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Title:
PIZZA CRUST AND A METHOD FOR MAKING A PIZZA TYPE PRODUCT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/044861
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention concerns a pizza crust for production of a baked pizza, where said pizza crust comprises a first side for resting on a pizza-baking support such as a tray during baking and a second side for supporting additional food products / toppings. The crust is further characterized in that at least part of the first side being in direct contact with the pizza-baking support after baking is cheese. The invention also concerns a method for large-scale production of pizza crusts.

Inventors:
OWE, Inger, Kjensmo (Stubbeløkkveien 60 A, Moss, N-1538, NO)
Application Number:
IB2014/064759
Publication Date:
April 02, 2015
Filing Date:
September 23, 2014
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ORKLA FOODS NORGE AS (P.O.Box 711, Kolbotn, N-1411, NO)
International Classes:
A21D13/00; A21C11/00; A23C19/09
Foreign References:
US20060040037A12006-02-23
US5720998A1998-02-24
US4145990A1979-03-27
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ONSAGERS AS et al. (P.O.Box 1813 Vika, Oslo, N-0123, NO)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

Pizza crust for production of a baked pizza (1),

said pizza crust (2) comprising

a first side (2a) for resting on a pizza-baking support (4) during baking and a second side (2b) for supporting additional food products (5),

characterized in that

more than 50 % of the first side (2a) being in direct contact with the pizza- baking support (4) after baking is cheese (3).

The pizza crust in accordance with claim 1,

characterized in that more than 75 % of the first side (2a) being in direct contact with the pizza-baking support (4) after baking is cheese (3).

The pizza crust in accordance with one of the preceding claims,

characterized in that the second side (2b) of the pizza crust (2) is free of cheese (3).

Method for large-scale production of pizza crust (1) in accordance with any of claims 1-3 characterized by at least the following steps:

(a) distributing an amount of cheese (3) on at least one pizza-baking support (4) from at least one cheese distributing device (7) and

(b) distributing at least one layer of cheese free dough (6) on top of the cheese (3) from at least one dough distributing device (8) to at least partly cover the amount of cheese (3) on the at least one pizza-baking support (4).

The method in accordance with claim 4, characterized by the following additional steps performed prior to one or both of steps (a) and (b):

- transferring the at least one pizza-baking support (4) on a first conveyor belt (9) with a constant, or near constant, initial velocity (v;) to a first predefined distance from the belt position of the corresponding at least one distributing device (7,8) in step (a) or (b) and

- decelerating the at least one pizza-baking support (4) from the initial velocity (v,) to a distributing velocity (v^) within said first predefined distance.

The method in accordance with claim 5, characterized by the following additional step performed after a decelerating step related to one or both of the steps (a) and (b):

- accelerating the at least pizza-baking support (4) from the distributing velocity (vd) to the initial velocity ( ,) within a second predefined distance from the belt position of the corresponding at least one distributing device (7,8) in step (a) or (b).

7. The method in accordance with one of claims 4 to 8, characterized in that at least part of the at least one cheese distributing device (7) follows the movement of the first conveyor belt (9).

8. The method in accordance with one of claims 4 to 7, characterized by controlling the velocity (v) of the at least one pizza-baking support (4) in order to ensure that cycles involving at least the steps (a) and (b) are completed at least 600 times per hour.

9. The method in accordance with one of claims 4 to 8, characterized by transferring the amount of cheese (3) to the at least one cheese distributing device (7) by means of a second conveyor belt (10).

10. The method in accordance with claim 9, characterized by

portioning a predetermined amount of cheese (3) from the second conveyor belt (10) to the pizza-baking support (4) by means of moving a part of the second conveyor belt situated above the pizza-baking support (4) a certain distance backwards at the moment of portioning.

1 1. The method in accordance with one of claims 4 to 10, characterized by cooling the amount of cheese (3) to an average temperature below 298 K prior to step (a).

12. The method in accordance with claim 11, characterized by

distributing the amount of cheese (3) evenly, or near evenly, onto the second conveyor belt (10) after cooling the amount of cheese (3) to an average temperature below 298 K.

