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Title:
A PLATEN APPARATUS, SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR NO-FLIP COOKING MECHANISM FOR A FOOD PREPARATION APPLIANCE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/097561
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
The present invention is a cooking mechanism for a food preparation appliance which does not require any flipping of the dough product and achieves an irregular temperature profile during the cooking process. The platen system allows the flattened dough material to be transformed to flattened bread that is ready for consumption. The efficient platen system makes the automation and efficiency of the machine to increase and reduce the wait time for use rot get the cooked flattened bread. A system and method the apparatus functions and the response of the software to optimize cooking of the flat bread is dynamically adapted in response to variation flour quality, water content, and recipe selection (user input) by altering at least one of a distance, the sequence of movements and the temperature settings of the platens are performed.

Inventors:
ISRANI, Pranoti, Nagarkar (56 West Coast Road, #01-68, Singapore 6, 12683, SG)
ISRANI, Rishi (56 West Coast Road, #01-68, Singapore 6, 12683, SG)
CHITALE, Jui, Ajit (Bik 368, #10-473 Bukit Batok Street 31, Singapore 8, 65036, SG)
BABER, Ali, Syed Muhammad (2 Jalan Lempeng, #09-04, Singpore 3, 12879, SG)
Application Number:
IB2014/003208
Publication Date:
July 02, 2015
Filing Date:
December 24, 2014
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ZIMPLISTIC PTE. LTD. (6 Commonwealth Lane, GMTI Building #03-03/04, Singapore 7, 14954, SG)
International Classes:
A21B5/00
Other References:
None
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Claims:
Claims

What is claimed is:

1. A platen apparatus, comprising,

a set of flattening pans, to provide a flattened dough, is contiguous to a first upper platen and a second lower platen for cooking the flattened dough;

the first upper platen having a first surface and a second surface with a specific surface structure for the first surface and the second surface for cooking a flattened dough to make a flat bread;

the second lower platen having a third surface and a fourth surface with an unique surface structure for cooking the flattened dough without flipping to make the flat bread, and

a software residing in a processor dynamically adapts to at least one of a distance, a sequence movement and a temperature setting of at least one of the set of flattening pans, first upper platen and second lower platen to optimize cooking the flat bread which varies due to flour quality, water content, and recipe selection (user input).

2. The platen system of claim 1, further comprising:

the second surface on the first upper platen and the fourth surface on the second lower platen having a heating mechanism of a specific type and a specific shape.

3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the specific shape is a U shape, S shape, circular shape, concentric circle, isolated individual elements or a combination thereof located at a predetermined optimized location.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the specific surface structure is at least one of a raised, recessed and a combination thereof on the first surface of the first upper platen to create a cooked look similar to traditional flat bread cooking.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the unique surface structure for the third surface is at least one of a raised, recessed, a flat surface and a combination thereof on the second lower platen to create a cooked look for the flat bread made up of the flattened dough similar to a traditional flat bread cooking.

6. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein the specific surface structure has a flat surface in the areas where it does not have the recessed, raised and the combination thereof on the first surface of on the first upper platen.

7. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the unique surface structure has a flat surface if it does not have the recessed, raised and the combination thereof on the third surface of the second lower platen.

8. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the heating system is at least one of a conductance, convection and radiation or a combination thereof.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first surface and the third surface are made at least one of a nonstick surface.

10. A platen apparatus, comprising:

a first upper platen having a first surface and a second surface with a raised surface, wherein the first surface has a recessed surface and a flat surface for cooking a flattened dough to make a flat bread; and

a second lower platen having a third surface and a fourth surface with a raised surface, wherein the third surface has a recessed surface and a flat surface for cooking the flattened dough to make the flat bread.

11. The apparatus of claim 10, further comprising:

a heating mechanism is in a specific configuration placed on a second surface of the first upper platen and a fourth surface of the second lower platen.

12. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the specific configuration is at least one of a U shape, S shape, circular shape, a square shape and a combination thereof.

13. The apparatus of claim 10, further comprising:

the second surface and the third surface is made is at least one of a non-stick material.

14. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the cooking of the flattened dough does not require any flipping of the flattened dough for making the flat bread.

15. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the recessed surface is a concentric circle.

16. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the first upper platen and the second lower platen has a upward and a downward movement for cooking of the flattened dough to make a cooked flat bread without flipping the flattened dough.

17. A method to make the flattened cooked bread, comprising:

flattening a dough ball using a set of flattening pans that have a smooth surface; transferring a flattened dough using a kicker to a first platen and a second platen; cooking the flattened dough by moving the first platen and the second platen upwards and down wards and using the heat to obtain a flat bread; and

dynamically adapting the method to make flattened cooked bread due to at least one of a variation flour quality, water content, and recipe selection (user input) by altering at least one of a distance, the sequence of movements and the temperature settings of the platens using a software residing in a processor are performed.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein the first upper platen has a first surface and a second surface with a specific surface structure for the first surface and the second surface for cooking the flattened dough to make the flat bread; and the second lower platen having a third surface and a fourth surface with an unique surface structure for cooking the flattened dough to make the flat bread.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein the specific surface structure on the first surface is at least one of a raised surface, a recessed surface and a combination thereof on the first surface of the first upper platen to create a cooked look similar to traditional flat bread cooking.

20. The method of claim 17, wherein the second surface on the first upper platen and the fourth surface on the second lower platen on have a heating mechanism of a specific type and a specific shape.

Description:
A PLATEN APPARATUS, SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR NO-FLIP COOKING MECHANISM FOR A FOOD PREPARATION APPLIANCE

CROSS RELATED APPLCIATIONS

[001] This application claims priority to a Provisional Application 2013096094 filed on 12/26/2013 in Singapore and a continuation in part of now pending US Utility Application 14445122 filed on 29 th July 2014 are hereby incorporated by reference in its entireties for all of its teachings.

FIELD OF INVENTION

[002] This disclosure relates generally to a having a platen system, apparatus and a method of cooking a flat bread that does not require any flipping of the dough product while cooking to make the flat bread.

BACKGROUND

[003] In conventional cooking of a roti or a dough product, one must flip the roti or the dough product to ensure both sides are cooked. However, for the sake of compactness, portable food preparation appliances cannot afford to flip the roti or dough product as the moving parts are required for the flipping motion and will undoubtedly increase the size and weight of the cooking device. Therefore, there exists a need for an invention that can cook both sides of the dough product without adding bulk to the cooking mechanism in a cooking device.

SUMMARY

[004] Several components of the apparatus, systems and a method for cooking flat dough to cooked flat bread without the need for flipping are described. In one embodiment, the platen apparatus is a part of a compact flat bread maker and is situated after the dough ball making apparatus (not shown). In one embodiment, a platen apparatus for cooking flat bread made up of flat dough is described. In another embodiment, by using a first set of platen to flatten and the second set of platen to cook the flattened dough are described. The first set of platen and the second set of platen are contiguous to each other are described. In one embodiment, a platen system may comprise of a single platen set that performs flattening and no-flip cooking. In another embodiment, multiple combination of single platen set, dual platen set contiguous to each other or combination thereof are disclosed.

[005] In one embodiment, a platen system is part of a large machine that makes flat bread mechanically using software controls from flour and water. In one embodiment, a platen system comprises of a set of flattening pans having an upper platen and a lower platen, to provide flattened dough and is contiguous to a first upper platen and a second lower platen for cooking the flattened dough. The inner surface of the upper platen and the lower platen of the set of flattening pans that comes in contact with the dough has a smooth surface. The outer surface of the upper platen and the lower platen of set of flattening pans has heating mechanism. In all the platen that are being used the surface that comes in contact with the dough are made up of food grade nonstick material.

[006] In one embodiment, the first upper platen having a first surface and a second surface. The second lower platen has a third surface and a fourth surface. The first surface and the second surface have a specific surface structure for the first upper platen for cooking flattened dough to make flat bread. In another embodiment, the second lower platen having a third surface and a fourth surface with a unique surface structure for cooking the flattened dough without flipping to make the flat bread. In another embodiment, the second surface on the first upper platen and the fourth surface on the second lower platen on have a heating mechanism of a specific type and a specific shape. In one embodiment, the inner surface of the first upper pan and the third surface of the lower pan are made up of nonstick materials. They are also made up of heat resistant materials.

[007] In one embodiment, a specific shape of the heating element is housed on the second surface of the first upper platen and the fourth surface of the second lower platen. In another embodiment, the heating means may be achieved using conductance, radiation and convection either individually or in combination.

