An Italian firm has invented a dough stretching device imitates the hand movements and techniques of pizza chefs.
Ecor International’s new OperaPrima system is designed to reduce the time spent prepping artisan pizzas, as it 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 a cold working system that should ensure the gluten shield is not broken and the dough maintains its internal alveolation.
Ecor believes the appliance can achieve the same results and uniform cooking as 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 Dario Cariolato 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 popular with sites that are looking to automate prep processes and divert labour resources elsewhere, as the system should eliminate the typical back and arm pain that professionals can be subjected to when stretching dough manually.