peter et al. (High Tech Campus, Building 5, AE Eindhoven, NL-5656, NL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:

1. A kneading tool (1) for a food processor, the kneading tool comprising:

- a kneading body (2) to be rotated within the food processor around a rotation axis (6) so as to knead food in the food processor;

- agitating means for agitating the food, the agitating means comprising a first blade (11) extending from the kneading body at a bottom part of the kneading tool

and a second blade (12) extending from the kneading body at a mid-part of the kneading tool, wherein the second blade (12) is extending to a lesser degree from the kneading body (2) than the first blade (11). 2. The kneading tool according to claim 1, wherein the kneading body (2) is cam- shaped in a cross-section perpendicular to the rotation axis.

3. The kneading tool according to claim 1, wherein a side part (15) of an outer surface of the kneading body (2) is angled with respect to the rotation axis (6).

4. The kneading tool according to claim 3, wherein an outer surface of the kneading body has a wavy profile (16).

5. The kneading tool according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the agitating means comprise a third blade (13) extending from the kneading body at a height between the first blade and the second blade.

6. The kneading tool according to claim 5, wherein the third blade (13) is extending to a lesser degree from the kneading body than the second blade (12).

7. The kneading tool according to claim 6, wherein the first blade (11), the second blade (12) and the third blade (13) are arranged onto the kneading body at three different angles compared to the rotation axis (6).

8. The kneading tool according to claim 1, wherein the first blade (12) is sickle- shaped.

9. A food processor (80) comprising:

- a kneading tool (1) according any of claims 1-8;

- a driving unit for driving the kneading tool around the rotation axis (6),

- a bowl (81) for accommodating the kneading tool (1) and

- a base (83) for supporting the bowl.

10. The food processor according to claims 9, wherein the agitating means of the kneading tool (1) further comprises a second blade (12) extending from the kneading body at a mid-part of the kneading tool, wherein said second blade (12) extends from the kneading body (1) less than 1/3 of a distance between the kneading body and an inner surface of the bowl.

11. The food processor according to claim 9, wherein the difference between a first angle (Al) of the outer surface of the kneading body (2), and a second angle (A2) of the inner wall of bowl (81), is between 0 and 10 degrees.

Description:
Kneading Tool For A Food Processor

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to household appliances and more particularly to a kneading tool for food processors, for example for kneading dough.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

When making dough, for example dough for bread, two main steps in the process are recognized: mixing and kneading. During mixing, ingredients are mixed together whereby a chemical process starts which produces long gluten strands. These long gluten strands is what enables the bread to rise; through their strength the dough can trap pockets of air during stretch and fold kneading and rise during fermentation. During kneading, the gluten is further developed and it is desirable to achieve a series of stretch-and-fold actions without breaking these gluten strands. This is traditionally done by hand. Properly kneaded, the dough will result in a strong, risen bread full of air bubbles. It is one common problem when using a food processor or the like for kneading of dough, even when using the appropriate kneading accessory and kneading bowl that either the gluten strands don't develop properly, they develop unevenly due to uneven mixing, or that the gluten is broken during kneading. It is another common problem that the rotation speed of a food processor, particularly those at the lower end of the price range, is too high causing unsatisfactory mixing and kneading. It is often hard to get the dough to stay together and not spread around the top of the bowl where it will stick and is not kneaded.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the invention to provide an improved kneading tool for a food processor.

The object of the present invention is solved by the subject-matter of the independent claims, wherein further embodiments are incorporated in the dependent claims. For this purpose, according to a first aspect of the invention, a kneading tool for a food processor is provided comprising a kneading body to be rotated within the food processor around a rotation axis so as to knead food in the food processor, and agitating means comprising a first blade extending from the kneading body and a second blade extending from the kneading body at a mid-part of the kneading tool, wherein the second blade is extending to a lesser degree from the kneading body than the first blade.