13. The method in accordance with one of claims 9 to 12, characterized in that

at least part of the second conveyor belt (10) is situated in a separate cooling chamber (12) kept at an average ambient temperature below the average ambient temperature prevailing during performance of method steps (a) and (b).

14. The method in accordance with one of claims 4 to 13, characterized in that

at least one of the method steps are controlled by dedicated computer implemented software .

Description:
Title:

Pizza crust and a method for making a pizza type product Technical Field:

The present invention concerns a pizza crust and its method of preparation. More particularly, the present invention relates to a pizza crust for production of a baked pizza in accordance with the introductory part of claim 1 and a method for large-scale production of pizza crusts.

Background and prior art:

Pizza is a popular foot item world wide. A goal for many pizza manufacturers is to produce pizza type products providing both a tasteful and otherwise appealing food product and distinguish themselves from competitors. For example, conventional pizzas include a pizza crust, a layer of sauce, a layer of cheese and other toppings such as meat and/or vegetables. Consumers may choose between thin crust, thick crust, deep dish crust and other crust variations. Since pizza retailers generally start with the same type of ingredients it is a major challenge to present a pizza- type product in a manner that distinguish their product from the pizza-type products of their competitors.

One approach in order to achieve the desired distinctive characteristics has been to vary the distribution of cheese during the manufacturing. Examples of this kind of approaches may be found in publications US5720998, WO9725870, JPH1075709 and US4283431 all disclose pizza-type products forming a multilayer pizza with a layer of cheese between the two First layers relative to the base. An alternative approach is found in publications WO20061 15481. US2006240153, US2006240154, US6479087 and JP2004033021 all discloses a pizza-type product having a cheese filled edge crust. Some of these publications also disclose methods for distributing cheese over the pizza in order to manufacture such products. Further, publication US2010092619 discloses a method for manufacturing a cheese layer with even thickness and particular size. In the latter case the cheese layer does not cover the edge crust. And finally, publication US20060040037 discloses a pizza where the traditional flour based crust has been completely replaced by cheese in order to create a pizza-type product with low amount of carbohydrates. Introducing a significant amount of cheese in the dough, either in the base portion or in the edge crust, has proven efficient to improve not only the consumer's gustatory perception, but also to add a positive visual and/or sonic perception during consumption. For example, biting and chewing pizza crust containing a high amount of cheese causes a crispy sound that many consumers find pleasant and/or intriguing.

With the exception of US20060040037 none of the above publications discloses a pizza crust where a significant amount of cheese constitutes the base layer of the pizza crust. This is not surprising since it is generally believed that such a product would not be feasible, primarily due to the non bonding property between melted cheese and flour based dough. The disclosure in US20060040037 does not in any way weaken this prejudice. On the contrary, in the disclosure it is stressed that the pure cheese at the base and edge must form a stable bond with pure cheese on the top of the product, thereby sealing the contents or toppings.

It is thus an object of the present invention to provide a pizza crust for a baked pizza and such a pizza that represent a clear alternative to the pizzas of the prior art, while at the same time improves the consumers gustatory, visual and/or sonic perception compared to the conventional pizza. Summary of the invention:

The present invention is set forth and characterized in the main claims, while the dependent claims describe other characteristics of the invention.

In particular, the invention concerns a pizza crust for production of a baked pizza, where said pizza crust comprises a first side for resting on a pizza- baking support such as a tray during baking and a second side for supporting additional food products / toppings. The invention is further characterized in that at least part of the first side being in direct contact with the pizza-baking support after baking is cheese. Note that the pizza crust may also be used as the base for other food products having similar composition as a baked pizza, for example pies, lasagnes, quiches, etc.

In a preferred embodiment more than 50 % of the first side being in direct contact with the pizza-baking support after baking is cheese.

In an even more preferred embodiment more than 75 % of the first side being in direct contact with the pizza-baking support after baking is cheese. In another preferred embodiment the second side of the pizza crust is free of cheese.

Hence, the inventive baked pizza may include the pizza crust in accordance with any of the above mentioned features and further comprise additional food products / toppings situated on top of the second side.