[008] The upper platens for the first set and the second set of platens have a z axis motion and are controlled either pneumatically, spring action, linear motion, track, geared, belted or even hydraulic in some embodiments. The lower platen for the first set of platen and the second set of platen are contiguous to each other. Both the sets of platen are heated from the top and bottom. In one embodiment, if necessary the first set of platen are less heated than the second set of platen. In some embodiment, the first upper platen of the second set may be heated more the lower platen.

[009] In one embodiment, a system to enable mimicking the cooking of a hand-rolled dough product. A hand-rolled dough product is in most cases not uniform, with irregular surfaces which are not completely flat. Therefore, when the hand-rolled dough product is placed on a heated pan, its irregular surface when placed on the heated pan creates a varying temperature profile which causes "uneven cooking". As such, some portions of the dough product which are substantially flat are charred due to substantial contact with the heated pan, and some portions of the dough product are cooked but not charred due to its irregular and non-flat shape which results in minimal contact with the heated pan.

[010] In another embodiment, a cooking method is disclosed for a food preparation appliance which does not require any flipping of the dough product and achieves an irregular temperature profile during the cooking process. In one another embodiment, as a system and method the apparatus functions and the response of the software to optimize cooking of the flat bread is dynamically adapted in response to variation flour quality, water content, and recipe selection (user input) by altering at least one of a distance, the sequence of movements and the

temperature settings of the platens (includes set of platens and/or all the first upper plate and second lower platen platens in use) are performed.

[011] The object of the invention is thus to replicate this uneven temperature profile during the cooking process for a portable food preparation appliance. However, as a portable food preparation appliance prepares dough products which are substantially flat, there is less of a chance that the dough product would have irregular surfaces to result in this desired "uneven cooking". There is therefore a need to devise a cooking mechanism for a portable food preparation appliance that is capable of varying the temperature profile during cooking.

[012] Other features and advantages will be apparent from the detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the current apparatus, system and method.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF FIGURES

[013] Example embodiments are illustrated by way of example and not limitation in the figures of the accompanying drawings, in which like references indicate similar elements and in which: [014] Figure 1 shows a back cover portion of the upper platen for the first set and the second set of platen that houses the heating element.

[015] Figure 2 shows the third surface of the lower platen with inundations for cooking unevenly.

[016] Figure 3 shows the second surface with cooking inundation.

[017] Figure 4 shows the heating element of both upper platens.

[018] Figure 5 shows the heating element of both lower platens.

[019] Figure 6 shows the first upper platen and second lower platen alignment and specifically shows the second lower platen.

[020] Figure 7 shows the first upper platen and second lower platen alignment and specifically shows the first upper platen.

[021] Figure 8 shows the first set lower platen and the second set lower platen in contiguous form with each other.

[022] Figure 9 shows the first lower platen having raw flat bread that has just been flattened by the set of platens.

[023] Figure 10 shows the second lower platen having raw flat bread that is being cooked due to the heat of the lower platen.

[024] Figure 11 shows that the first upper platen and the second lower platen is cooking the flattened bread on both sides.

[025] Other features of the present embodiments will be apparent from accompanying drawings and from the detailed description that follows.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[026] Several components for a system, apparatus and method of making flat bread using a platen system for a no flipping mechanisms are disclosed. Although the present embodiments have been described with reference to specific example embodiments, it will be evident that various modifications and changes may be made to these embodiments without departing from the broader spirit and scope of the various embodiments.

[027] The instant application is an improvement of the previous application Pranoti Nagarkar Israni (2011 and 2014) wherein a platen system using one set of platen is described. The cited application states that the platen unit may include the upper platen and the lower platen. In one or more embodiments, the surface of platens may be made of alloys of metals coated with nonstick coating. In the example embodiment, the upper platen and the lower platen may be mounted on a base and are held to supporting bars. In one instance it is stated that either of the upper platen and the lower platen or both may be enabled to rotate. The distance between the upper platen and the lower platen may be controlled through the upper weight controlled by the platen control module.

