Baking & Snack - July 2020 - 54

PRETZELIZE

PRETZEL TECH

tion to as many as 8,000 pieces an hour. This can help
if the ropes need complex twists.
"The more twists and the larger the product size typically means fewer products per hour," Mr. Zielsdorf
said. "The more intricate the twisted product is, the
longer each product is stopped while the robot does its
job to twist/tie it."
To increase consistency, Fritsch lines are set up with
vision systems to reject any dough noodle that is out of
spec - too short, long, fat, skinny or oddly shaped -
prior to twisting.
WP Riehle's twisting robots create pretzels, pretzel
sticks, pretzel bread rolls and pretzel baguettes with
different twist patterns. Its 3D camera system can also
recognize dough pieces no matter their orientation on
a transport belt, Mr. Jordan said.

WHEN CREATING DOUGH ROPES,
OR NOODLES, THE LENGTH OF THE
STRANDS SHOULD BE DEFINED
BY THE FINAL DESIRED SIZE AND
WEIGHT OF THE PRETZEL.
Advances in scarification have also revolutionized
what a pretzel can look like.
"Different cutting patterns can be stored with corresponding programs so the robot scores automatically
when the program is selected," Mr. Jordan said. "We
use ultrasonic or rotating knifes. No staff or manual
working step is needed."
ABI LTD vision systems and robotics have enabled
one system, via a change of end of arm tooling, to do
straight plunge cuts, straight angular cuts, compound
angular cuts or drag blade cuts, all with or without ultrasonic blades.
"We can now follow a curve and adjust the depth
based on vision system recognition," said Alex
Kuperman, chief executive officer, ABI. "We can
even build in randomization to allow for a more artisan appearance."
Another popular innovation is filled pretzels.
"Consumers seem to really enjoy the texture and
taste of pretzel dough, and it lends itself to be filled
with so many different fillings," said John Giacoio, vice
president of sales, Rheon USA. "We have seen pizzafilled pretzels, cheese-filled pretzels and even a crab
and horseradish-filled pretzel, just to name a few."
For these products, moisture content is the most important consideration. Any blowouts or leaks of a filled

54 Baking & Snack July 2020 / www.bakingbusiness.com

YOUR WORLD

In the world of pretzels, there are true
pretzels, then there are "pretzelized"
bread products. The thing they have in
common is a caustic bath.
Any type of dough can be given the
caustic pretzel treatment and be called a
pretzel even though the doughs can be
very different.
"I don't think there's any hard and
fast definition for a pretzel itself," said
Ken Zvoncheck, director of process
technology, Reading Bakery Systems.
"So, if we take a standard hamburger bun
on a line and we insert this pretzel cooker
and we dip or spray it to get that brown
shiny shell and the flavor from the sodium
hydroxide, does that qualify as a pretzel?
I think most would say, 'Yes it does.' "
But bread and bun doughs and
laminated doughs like croissant require
special considerations when given the
pretzel treatment.
Bun dough has a higher moisture
content and needs a pan to maintain its
shape, Mr. Zvoncheck explained. So, these
doughs are often sprayed with caustic
solution to provide the color, texture and
flavor of a pretzel on top, while the rest of
the bun remains untouched.
The same can be said for products like
croissants. These doughs can then be cut
in any desired shape and even twisted
like a pretzel, said Matt Zielsdorf, director
of bakery sales for Fritsch, a Multivac
company. Fritsch robotic pretzel twisters
can be used to create twisted buns.
"In Europe, lyed croissants and lyed
biscuits are also on the rise," he said.
Filled pretzels can also fall into the
pretzelized product category. When using
a Rheon coextruder, bakers can do an
inline caustic bath through a converted
fryer. Multiple coextruders can be
synchronized to place products in a line
across a fryer belt, said John Giacoio, vice
president of sales, Rheon USA. Bakers
can convert fryers to boilers for pretzel
and bagel products.
"Not every consumer knows that to
make a really good pretzel product, it just
needs to be dipped in a hot caustic bath,"
he said. "And who doesn't like salt?"


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Baking & Snack - July 2020

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