Lane Bettcher and Jeffrey Whited of Bettcher Industries Inc., of Ohio, received US Patent 6183792 6 February for their invention, a method and machine for breading food products. This is further to their 1999 Patent US5924356 for similar machine.

Current names in this technology are Stein, Inc., Gruma S.A. de C.V., Nestec, Eurotaste Ltd, Raque Food Systems Inc., Nippon Suisan Kabushiki KaishaNabisco Inc., Dallas A.C. Horn & Co., and Nabisco Technology.


    A food product breading machine comprising a breading material reservoir, a breading station, a food product loading location, a discharge location from which breaded food products are discharged from the machine, and a perforate conveyor belt extending through the reservoir, the loading location, the breading station, and the discharge location. Breading material exiting the breading station falls through the conveyor and a reservoir intake opening below the conveyor belt between the breading station and the discharge location. Breaded food products remain on the belt and are conveyed to the discharge location. A breading support member is movable to a position beneath the conveyor belt between the breading station and the discharge location for preventing breading material from falling from the conveyor through the reservoir intake opening so that breading material is conveyed to the discharge location and the reservoir is emptied. A breading deflector flange projects from a reservoir wall toward the loading location for deflecting packed breading material being conveyed to the loading location that would otherwise spill from the reservoir. A one-piece breading flow restrictor defines a projecting lobe that mounds breading material at the breading station and assures that flat food products passing the breading station are fully breaded.

First of 6 Claim:

A method of operating a food product breading machine that comprises a breading reservoir, a food product loading location, a discharge location, and a food product breading station between the loading location and the discharge location, the method comprising:

    depositing breading material in the breading reservoir;
    depositing a food product in said breading machine at the food product loading location;
    conveying the food product and breading material to said breading station where the food product is coated with breading material;
    conveying the breaded food product from the breading station to the discharge location where the breaded food product is discharged from the conveyor;
    recycling unused breading material from the breading station through the reservoir; and
    emptying the breading material reservoir comprising the step of directing breading material from said breading station to said discharge location, discharging said breading material from the machine, and diverting said breading material from said reservoir.

By Navroz Havewala, correspondent