By using two blades as agitating means on two different heights and with different extensions, a proper mixing is achieved in the mixing phase while in the kneading phase the dough is agitated by the blade without creating too much resistance for a driving unit of the food processor. The blades will slide through the dough and will cause some necessary stretching of the dough. The kneading body will then knead the dough again after which the blade will stretch the dough again. In this way a proper kneading process is achieved. A shorter blade at the mid-range allows reducing the kneading strength compared to a longer blade, which will help to keep the dough near the bottom part of the kneading tool.

In an embodiment, the kneading body is cam-shaped in a cross-section perpendicular to the rotation axis.

The cam- shaped kneading body results in an even and regular pushing of the dough.

In an embodiment, a side part of an outer surface of the kneading body is angled with respect to the rotation axis.

This allows giving more kneading pressure on the dough being prepared.

In an embodiment, the part of an outer surface of the kneading body has a wavy profile. The wavy profile at a so-called kneading part of the kneading body simulates the kneading action of the human hand, as it has shown that the knuckles of the human hand are very effective in kneading dough. In an embodiment, the first blade is arranged at a bottom part of the kneading body.

By placing the blade at a bottom part of the kneading tool it will be close to the bottom of the bowl once the kneading tool is placed in the bowl of the food processor. So in the mixing mode, the blade mixes ingredients by scraping them up from the bottom of the bowl without missing any. In kneading mode, a dough ball is formed and some small pieces of dough may get separated from the main dough ball. The main dough ball will also start to rotate inside the bowl but slower than the kneading tool, therefore the agitating blade moves faster than the dough ball and packs the small pieces into it. In an embodiment, the agitating means further comprise a second blade extending from the kneading body at a mid-part of the kneading tool. The second blade will function as a pure dough stretching arm while the lower first blade may function more as a dough collector arm.

In an embodiment, the agitating means comprise a third blade extending from the kneading body at a top part of the kneading body. This third blade may extend to a lesser degree from the kneading body than the second blade.

In an embodiment, the first, second and third blade may be arranged onto the kneading body at three different angles compared to the rotation axis.

In this way the different blades will enter the dough ball at different moments in time. This will avoid a moment where the driving unit is too much challenged.

In an embodiment, the first blade is sickle-shaped. Such a shape has shown good results especially when being arranged at the bottom part of the kneading tool and thus close to the bottom of the bowl.

According to a second aspect of the invention, a food processor is provided comprising a kneading tool as described above. The food processor also comprises a driving unit for driving the kneading tool around the rotation axis, a bowl for accommodating the kneading tool and a base for supporting the bowl.

In an embodiment, if the kneading tool comprises a second blade, the second blade extends from the kneading body less than 1/3 of a distance between the kneading body and an inner surface of the bowl.

Such a distance has shown good results on the stretching of the dough without cutting the dough too much.

In an embodiment, the difference between a first angle of the outer surface of the kneading body, and a second angle of the inner wall of bowl, is between 0 and 10 degrees.

This means that the surface of the kneading tool actually follows the surface of the bowl or is slightly tilted towards the bowl. This results in a good control of the dough in the sense that the dough ball will not climb up to the bowl too much. So it is avoided that the dough will be pushed up towards a lid of the bowl during kneading.

Further preferred embodiments of the device and method according to the invention are given in the appended claims, disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other aspects of the invention will be apparent from and elucidated further with reference to the embodiments described by way of example in the following description and with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which Figure 1A is a front view of a kneading tool according to an embodiment of the invention;

Figure 2A is a side view of the kneading tool of Figure 1A;

Figure 3A is a back view of the kneading tool of Figure 1 A;

Figure IB is a front view of a kneading tool according to an embodiment of the invention;

Figure 2B is a side view of the kneading tool of Figure IB;

Figure 3B is a back view of the kneading tool of Figure IB;

Figure 1C is a front view of a kneading tool according to an embodiment of the invention;