The invention also concerns a method for large-scale production of pizza crust in accordance with any of the above mentioned features. The method comprises least the following steps:

(a) distributing an amount of cheese on at least one pizza-baking support from at least one cheese distributing device and

(b) distributing at least one layer of cheese free dough on top of the cheese from at least one dough distributing device to at least partly cover the amount of cheese on the at least one pizza-baking support.

The additional method steps for production of the pizza crust may include

(c) pressing the dough assembly obtained in steps (a) and (b) to form at least partly the desired pizza shape,

(d) rising / fermenting the dough assembly and

(e) baking the dough assembly in a dedicated oven at an elevated temperature, preferably above 373 K, thereby achieving the inventive pizza crust with a base layer of cheese.

After an optional freezing of the pizza crust, additional food / toppings is added.

The sequence of method step (c) and (d) may be interchanged. Further, these to steps may with advantage be repeated at least one time.

The term layer should be interpreted broadly to include objects of any shapes added onto the pizza-baking support and onto the cheese in case of cheese and cheese free dough, respectively. The shapes may be discs, balls, spheres, cubes, etc, or a combination thereof.

In a preferred embodiment the following additional steps are performed prior to one or both of steps (a) and (b):

- transferring the at least one pizza-baking support on a first conveyor belt with a constant, or near constant, initial velocity (v,) to a first predefined distance from the belt position of the corresponding at least one distributing device in step (a) or (b) and - decelerating the at least one pizza-baking support from the initial velocity (v ; ) to a distributing velocity (v d ) within said first predefined distance by means of the first conveyor belt.

Further, the method may also comprise an additional step performed after (though not necessarily immediately after) a decelerating step related to one or both of the steps (a) and (b):

- accelerating the at least pizza-baking support from the distributing velocity (v d ) to the initial velocity (v,-) within a second predefined distance from the belt position of the corresponding at least one distributing device in step (a) or (b) by means of the first conveyor belt.

Note there are no lower limitations on the predefined distance. Further, the deceleration and acceleration may also include an abrupt stop from the initial velocity (v,-) and an abrupt start to reach the initial velocity (v,), respectively.

In another preferred embodiment at least one of the at least one cheese distributing device comprises a funnel situated directly above the first conveyor belt supporting the at least one pizza-baking support, wherein the funnel is configured to guide the amount of cheese onto the at least one pizza- baking support during step (a). At least part of the cheese distributing device, for example the funnel, may follow the movement of the first conveyor belt. In yet another preferred embodiment the method comprises controlling the velocity (v) of the at least one pizza-baking support by means of the first conveyor belt in order to ensure that cycles involving at least the steps (a) and (b) are completed at least 600 times per hour, more preferably at least 800 times per hour, most preferably at least 1000 times per hour, for example 1200 times per hour.

In yet another preferred embodiment the method comprises transferring the amount of cheese to the at least one cheese distributing device by means of a second conveyor belt. The portioning of a predetermined amount of cheese from the second conveyor belt to the pizza-baking support may be performed by means of moving a part of the second conveyor belt situated above the pizza-baking support a certain distance backwards at the moment the portioning is to occur.

In yet another preferred embodiment the method comprises cooling the amount of cheese to an average temperature below 298 K prior to step (a), more preferably below 288 K, for example within a temperature range of 283 to 287 K. After cooling the amount of cheese to an average temperature below 298 K the distribution of the amount of cheese onto the second conveyor belt is preferably even, or nearly even. However, any other distribution form may be envisaged. In yet another preferred embodiment at least part of the second conveyor belt is situated in a separate cooling chamber kept at an average ambient temperature below the average ambient temperature prevailing during performance of method steps (a) and (b).

At least one of the method steps mentioned above may adventurously be controlled by dedicated computer implemented software.

In the following description, numerous specific details are introduced to provide a thorough understanding of embodiments of the claimed product and method. One skilled in the relevant art, however, will recognize that these embodiments can be practiced without one or more of the specific details, or with other ingredients, method steps, etc. In other instances, well-known products or operations are not shown, or are not described in detail, to avoid obscuring aspects of the disclosed embodiments.