[028] The improvements that are made in the instant invention are the platen system that is contiguous to each other or multiple of the platen maybe used in any combination. In the instant application the platen system, apparatus and method may be used for more faster and efficient processing is described. The platen system, apparatus and method allows a quicker production and simultaneous flattening and cooking function to keep up with the fast dough ball making apparatus that is described in the previous application. The apparatus, system and method also enable the temperature control of the platen system individually or together. The instant apparatus, system and method works on the principal that flattened dough needs cooking on both sides and resembles and textured as the real cooked flat bread when made by hand. The technical challenges that are overcome are the speed of cooking, novel system level controls for making a cooked flat bread and automation for making one dough ball at a time, flattening one dough ball at a time to make a flattened dough and cooking the flattened dough without flipping to resemble handmade flat bread.

[029] The following paragraphs describe the apparatus, the system that controls the apparatus and the method of using the apparatus. Figure 1 shows an enclosure 102 to cover the heating element 104. The enclosure sits on top of all platens and they are represented as 106. It could be the first set of platens on top and bottom, second surface of the first upper platen and the fourth surface of the second lower platen. This enclosure 102 is made up of insulated and heat resistant material so that it can protect the appliance from being burnt out and as well as to comply with local authority rules for insulating the heating mechanism 104. The heating element may be made up of electric coils, gas, conductance, battery power or a combination of two, but not limited to these examples. The lower part of the platen has a small separation 108 is shown if there needs to be a spacer. It may not be present in subsequent designs. The heating mechanism 104 has a specific shape, wherein the specific shape is U shape, S shape, circular shape, concentric circle, isolated individual elements located at a predetermined location and a combination thereof.

[030] Figure 2 shows the second lower platen 206. Third surface (upper) of lower platen 208 comprises of specific surfaces structures such as raised surface 202 and recessed surface 204. Specific surface structure such as 202 and 204 can be of any number and in any configuration on second lower platen 102. Specific surfaces structures such as 202 and 204 can be any indentation of any depth and of any width. The regions on the third surface of second lower platen 206 which do not have specific surface structure 202 and 204 are substantially flat. The specific surfaces structure is at least one of a bubble, a circular dimple and a combination thereof. To cook a piece of flattened dough, the flattened dough would be placed in-between the first upper platen and second lower platen. Both platens would be heated using the heating mechanism. Once the temperature of the platen is sufficient the flattened dough would form a vapor in between the layers of the dough and puff up. The surface of the flattened dough may darken in some places to show the flattened dough is transformed to cooked flat bread. The cooked flat bread is then pushed out to a tray for human consumption.

[031] Figure 3 shows the first upper platen 310 having a specific surface wherein there are no specific surface structures such as 302. There are surface differences between the region of 302 and where the raised surface 308 is located. It is separated by two concentric circles 306 to accommodate the shape of the flattened dough that is placed between the first upper platen and second lower platen for cooking. The shape and sizes of the raised or recessed surface may vary as shown in 308 and 304. The ring structure 306 also helps in holding the shape of the flattened dough and permits the raise of the flattened dough to puff up and forma cooked flattened material which is suitable for consumption immediately.

[032] The function of specific surface structure 202, 204, 308 and 304 is to form an irregular and non-uniform surface to break up the temperature profile during cooking the flattened dough. The substantially flat regions (unique surface structure) on first upper platen 310 and second lower platen 208 will transfer heat to the flattened dough material via conduction, convection, radiation or a combination thereof while the specific surface structure 202, 204, 308 and 304 would not able to transfer heat to the dough material via conduction, convection, radiation or a combination thereof, resulting in an irregular temperature profile. The regions on the dough material corresponding to specific surface structure 202, 204, 308 and 304 would thus be heated or cooked to a lesser degree than the regions on the dough material corresponding to the substantially flat regions on first upper platen 310 and second lower platen 208. This results in uneven cooking of the flattened dough material to make handmade looking flat bread, which is desired.

[033] Figure 4 shows that the heating mechanism 402 is secured on the fourth surface of the second lower platen 208. This is covered by an insulated cover 102. The first surface and the third surface are made up of nonstick material. For example Teflon, ceramic, variations of Teflon, any nonstick coatings that is of food grade.