Figure 2C is a side view of the kneading tool of Figure 1C;

Figure 3C is a back view of the kneading tool of Figure 1C;

Figure 4 is a bottom view of the kneading tool of Figure 1C;

Figure 5 is a top view of the kneading tool of Figure 1C;

Figure 6 shows a perspective view of the kneading tool of Figure 1C;

Figure 7 schematically shows a cross section of the kneading body in a plane perpendicular to the rotation axis together with an inner wall of a bowl;

Figure 8 schematically shows a food processor according to an embodiment;

Figure 9 is a perspective view of a bowl together with kneading tool of Figure 1C.

The figures are purely diagrammatic and not necessarily drawn to scale. In the Figures, elements which correspond to elements already described may have the same reference numerals.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

Figure 1A is a front view of a kneading tool 1 according to a preferred embodiment of the invention. The kneading tool 1 comprises a kneading body 2 to be rotated within the food processor around a rotation axis 6 so as to knead food in the food processor. The kneading tool 1 is intended to be placed and rotated in a bowl of a food processor for preparing dough or other food that needs kneading, as will be explained in more detail with reference to Figure 8 and Figure 9.

The kneading tool 1 also comprises an agitating means for agitating the food, the agitating means comprising a first blade 11 extending from the kneading body. The blade 11 is referred to as agitating means since it kind of agitate the dough or any other food product to be processed. The blade 11 radially extends from the kneading body 2 of the kneading tool 1, and is arranged in a plane perpendicular to the rotation axis 6. The first blade 11 is arranged at a bottom part of the kneading body 2.

Preferably, a side part 15 of an outer surface of the kneading body 2 is angled with respect to the rotation axis 6, and forms a first angle Al with the horizontal, with Al between 90 degrees and 110 degrees. As a consequence, a circumference of the kneading body 2 increases from the bottom part.

Preferably, the kneading body 2 advantageously comprises a cylindrical neck 4 and a pin 3 that is used to stabilize the kneading tool during rotation.

Preferably, the kneading body 2 comprises a sloped collar 5. This is advantageous, for example when adding flour at the beginning of the kneading process, the flower will slide from the sloped collar 5 and will fall into the bowl next to the kneading tool 1.

Figure 2A is a side view of the kneading tool 1 of Figure 1 A. From this side view it can be seen that an outer surface of the kneading body 2 has preferably a wavy profile 16, seen from a viewing direction perpendicular to the rotation axis 6. This wavy area is also referred to as kneading surface since it will create the most pressure on the dough when the tool 1 is rotated.

Figure 3A is a back view of the kneading tool 1 of Figure 1 A.

Figure IB is a front view of a kneading tool 1 according to a preferred embodiment of the invention. The structure is based on the kneading tool described along with Figure 1A, Figure 2 A and, Figure 3 A, but the agitating means further comprise a second blade 12 extending from the kneading body at a mid-part of the kneading tool. The two blades 11,12 radially extend from the kneading body 2 of the kneading tool 1. Each of the two blades 11,12 is arranged in a plane perpendicular to the rotation axis 6. The blades are arranged on different heights, the first blade 11 is arranged at a bottom part of the kneading body 2, and the second blade 12 is arranged at a mid-part of the kneading body 2.

Figure 2B is a side view of the kneading tool 1 of Figure IB.

Figure 3B is a back view of the kneading tool 1 of Figure IB.

Figure 1C is a front view of a kneading tool 1 according to a preferred embodiment of the invention. The structure is based on the kneading tool described along with Figure IB, Figure 2B and, Figure 3B, but the agitating means further comprise a third blade 13 extending from the kneading body at a height between the first blade 11 and the second blade 12.. The three blades 11,12,13 radially extend from the kneading body 2 of the kneading tool 1. Each of the three blades 11,12,13 is arranged in a plane perpendicular to the rotation axis 6. The blades are arranged on different heights, the first blade 11 is arranged at a bottom part of the kneading body 2, the second blade 12 is arranged at a mid-part of the kneading body 2, and the third blade 13 is preferably arranged at a height between the first blade 11 and the second blade 12.

