Interesting Patents | General Mills | Thursday, April 6, 2023
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) grants hundreds of new patents every week, showcasing developments in technology and innovation. In our Interesting Patents series, we highlight exciting US patent applications and patents recently issued by the USPTO. The patent system enables the protection of innovative ideas, and newly published patent applications provide a glimpse into the future of technology and innovation.
In this edition of #InterestingPatents, we examine General Mills’ recent patent application, which offers a unique solution to the long-standing challenges of producing rolled food products.
Discover the innovative patent application from General Mills that aims to revolutionize the food manufacturing industry by streamlining the production of rolled food products, such as crescent rolls and cinnamon rolls. This groundbreaking method addresses commercial manufacturing challenges, reducing production costs and increasing efficiency by eliminating unnecessary dough rotation and simplifying the production process.
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Rolled Food Product and Method of Producing
APPLICANT: GENERAL MILLS
US PAT. APPL. NO. 18/077,347
A new patent application from General Mills has been published for a unique method of producing rolled food products, such as crescent rolls and cinnamon rolls, more cost-effectively and efficiently. The inventive production process addresses the challenges that arise in commercial manufacturing, including unnecessary dough rotation and complex machinery. This innovation promises to revolutionize the food manufacturing industry by redesigning the dough rolling method and reducing production costs on classic treats.
In conventional commercial production, rolls are typically rolled by machinery and transported along a conveyor system. However, the dough is often rolled in a direction parallel to its travel, necessitating an additional 90-degree rotation to the manufacturing process. Ultimately, this minor rotation can add cost to the consumer and complexity to the production process. It’s clear why the industry has long been seeking a solution to streamline this process.
The method described in the patent application involves cutting a dough sheet to create a roll sheet with a continuous, asymmetrical repeating pattern. The roll sheet is transported in a first direction using a conveyor system, then rolled in a second direction not parallel to the first direction. This forms a continuous roll, which can be cut into a plurality of asymmetrical rolls for the finished product. The method aligns the rolls and simplifies the production process.
- Unique dough cutting pattern: The dough sheet is cut into an asymmetrical pattern that allows the dough to be rolled without the need for rotation.
- Angled rolling: The dough is rolled at a specific angle, between 75-80 degrees, relative to the direction of travel, ensuring the rolls’ longitudinal axes are parallel to the direction of travel.
- Torpedo rollers: The use of torpedo rollers with a contact face angle of 165-170 degrees allows for the precise rolling of the dough sheet in the desired direction.
- Cost-effective: The elimination of the need for dough rotation reduces production costs associated with complex machinery and additional processing steps.
- Faster production: The streamlined process increases the overall speed of the production line.
- Versatility: The innovative method can be applied to various types of rolled food products, including crescent rolls, cinnamon rolls, and filled rolls.
In conclusion, the method described in the patent application for producing rolled food products offers a promising solution to increasing food costs. By eliminating the need for dough rotation, this patent application can save both time and money, all while maintaining the quality and appearance of the rolls.
Rolled food products are produced by cutting a dough sheet to form a roll sheet having a continuous pattern. The pattern is comprised of an asymmetrical repeat unit. The roll sheet is transported in a first direction with a conveyor system, and the roll sheet is rolled in a second direction to form a continuous roll. The second direction is not parallel to the first direction. The continuous roll is cut to form a plurality of rolls. Each of the plurality of rolls is asymmetrical.
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