[034] Figure 5 shows the same configuration as Figure 4 but for second surface on the first upper platen 310 having a heating mechanism 502. Figure 6 shows the first upper platen 310 and second lower platen 208 in an aligned position as it would be in the cooking appliance to cook the flattened dough. The fixing screws would be secured in position 602 and the heating element is shown to be recessed as 502. Figure 6 shows the angle in which specific surface structures are visible at the lower platen. Figure 7 shows the specific surface structure in first upper platen 310 and dimple 304. Wherein the lower platen 208 is shown to display the heating element 408 in this particular angle. These two figures show the configuration of the two cooking platens to make the final cooked flattened bread. The fastening may be done using spring loaded mechanism to allow the flattened dough material to rise naturally during cooking. The amount of heat being supplied to the dough material can also be adjusted by controlling distance between first upper platen 208 and second lower platen 310 using mechanical actuation. Both the platens may have their own individual temperature control using temperature sensors and software algorithms. The set of platens used for flattening the dough have a flat inner surface that comes in touch with the dough ball and has heating elements similar to the first upper platen and the second lower platen. The temperature for these two heating mechanism is also controlled by the software to optimal level depending on the viscoelasticity of the dough ball and for creating a non-sticking flattened dough to be provided for cooking.

[035] Figure 8 shows, as one embodiment, the contiguous configuration of the flattening lower pan 804 of the set of flattening pans and the second lower platen 208 of the cooking platen. The clear junction is shown as 802. Both the sets of platen may be removed and individual ones may be replaced hence the modular design to enable ease of maintenance and troubleshooting when one or the other heating mechanism requires replacement. All four platen may be heated at the same temperature or different temperatures. The entire heating mechanism is controlled using sensors and software algorithms.

[036] Figure 9 shows flattened dough 902 being produced after the set of platen gets a dough ball from the dough ball maker and places it between the set of platens to be flattened. Once it has been flattened in the platen 804 it may be transferred by a sweeper (not shown) to second lower platen 208.

[037] Figure 10 shows that the transfer of the flattened dough from platen 804 to second lower platen 208 has happened and due to raised heat the flattened dough has slightly puffed 1002. As shown in Figure 11 once the first upper platen 310 and the second lower platen 208 come together to cook on both the surfaces of the flattened dough the flat bread puffs 1102 and raises due to filling of vapor and is considered cooked. The cooked flattened bread is then pushed out the compact machine for human consumption.

[038] The method of using the apparatus is done in multiple steps. A method to make the flattened cooked bread, comprises of first flattening a dough ball using a set of flattening pans that have a smooth surface and transferring a flattened dough using a kicker to a first platen and a second platen; and subsequently cooking the flattened dough by moving the first platen and the second platen upwards and down wards and using the heat to obtain a flat bread. The sequence of cooking the flat bread also enables the first platen and second platen to move at different distances up and down for a particular cooking instance. The response of the software to optimize cooking method to make the flattened cooked bread is dynamically adapted in response to variation flour quality, water content, and recipe selection (user input) by altering at least one of a distance, the sequence of movements and the temperature settings of the platens are performed. For example, if a user chooses a preference to have thick flat bread or the flat bread is a bit more sticky than acceptable then the platens may move closer first to get the flat bread cooked well and then vary the upward and downward movement in the next sequence to puff the flat bread. The technical challenge that we are overcoming in this instance is that the current appliances have fixed distance and no intelligence to vary the distance based on user preference parameter to adapt. As described above the first upper platen has a first surface and a second surface with a specific surface structure for the first surface and the second surface for cooking the flattened dough to make the flat bread; and the second lower platen having a third surface and a fourth surface with an unique surface structure for cooking the flattened dough to make the flat bread. Some flat bread during cooking requires more heat than other type of flat bread. Traditional appliances overcome this challenge by varying the position from a hot place to a hotter place or vice versa. However, in the instant apparatus the platens using software control and sensor feedback vary the heat on demand and the flat bread need not be moved from one place to another to get cooked and/or puffed.

[039] The upper platen may have a fan type of structure to mitigate the heating of the apparatus due to convection or conductance induced heat for cooking. Circulation of hot air and heat per se is done using fans or outlets in strategic positions in the platen apparatus.

[040] Although the present embodiments have been described with reference to specific examples embodiments, it will be evident that various modifications and changes may be made to these embodiments without departing from the broader spirit and scope of various

embodiments. Accordingly, the specification and drawings are to be regarded in an illustrative rather than a restrictive sense.