Figure 2C is a side view of the kneading tool 1 of Figure 1C.

Figure 3C is a back view of the kneading tool 1 of Figure 1C. From this back view only the first blade 11 and the second blade 12 can be seen.

Figure 4 is a bottom view of the kneading tool 1. The bottom of the kneading tool 1 comprises a cavity 18 which is star-shaped in this example. The cavity 18 is intended to cooperate with driving means of the food processor, so as to transmit a rotating force to the kneading tool. As illustrated, the blades 11,12,13 are curved in a plane perpendicular to the rotation axis 6 and are preferably sickle-shaped. An arrow 19 indicates the direction in which the kneading tool 1 will rotate. The blades 11,12,13 may be equally thick but the thickness may also differ. As illustrated, the curved lines 22,23 indicate that the edges of the blades 12,13 are advantageously sharpened (i.e. tapered). The tapering in this embodiment is present on both sides of the second and third blade 12,13, but only on the top side of the first blade 11, see also Figures 1C-2C-3C.

Figure 5 is a top view of the kneading tool 1. On the top of the kneading tool 1 the pin 3 is visible and also two curved lines 32,33 indicating that the blades 12 and 13 have tapered edges.

Figure 6 shows a perspective view of the kneading tool 1. It is made visible that in this embodiment the kneading body 2 is cam-shaped.

Figure 7 schematically shows a cross section of the kneading body 2 in a plane perpendicular to the rotation axis 6, when placed in a bowl having an inner wall 71. The cross section of the kneading body 2 can be defined by the portions of two circles 74 and 75 having different diameters, completed by lateral substantially flat portions 72,73. The rotation axis 6 is located at the center of the largest circle 74. The outer surface of the smallest circle 75 is closer to the inner wall 71 of the bowl. Due to the relative distance of this surface, the kneading body 2 will push the dough towards the inner wall 71. Some example of values for the dimensions of the cam shaped body 2 are indicated. The diameter of the largest circle 74 is referred to as Dl, which in this example varies between 50-55 mm. Diameter Dl has no direct effect on the primary function, but needs to be as small as possible whilst giving room for internal coupling which is given from existing bowl. Diameter Dl is preferably proportional to the diameter D of the bowl, and may also depends on the type of kneading and the rotation speed of the kneading tool 1. The diameter D2 of the smallest circle 75 is 30 mm in this example. The smallest distance S between the kneading body 2 and the inner wall 71 is 31 mm, and the largest distance L between the kneading body 2 and the inner wall is 50 mm.

It should be clear to the reader that the kneading body 2 may have different shapes. The cross section of the body 2 may also differ from a cam-shaped form. The rotation axis 6 can be placed at other suitable positions, so as to generate a changing pressure on the dough. The top of the kneading body 2 could be flat, and the wavy profile of the kneading surface could be absent, or it could be replaced by other profiles such as tooth saw profiles.

When having at least two blades, the kneading tool 1 preferably has a first blade 11 near the bottom of the bowl, also referred to as bottom blade 11 or scraping blade 11 , and a second blade 12 above the bottom blade 11 which extends from the kneading body but to a lesser degree than the bottom blade 11. The bottom blade 11 preferably extends until close to the inner wall 71 of the bowl so that small pieces of dough are collected and brought back into the dough ball. This second blade 12 is also referred to as the folding blade 12 (or folding rib 12) since it slides through the dough ball at a mid-part of the dough ball (of course depending on the dimensions of the dough ball present in the bowl), and pulls at the mid part of the dough ball. By pulling the mid part away, the total dough ball will be folded. This results in a kneading process with a series of stretch-and-fold actions without breaking the gluten strands. The automated process greatly resembles the manual kneading process.