Brief description of the drawings:

Figure 1 is a schematic view of a pizza product comprising a pizza crust in accordance with the invention,

Figure 2 is a schematic view of an apparatus used to prepare a pizza crust with a base layer of cheese in accordance with a first embodiment of the invention,

Figure 3 is a schematic view of an apparatus used to prepare a pizza crust with a base layer of cheese in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention and

Figure 4 is a flow diagram showing the main method steps for preparing a pizza crust with toppings.

Detailed description of the invention The present invention provides a pizza crust and a method that allows production of pizzas and pizza-like products 1 comprising a base layer 2 with a significant amount of cheese 3. A pizza 1 comprising a baked pizza crust 2 made from the inventive cheese containing pizza dough is illustrated schematically in figure 1 as supported on a pizza support 4 such as a tray. The pizza crust 2 comprises a bottom layer 2a contacting the pizza support 4 and a top layer 2b supporting additional food such as toppings 5. The toppings 5 may be for example tomato sauce, cheese and ham. The lower half of the pizza crust 2 has the distinguished feature of containing a significant amount of cheese 3, for example a cheese with low fat content and with various species added. The cheese 3 enhances the gustatory, visual and/or sonic perception for the consumer compared to the conventional pizza without such an inventive cheese base layer. The pizza support 4 is preferably made of, or covered with, non-sticking material such as pewter dishes or dishes coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE).

Figures 2 and 3 show two different embodiments of a method showing the main preparation steps for producing the baked pizza crust 2 in figure 1, while figure 4 shows the steps in form of a flow diagram. The production facility may be based on the well known Ball-and-Press (BaP) technology. In both figures 2 and 3 the preparation steps are illustrated starting from an empty tray 4 (mid leftmost part) to a finished baked pizza crust 2 resting on the tray 4 (lower, rightmost part). A highly schematic drawings of the distribution systems for cheese 7,10-12 and cheese free dough 8 (upper part) is also shown. The difference between the two embodiments is the distribution of cheese 3 on a continuous conveyor belt 10. Figure 2 shows the situation where the cheese 3 is distributed evenly on the belt 10 and figure 3 shows the situation where the cheese 3 is supplied by portion on the belt 10. However, the invention covers all cheese distributions ranging from a fully even distribution (figure 2) to a fully portioned distribution (figure 3).

Prior to the production, the cheese 3 is stored in a storage room 12 in which the ambient atmosphere is kept in an average temperature (T c ) lower than the average temperature (T a ) inside the production hall 13. With particular reference to figure 4 the production process of pizza crusts 2 with base layer of cheese 3 may in general be categorized in two sub-processes (1,11) and one main process:

main process: Complete process from supply of trays / pizza supports 4 on tray conveyor belt 9 to freezing / storing baked pizza crust 2 with toppings 5,

- cheese process (I): Storing and transporting cheese 3 for arrangement into pizza support 4, and cheese-free dough process (II): Preparing, forming and transporting cheese-free dough 6 for arrangement into pizza support 4.

During the initial steps of the main process the trays 4 are first transported to a cleaning facility by use of a dedicated carousel or other form of transporting means. After cleaning the inside of the tray 4 it is inserted with fat and then placed on a tray conveyor belt 9.

