An Italian firm has invented a dough stretching device imitates the hand movements and techniques of pizza chefs.
Ecor International insists restaurant operators will be able to significantly reduce the time spent prepping artisan pizzas with its OperaPrima system, which can stretch 200 pizzas an hour.
The product is equipped with a patented technology that stretches different types of dough without stressing it.
It relies on an innovative cold working system that ensures the gluten shield is not broken and the dough maintains its internal alveolation.
Ecor says operators can achieve the same high quality results and uniform cooking that they would from shaping the dough by hand.
Its food engineers and technologists have tested the machine using hundreds of doughs and flour types prior to launching the product.
Users can customise the diameter and thickness of the pizza base by setting the desired parameters on a digital touchscreen display.
The product is equipped with a real-time monitoring system of kitchen conditions. It records the number of doughs stretched over a period of time, the parameters that have been set and diagnostic information.
Ecor International’s communication director, Giovanna Lucietto, said: “We wanted to create an innovative product, unique from the point of view of its features and which would allow users to create a high quality pizza. Nowadays it is increasingly difficult to find qualified personnel; with OperaPrima, therefore, we aim to offer the customer a solution to the lack of skilled labour, without sacrificing quality.
“The technology was developed keeping in mind that the pizza base must be absolutely artisanal, just as if it were made by hand. The pizza stretcher is a high-end product for independent pizzerias, chains, hotels, resorts and industrial producers.”
Ecor expects the product to be particularly popular with operators that are looking to automate prep processes and divert labor resources elsewhere, as the system avoids the typical back and arm pain that professionals can be subjected to when stretching dough manually.