Figure 8 schematically shows a food processor 80 according to the invention. The food processor 80 comprises any of the embodiments of the kneading tool 1 as described above. The food processor 80 further comprises a bowl 81 and a base 83 supporting the bowl 81 and containing a driving unit (not visible). The driving unit is arranged to rotate the kneading tool 1 for example via cavity 18 described above, or via other way known to the skilled person. A user may operate the rotation of the kneading tool 1 by manually setting a speed knob 84, which speed knob 84 may also be operable to activate or de-activate the food processor 80. The food processor 80 further comprises a bowl cover 82 for covering an opening in the bowl 81. A bowl handle 85 is arranged onto the bowl 81 in a known way.

Fixed onto the cover may be a pusher 86 for entrance for the food product to be processed in the bowl 81. In this illustration, the kneading tool 1 only comprises two blades, see blade 11 and blade 12. As mentioned above, a different number of blades may be chosen.

In the embodiment of Figure 8, an outer surface of the kneading body 2 closest to an inner wall of the bowl 81 is angled, and forms a first angle Al with the horizontal, with

Al > 90 degrees. The inner wall of bowl 81 (or at least a lower part of the inner wall) forms a second angle A2 with the horizontal. Preferably, the difference between the first angle Al and the second angle A2 is between 0 and 10 degrees, so that the outer surface of the kneading body 2 substantially follows the inner wall of the bowl 81. Due to the small difference between the first angle Al and the second angle A2, a dough ball will not climb up along the inner wall of the bowl 81. The dough ball will thus stay in the lower part of the bowl where it is kneaded by the kneading body 2 and stretched by the blades 11,12.

Figure 9 is a perspective view of the bowl 81 together with the centrally placed kneading tool 1 according to the invention. In this example the kneading tool 1 comprises three blades as was shown in Figures 1-5. A bottom of the bowl 81 is depicted with reference number 89. As illustrated, a tip of the first blade 11 is closest to the wall of the bowl 81. The second blade 12 is shorter than the first blade 11, and the top blade 13 is the shortest blade. So the length of the blades is progressively increasing from top to bottom.

The first blade 11 is near to the bottom 89 of the bowl and functions as agitating means while at the same time collecting small pieces of dough. The second blade 12 mainly slices through part of the dough ball and will by doing so fold the dough ball (not shown). The third blade 13 also slices through the dough but to a lesser degree as compared to the second blade 12.

Preferably, the second blade 12 extends from the kneading body 2 less than 1/3 of a distance between the kneading body 2 and an inner surface of the bowl 81. This relative distance results in efficient kneading.

The kneading body 2 and the blades can be made, for example, of metal or plastic. Also enforced plastic or glass fiber might be used. In some embodiments these parts can be made from different materials. The bowl can be made, for example, from metal, plastic or glass. Such materials provide sufficient friction with the dough to be kneaded.

As will be clear form the above description, the embodiments may have several advantages over the known kneading tools. The lower mixing portion of the kneading tool 1 with progressively decreasing blades 11,12,13 ensures a proper mixing of the ingredients before the dough forms a ball. The kneading body 2 may have a shape that promotes the dough to be pushed down into the bowl and is therefore controlled at a place where it can be kneaded. The cam-shaped kneading body 2 and the blades 11,12,13 promote an alternate stretch-and-fold action without breaking gluten strands. Due to the positioning of the blades 11,12,13 on the kneading body 2 opposite from the kneading surface 15, a balanced rotating of the tool can be achieved so that the kneading tool 1 can achieve efficient kneading.

It is noted, that in this document the word 'comprising' does not exclude the presence of other elements or steps than those listed and the word 'a' or 'an' preceding an element does not exclude the presence of a plurality of such elements, that any reference signs do not limit the scope of the claims. Further, the invention is not limited to the embodiments, and the invention lies in each and every novel feature or combination of features described above or recited in mutually different dependent claims.