In parallel to the above mentioned initial steps of the main process, or alternatively prior to the above mentioned initial steps, the cheese 3, that has been kept in a cool environment, for example in an isolated room 12 with a NH 3 based evaporator, is distributed onto a dedicated cheese conveyor belt 10 and then transported to a cheese distributing device 7 for controlled feeding / portioning of cheese onto the bottom of one of the trays 4, for example by moving part of the cheese conveyor belt 10 a predetermined distance backward at the moment of feeding. The cheese distributing device 7 is in figure 2 and 3 illustrated as a funnel into which the correct portion of cheese 3 is dropped from the belt 10. The purpose of the advanced cooling of the cheese 3 is twofold: Firstly, sufficient cooling of the cheese 3 lowers the risk of clogging in any of the components 7, 10 being in direct contact with the cheese. Secondly, better food preservation is obtained. Normally the room temperature of a dough production facility 13 is kept above 22°C which is considered too high for efficient performance of the above cheese process (I). For many types of cheeses the preferred average temperature (T c ) for avoiding clogging lies within the temperature range of 10- 15°C prior to tray feeding. However, the ideal temperature may vary as it depends strongly on the specific cheese properties. The supply of cheese 3 on the cheese conveyor belt 10 may be performed by a dedicated distributing machine (not shown) situated at least partly in the storage room 12 or shortly after leaving the storage room 12, which distributing machine may include various cheese distributing tools such as a roller / drum with arms arranged as a comb. As for the cheese process (I) the cheese-free dough process (II) may also be performed parallel to the initial steps of the main process or alternatively prior to the initial steps. As shown in figure 4 the cheese free dough 6 is prepared in accordance with well known techniques, that is, adding necessary raw ingredients (automatically or manually) into a mixer and cutting the resulting dough into desired portioned. The dough 6 is then being formed into the required shape such as a ball by means of a dedicated rounder, and subsequently transported to a dough distributing device 8, in figures 2 and 3 illustrated as a funnel.

In a prior art tray conveyor belt 9 the trays 4 are moved at a constant operational velocity (v,-). At the moment of dough distribution, mechanical stoppers are abruptly stopping the trays 4 in the dough distribution position directly below the dough distributing device 8, followed by a sudden release causing a quick acceleration to the above mentioned operational velocity (v ( ). These abrupt stops and starts have the disadvantage that there is a significant risk of displacing the dough 6 from its intended position inside the tray 4. This problem is even higher when cheese 3 is fed into the tray 4 since the total amount of cheese 3 is normally considerably lighter than the total amount of dough 6 on each tray 4. Moreover, a solution using abrupt stops and starts would probably result in an unsatisfactory distribution precision, at least for the cheese 3. Therefore, it is proposed to introduce a tray conveyor belt 9 which gives the user the possibility of controlling the belt velocity (v) by means of motors having dedicated retardation and acceleration curves. The belt 9 may thus be slowed down to a distribution velocity v^) in a controlled manner within a certain distance from the relevant distribution position, followed by a controlled acceleration up to the desired operational velocity (v ). The velocity of the belt 9 may therefore vary from v d (which may be 0 or even negative) up to v ( . The velocity variation should be adjusted by the user in order to reach the required tray handling rate of the production facility / bakery, for example 1200 trays per hour.

After the initial steps of the main process, the supply of the fixed amount of cheese 3 onto the tray 4 and the supply of the cheese-free dough 6 onto the tray 4, the main process is continued by applying the required amount of fat to the cheese containing dough 3,6, placing the resulting dough 3,6 into a prover for fermentation (indicated in figures 2 and 3 with short arrows), either directly or after pressing the fermented dough 3,6 at least partly into the desired shape. The pressing step is in the embodiments shown in figures 2 and 3 performed by a reciprocating (double sided arrow) piston 14. The fermentation and pressing steps may advantageously be repeated at least one time. Next, the shaped pizza dough 3,6 is baked in an oven to form the pizza crust with cheese 2 as illustrated in figures 1-3. After an optional freezing of the crust 2, toppings 5 are added. This final pizza product 1 is in the end frozen for storage in anticipation of sales / consumption. The above mentioned process is based on one specific embodiment where an amount of cheese 3 is fed to the tray 4, followed by adding cheese free dough 6 on top of the cheese 3. Alternative embodiments may be envisioned, for example:

spinkling cheese 3 on top of pressed cheese free dough 6 prior to baking, after subsequently turning the assembly up side down prior to adding of toppings and

integrating cheese 3 in cheese free dough 6.

In the preceding description, various aspects of the product and the method according to the invention have been described with reference to the illustrative embodiment. For purposes of explanation, specific numbers and configurations were set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the products and its related method. However, this description is not intended to be construed in a limiting sense. Various modifications and variations of the illustrative embodiment, as well as other embodiments of the product and method, which are apparent to persons skilled in the art to which the disclosed subject matter pertains, are deemed to lie within the scope of the present invention.