Imagine the scene: a model with mid-length hair appears on TV before Christmas. With a swish of her hair, she announces that she has discovered the latest appliance that will "Curl & More".
The catch is: it’s not available at Boots or any other leading high street chemist for that matter because Curl & More is aimed at bakers, specifically those who want to curl pastries and bread doughs. And our fantasy model might like to know that all those not-so-filled croissants she had for breakfast can now contain more jam or cheese than ever before, as the new Curl & More allows a ratio of filling right up to 1:1.
Manufacturer Rondo’s general manager Richard Tearle is delighted at its success: "We sold a machine on the stand on the first day," he tells British Baker at Iba. "We also won two new equipment innovation awards at the show." (See British Baker, October 23.) And we have patented the design, which actually allows more filling than dough if required.
He explains that Curl & More closes the gap between the familiar artisanal Croissomats and the powerful Tornado and Spira industrial croissant machines. It means Rondo now meets requirements for operations of all sizes, from very small through to industrial firms.
The machine is flexible and can be used for automatic production of curled pastries, ranging from croissants to pretzels. And, depending on the pastry size, it produces filled or unfilled curled pastries in two to six rows, achieving a capacity of 4,000 to 12,000 units per hour.
Centrepiece of the innovation is the curling process, which involves low curling speed and clearly separated process steps. These, says Tearle, "result in a consistently high-quality production process". He adds: "The design enables the application of large filling quantities. Until now, the industry believed a ratio of dough to filling of this magnitude could not be achieved, but Rondo has achieved it."
The company also unveiled a new industrial pastry line in washed-down design. ’Wash-down’ is a method of cleaning and disinfecting lines that is increasingly becoming a requirement. On the wash-down design, the line is hosed down with a hot jet of water and then disinfected with cleaning foam. It is particularly important for products filled with meat or similar and is increasingly used for sweet pastry.
Rondo’s wash-down line is made of stainless steel and features solutions designed to simplify the cleaning process, according to Tearle. For example, the line has smooth and slanted surfaces that enable water to run off easily. They also prevent water or particles from collecting in corners and tight sections. The belts have sealed edges and can be released quickly and easily to allow access for cleaning the underside and the table-top.
New accessories from the firm, also on display, included a fat pump and updated automation and enhancement of its various bread and pastry dough processing lines.
Rondo recently rebranded its image, merging the names Rondo and Doge, so what has the effect been? Tearle says: "The new branding has brought the whole company together with a focused approach." Not so far from Rondo’s European headquarters lies Venice, which also relinquished its Doge, but held on to its famous designs and traditions while modernising its trade, transport, and machinery. There’s a parallel in there somewhere.